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12 Days of Christmas comes with hefty price tag as inflation drives up costs

8 maids-a-milking the lowest-priced item on the list at $58
A yuletide showing of eight maids-a-milking at a past Butchart Gardens Magic of Christmas display. American-based PNC Christmas Price Index explores the cost of the items in the popular song, The 12 Days of Christmas, with eight maids-a-milking coming in with a price tag of $58. (Black Press Media file photo)

The cost of everything has gone up – including Christmas.

The PNC Christmas Price Index, from PNC Financial Services Group, was released this week. This annual tradition shows the current costs for one set of each of the gifts given in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Similar to the U.S. Consumer Price Index, it measures the changing prices of goods and services. But instead of comparing figures to last year, the 2021 data is compared to 2019 figures, to get a better gauge of the impacts of inflation pre-global pandemic.

Combined, the gifts would cost US$41,205.58 – or C$52,655.16, based on Nov. 30 conversion rates. That’s up 5.7 per cent from 2019.

Prior to the pandemic, the index cost sat consistently in the US$38,000-range from 2015 until 2019 with increases under one per cent. Aside from the 5.7 per cent increase in 2021, other noticeable increases occurred in 2013 (6.6 per cent), 2010 (8.8 per cent), 2008 (11 per cent), 2005 (7.1 per cent), and 2003 (18.4 per cent). In 2002, however, there was a 10.7 per cent decrease from 2001.

If all of the 364 gifts in every verse were purchased, counting the repetition in the song, it would cost US$179,454.19 – or C$229,303.09.

Looking at the individual items on the list, some saw increases, while some did not.

The cost of a partridge in a pear tree has grown, according to the index, due to the rising cost of this particular tree. It’s up six per cent to $222.68.

The cost of two turtle doves is up a whopping 50 per cent to $450, reflecting volatility in the markets so far in 2021. Three french hens also saw an increase, up 40.5 per cent to $255. But four calling birds stayed the same at $599.96.

The cost of five gold rings was up 8.5 per cent, reflecting gold commodity retail prices, to $895.

With an increase of 57.1 per cent, the cost of six geese-a-laying saw the largest increase in the list, coming in at $660.

While still expensive at $13,125, the cost of seven swans-a-swimming did not increase in 2021.

Eight maids-a-milking also didn’t see an increase (as there was no federal change to minimum wage in the U.S.) and is the most affordable item on the list at $58.

In comparison, nine ladies dancing would cost $7,552.84 with no change due to the pandemic’s impact on live performances.

At an almost 13 per cent increase, 10 lords are leaping up the charts, coming with a price tag of $11,260.

And rounding out the list, 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming saw 7.1 per cent increases, coming in at $2,943.93 and $3,183.17, respectively.

ALSO READ: Gas prices fuel highest inflation rate in nearly two decades


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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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