'Twelve Days of Christmas' list priciest ever at $101,119.84
Getting through “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with partridges and pear trees in tow will cost $101,119.84 this year –- the most expensive total ever.
True loves will have to dig deeper into their wallets to get into the holiday spirit, according to the annual “True Cost of Christmas” index from PNC Wealth Management.
Compiled based on prices of the 364 items listed in the classic carol -- with prices sourced from jewelry stores, dance companies, pet retailers and organizations such as the National Aviary in Pittsburgh -– the index is up 4.4%.
Birds were a pricey proposition. The cost of seven swans-a-swimming soared $700, or 12.5%, to $6,300 in the largest dollar increase out of the song’s collection of gifts.
A partridge is now 14.2% more expensive at $15. The two turtle doves cost $125 –- a 25% increase due to the rising cost of feed and availability that also hiked prices for heritage turkeys over Thanksgiving.
But the cost of French hens stayed steady, as did minimum wage for maids-a-milking, ladies dancing and lords-a-leaping. Entertainment fees for pipers piping and drummers drumming were up modestly.
The five gold rings were actually cheaper this year, as high prices for the metal drove down retail demand 0.8%.
The report, released on Cyber Monday, noted that buying all the items online would run a dedicated gift-giver $39,860 this year -– a 16.1% increase from last year due to high shipping costs.
Consumers have faced rising prices across the board this year. Shoppers are spending more on favorites such as peanut butter. Restaurant chains such as Panera Bread and McDonald’s have repriced some menu items. The cost of Thanksgiving dinner was 13% more expensive in 2011 than it was the year before.
-- Tiffany Hsu
Photo: Ladies dancing. "Swan Lake" is performed at the National Theater of Cuba. Credit: Damon Winter / Los Angeles Times