Drought, cost of shipping large birds drive up tab for '12 Days of Xmas'

The 364 gifts cost $107,300 this year, a 6.1% jump; web price tag even dearer

Dec 3, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

By Liz Skinner

Inflation
+ Zoom
Turtle dove: Buy-and-hold strategy

Die-hard holiday revelers are going to have to come up with $107,300 this year to match the gifts recited in the song “The 12 Days of Christmas.” That's a 6.1% increase from last year's prices, according to PNC Wealth Management's annual calculation.

Buyers who are pressed for time and buy all 364 gifts online and have them delivered will pay $177,957, a 2% hike from last year.

“In general, Internet prices are higher than their non-Internet counterparts because of premium shipping costs for birds and the convenience factor of shopping online,” said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investments for PNC Wealth Management, in what may be the year's most memorable quote.

Turns out, acquiring six geese a-laying is an expensive proposition and registers the biggest price jump from last year. The price for the flock, bought the traditional way, is up 30%, to $210. The increase was triggered by the Midwestern drought, which caused feed costs to swell.

What five gold rings will set you back is up 16.3% from last year — the result of a spike in prices for the precious metal; online tabs for the jewelry advanced 25%, to $874. The partridge's pear tree shot up by 11.8%, to $189.99, according to the analysis.

The cost of seven swans a-swimming saw the biggest dollar jump — to $7,000, from $6,300 in 2011.

Certain items stayed about the same year over year, including the partridge, two turtle doves, four calling birds, eight maids a-milking, nine ladies dancing and 10 lords a-leaping.

Last year, the total price of items needed to fulfill all the song's verses were up 4% from 2010.

The turtle doves were the only element that came in lower this year, and only when bought online. Their price dropped 18%, to about $365.

In case you're interested, a turtle dove is a small, slender European dove (Streptopelia turtur) that has a white-edged tail and is known for its soft, purring voice.

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