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How much is that partridge in a pear tree?

J. H. Osborne • Dec 24, 2018 at 8:58 AM

What would it cost if you’re going to go all in for your “true love” during this 12 days of Christmas, which begin Christmas Day and continue until Epiphany.

It comes to $39,094.93, according to the annual holiday economic analysis by the PNC Financial Services Group. And that’s if you don’t give the gifts repeatedly, as sung in the song. PNC has been calculating the price of the gifts included in the classic “The 12 Days of Christmas” for 35 years.

This year’s total marks a 1.2 percent (about $450) increase over last year. The cost of several items has remained steady. But the geese, drummers, pipers and lords-a-leaping helped elevate the price this year, despite a hefty downturn for the five gold rings.

For tech-savvy true loves, the PNC Christmas Price Index also calculates the cost of “The 12 Days of Christmas” gifts purchased on the Internet. As Internet prices tend to be higher due to travel and shipping costs, true loves will have to splurge $41,165.95 ($2,071.02 more than in-store purchases) for the convenience of online shopping this year.

A PNC predecessor bank in Philadelphia began estimating the cost of the 12 Christmas gifts in 1984 as a holiday client letter. This year’s price is approximately 95 percent higher than the inaugural report 34 years ago.

As part of its annual tradition, PNC also tabulates the “True Cost of Christmas,” which is the total cost of items bestowed by a true love who repeats all the song’s verses. Purchasing all 364 gifts will require $170,609.46, up $781.94 from last year and $66,813.45 from 1984.

Here is PNC’s breakdown for 2018:

A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE

• $220.13 (+0.1%) — This gift saw a slight uptick in price with a well-rooted pear tree that remained flat ($199.95) and a partridge that barely stretched its wings (+0.9% from $20.00 to $20.18).

TWO TURTLE DOVES

• $375.00 — These love birds continued to go steady with no fluctuation in their price for 2018.

THREE FRENCH HENS

• $181.50 — There was no change in their price, due to steady supply and demand in the past year.

FOUR CALLING BIRDS

• $599.96 — Their price was unchanged, selling right at market value.

FIVE GOLD RINGS

• $750.00 (-9.1%) — As quick as they were in, they were out! Only one year after jumping 10%, these rings lost their bling.

SIX GEESE-A-LAYING

• $390.00 (+8.3%) — These laidback geese are one of the largest jumps in price this year.

SEVEN SWANS-A-SWIMMING

• $13,125.00 — These remain the same price for the third year in a row.

EIGHT MAIDS-A-MILKING

• $58.00 — The same price as last year, reflecting the stagnant federal minimum wage, which hasn’t changed since 2009.

NINE LADIES DANCING

• $7,552.84 — Despite a growing economy and rising demand for dancers, dance companies did not raise prices for the sixth year in a row.

TEN LORDS-A-LEAPING

• $10,000.00 (+3%) — The price rose after two years of stagnant growth.

ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING

• $2,804.40 (+3.5%) — These talented pipers piped up this year and saw a nice raise in return.

TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING

$3,038.10 (+3.5%) — These drummers rocked and rolled up 3.5% from last year. They just couldn’t be beat.

Source: PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

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