While we’re all shouting “Five golden rings!” as we sing our favorite holiday carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” nerdy experts buckled down to calculate the actual cost of every item in the song — and this year, it’s going to set your “true love” back $115,000, Business Insider reports.
Every year, PNC Bank comes out with a Christmas Price Index (CPI), which tells us the total worth of all the gifts mentioned in “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Factoring both inflation and holiday shopping, this year’s CPI is exactly $114,651.18 — a 6.9 percent increase from last year’s total. If you just want to buy one of each item in the song (instead of three french hens on the third day of Christmas) you’re paying $27,393 — this is a 7.7 jump from last year.
“We were surprised to see such a large increase from a year ago, given the overall benign inflation rate in the U.S.,” said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investments for PNC.
The most significant cost increase involves the performers and entertainers in the song. The cost of nine ladies dancing was $6,294.03 in 2012, this year nine prima ballerinas are going to cost you nearly $1,300 more — a similar price increase for 11 pipers piping. And this year, 12 drummers will cost you $477 more than last year.
As the CPI has been calculated since 1984, it’s most surprising that the cost of seven geese-a-laying has remained unchanged at $7,000. Meanwhile, the cost of two turtle doves nearly tripled over the past three decades. You once could get a partridge in a pear tree for $32.52. In 2013, you’ll be paying $199.99.
Interestingly, the cost of eight maids-a-milking has only increased by $32 over 30 years. This is because the federal minimum wage hasn’t risen since. At a rate of $7.25 each, totaling $58, they are the cheapest gift on the song. So even the milkmaids would like to see a pay increase!
Since it all began in 1984, PNC announced that the holiday gifts from the classic Christmas jingle have increased by 116 percent.