A Costly Twelve Days of Christmas This Year

A Costly Twelve Days of Christmas This Year

The cost of the traditional “Twelve Days of Christmas” gifts have gone up only slightly this year.  Once again, PNC Wealth Management has tallied exactly how much it would cost to send six geese a laying or seven swans a swimming.  While the cost may only have increased 6.9 percent, the amount is still staggering, and very few Americans would be able to afford such a rich set of presents.

Some gifts such as the two turtle doves, five golden rings, and the partridge in a pear tree have stayed the same.  The inflation occurs when you get to the ten lords-a-leaping and nine ladies dancing.  To figure out the sum, which came out to $7,553 for the dancers and $5,342 for the lords, PNC Wealth Management consulted with various stores, the Pennsylvania Ballet and other sources.  The total for the year?  $114,651.  Do you want to gift your sweetheart with the costly “Twelve Days of Christmas” gifts? Here is the cost breakdown in comparison to last year’s prices:

1.  A Partridge in a Pear Tree – The partridge will only set you back $15.  The pear tree, however, will cost $184 (down slightly from last year’s cost of $189.)

2.  Two Turtle Doves – $125, same as in 2012.

3.  Three French Hens – Do they have to be French?  Either way, they cost $165, same as in 2012.

4.  Four Calling Birds – In other words, canaries.  This year the cost of four canaries rose slightly to $600.  Last year they only cost $520.

5.  Five Gold Rings – The price of gold has stabilized so the cost of five gold rings will be same as last year: $7,000.

6.  Six Geese-a-Laying – $210, same as in 2012.

7.  Seven Swans-a-Swimming – $7,000, same as in 2012.

8.  Eight Maids-a-Milking – In order to come up with this figure the consultants figured on the price to hire eight milk maids at minimum wage; $7.25 per hour.  The cost would be $58 which is the same as it was in 2012.

9.  Nine Ladies Dancing (Each Performance) – The cost to hire nine prima ballerinas from the Pennsylvania Ballet for a private performance is $7,553.  Quite a “leap” from last year’s cost of $6,294.

10.  Ten Lords a-Leaping (Each Performance) – Another substantial gain.  This year it will cost $5,243 to hire ten Lords to leap at your will.  Last year it would only have set you back $4,767.

11.  Eleven Pipers Piping (Each Performance) – $2,635 this year, up from last year’s cost of $2,562.

12.  Twelve Drummers Drumming (Per Performance) – It seems that if you hired twelve high school students to drum for you it would cost much less than $2,855.  The cost in 2012 was $2,776.

The priciest item on the list are the swans.  At $1,000 a pop they will set you back a pretty penny.  The cheapest item in our costly “Twelve Days of Christmas” tally are the milk maids.  Their price has stayed the same because the federal minimum wage hasn’t increased since 2012.

In order to receive all the costly items in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” this year you need to begin on December 13.  The final item, twelve drummers drumming, should be gifted on December 24.  Better start building a hutch for your geese and start digging a lake for your swans.

By Mary Kay Love

USA Today



5 Responses to "A Costly Twelve Days of Christmas This Year"

  1. Louise Marino   January 6, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    8 maids a milking will cost you $58 if you only count one hour. For a complete 8hr. workday you need to multiply that to make $464. And in order for them to be a’ milking, they need to have cows, don’t they. At $700 a cow, that makes day 8 a grand total of $6064.00.

  2. Kevin   December 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Interesting article…. I may be incorrect but I believe the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day and end on the Epiphany, January 6.

  3. Randy Feller   December 2, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    What a joke. This is what happens when you send someone out to shop with an unlimited budget. Two minutes of searching for example show that canaries are readily available for $35 each making 4 cost $140 NOT $600. I purchased the twelve days of Christmas last year for my wife and only spent $20,000.

  4. Bob R   December 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    The twelve days of Christmas are the actual day of the Christmas octave… AFTER Christmas Day. Nice try.


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