‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ gift list soars to record $107,300

Want to replicate the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song? Get out your wallet.
(R.O. Ritchie / Los Angeles Times)

Consumers trying to re-create the classic holiday song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” in which a true (and loaded) lover goes to town buying some very odd gifts, will have to shell out more than they ever have before.

Want a partridge in a pear tree along with a menagerie of other fowl? Five gold rings? A battalion of maids, ladies, lords and more? Time to withdraw $25,431.18 from the bank account, according to PNC Wealth Management’s 29th annual survey.

That’s a 4.8% increase from last season, after a 3.5% increase in 2011 and a 9.2% leap in 2010. The collection of goods outpaces an index of overall consumer prices tracked by the government, which rose 2.2% in October from the year-earlier period.

Online, shipping charges bring up the cost to $40,440, according to PNC.

As for purists who add up the items each time they’re listed in the tunes’ many verses, there’s a special brand of sticker shock waiting. The 364 purchases total will cost $107,300.24 in 2012 – up 6.1% from last Christmas.


Blame it on the birds. Though prices for half of the items in the survey have stayed the same from 2011, this summer’s blazing drought forced up feed prices for animals.

Seven swans-a-swimming now cost $7,000, up 11.1%. The price of six geese-a-laying soared a whopping 29.6% to $210.

A gradually improving economy might be getting more people in the party spirit, boosting demand for musicians. Eleven pipers piping now cost $2,562 and 12 drummers drumming run $2,775.50 – both up 5.5%.

A dramatic run-up in gold prices in 2011 is now showing in the five gold rings component, where the price has soared 16.3%.

Seemingly immune to year-to-year shifts? The $7.25 minimum wage, represented by the eight maids a-milking, whose fees remained unchanged.


‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ list priciest ever at $101,119.84

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