True Cost of Christmas tallied based on the Twelve Days of Christmas

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Have you ever listened to the Twelve Days of Christmas song and wondered just how much that would cost? I’m assuming you have because you opened this article.

Well, in case you were wondering, it would be $170,298.03, if you count all 364 gifts the true love gave out over the course of the 12 days. That is, according to the PNC Christmas Price Index.

The PNC Financial Services Group has been tallying the cost of gifts presented in the song over the last 36 years. The group started the annual tradition in 1984 as a holiday client letter. They say 2019’s price is about 95% higher than the inaugural report.

The group released several calculations, one just including one version if you just count the 12 days without repeating gifts, one version where the true love bought all his gifts online, and one version including all of the repeats.

Insights presented in the Christmas Price Index include:

  • Doves Dive: The price for Turtle Doves was down a dramatic 20%, the first drop in price since 2004.
  • Rings Are Golden: After falling in 2018 due to less demand and fluctuations in gold prices, Gold Rings rebounded with a 10% increase in 2019.
  • Geese Gain Again: For the second year in a row, geese saw a substantial rise in price, gaining 7.7% in 2019 largely due to an increase of interest in backyard farming.

“Despite the stock market hitting record highs recently, it is a welcome gift for the holidays that the PNC Christmas Price Index stayed relatively flat this year,” said Amanda Agati, chief investment strategist for PNC Asset Management Group. “However, the scrooges of the season are the gold rings which saw the biggest year-over-year price increase in the index, and prices for some of our fowl friends which are truly foul.”

The index even went as far as removing the swan cost from the total index to mirror the government’s core Consumer Price Index, which excludes food and energy prices. The index’s sources include retailers, hatcheries, the Philadelphia-based PHILADANCO and Pennsylvania Ballet Company.

If the true love didn’t repeat gifts, the index shows they would spend $38,993.59. This is a measly .2% increase from last year’s cost. It is less than the government Consumer Price Index, which increased 1.8% through October in year-to-year measurement, before seasonal adjustment.

If the true love decided to shop online, however, they would splurge $42,258.91. PNC said internet prices tend to be higher due to travel and shipping costs.

If they decided to go all-out and repeat the gifts given, PNC said they would spend a whopping $170,298.03. This, however, is down $64.23 from last year, so that’s something.

Feeling nerdy? Check out the breakdown of the Christmas Price Index below. You can also check out PNC’s interactive website to find a historical comparison of the index data.

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