Tuesday, November 29, 2011


PNC Wealth Management has released the 28th annual “PNC Christmas Price Index”, which determines the cost of the gifts in the holiday classic “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  This year the cost of the items totaled $24,263.18, a 3.5% increase over last year’s $23,439.38 price tag.

The biggest price increases involve the “specialty” livestock – the partridge that inhabits the pear tree, the turtle doves, the French hens, and the swimming swans.  The cost of the partridge and the doves increased 25%, the biggest jump.  Surprisingly the price for calling birds dropped 13.3%.

Gold prices fell slightly, with the golden rings down .8%, joining the calling birds as the only items that cost less than 2010.

For the most part labor costs remained constant, with only the musicians, i.e. pipers and drummers, getting a 3% raise.  The index highlights the fact that the union for performing artists has done a better job representing its members over the years than the musicians’ union.  Dancers and leapers are better paid than the pipers and drummers.  The most expense item on the list is the nine dancing ladies, earning $6,294.03.  Milking maids earn the minimum wage, which has not increased for the second straight year.

The 3.5% increase in the Christmas Price Index mirrors the Consumer Price Index’s 3.9% growth.

PNC Wealth Management also calculates the “True Cost of Christmas” - the total cost of all the items gifted by a True Love who repeats all of the song’s verses.  For the first time this amount has topped $100,000, coming in at $101,119.84, 4.4% more than 2010.

And PNC determines the cost of the items if purchased online.  The base internet total is $39,860.06, up 16.1% from 2010’s total of $34,336.03, and the “True Cost” equivalent is $174,382.93, a 26.5% jump.  PNC explains that, “In general, Internet prices are higher than their non-Internet counterparts because of premium shipping costs for birds and the convenience factor of shopping online”.  The biggest price increase in the base internet analysis is the six laying geese – up 164.1%.


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