Price of Christmas Increases 0.7%

If you want to buy that special someone the gifts included in the holiday classic “The 12 Days of Christmas,” they will only cost 0.7% more than last year, according to the 33rd annual economic analysis by The PNC Financial Services Group.

The small price rise in the PNC Christmas Price Index reflects slow economic growth, and wage inflation caused an increase in some holiday entertainment options.

PNC’s whimsical economic analysis calculated the price tag for the Christmas Price Index at $34,363.49, just $232.50 or 0.7% more than last year’s cost and less than the government’s Consumer Price Index, which has increased 1.6% over the past 12 months.

Of the 12 items measured by the index, eight remained the same price as last year.

However, wage inflation will make some entertainment options more costly this year, including pipers piping. The cost for 11 pipers piping increased for the first time since 2013, rising 2.8% from $2,635 to $2,708. The price for 12 drummers drumming also rose 2.8% to $2,934 due to increased pay. For bargain entertainment, the prices for nine ladies dancing ($7,552) and 10 Lords-a-leaping ($5,508) held steady this year.

The cost of two turtle doves soared 29% to $375 this year due to a shortage of birds. A turtle dove only lays two to three clutches a year, with only two eggs per clutch, making these lovebirds a hard gift to find. The real bargain this year is the partridge, which fell 20% in price to $20 due to an increase in supply. Combined with the pear tree, the price for this gift fell 2.3% this year to $210.

Despite a rise in gold commodity prices this year, the cost of five gold rings stayed surprisingly the same at $750. The rings appear less volatile as the underlying commodity, having held steady for four consecutive years.

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 $156,507, up more than $1,000 from last year and more than $56,000 from 1984.

In addition, as internet prices tend to be higher, convenience comes at a cost this year. Those who prefer shopping online will have to spend $44,602 for the gifts, $10,239 more than buying them at a store.

An interactive website, which includes a downloadable coloring book, is here.