How much do the '12 Days of Christmas' cost?

If you think a $2,500 Pelton stationary bike is an expensive Christmas gift, brace yourself. Buying all the gifts in the classic holiday carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” will set you back $170,298.03, according to the 2019 Christmas Price Index from PNC Financial Services Group.

The bill, though, is up a modest $67.56 from 2018. 

“Despite the stock market hitting record highs recently, it is a welcome gift for the holidays that the PNC Christmas Price Index stayed relatively flat this year,” said Amanda Agati, chief investment strategist for PNC Asset Management Group, in a press release. 

The annual index calculates the tab for what it would cost to buy all 364 gifts that are repeated in the verses that includes all 12 drummers drumming and, of course, a partridge in a pear tree, a gift that is received on all 12 days. Partridge and pear tree are sold separately.

This year, the price of three French hens has stayed consistent with 2018 pricing at $181.50.

PNC consults with the federal government’s consumer price index (CPI) for help when putting a price tag on all 12 gifts. The CPI is a weighted average of consumer goods and services that is closely tied to the cost of living, a statistic used to chart inflation or deflation. 

Even with fluctuations in the cost of living over the last year, seven of the 12 items on the list held consistent pricing from 2018. Those included the cost of the French hens, calling birds, swans, maids, ladies, lords, and the partridge. 

If you’re looking for a bargain buy, the cheapest item is a partridge at $20.18. The partridge and the pear tree don’t come as a package deal, and the tree will cost you $189.99. 

The gift that will set you back the furthest: seven swans for an eye-watering $13,125. 

To purchase seven swans like in "The 12 Days of Christmas," it's an eye-watering $13,125.

“The scrooges of the season are the gold rings, which saw the biggest year-over-year price increase in the index,” Agati said, “and prices for some of our fowl friends, which are truly foul.” 

Here’s the entire price list for 2019, along with the percentage changes from 2018:

  • One partridge in a pear tree: $210.17 (-4.5%)

  • Two turtle doves: $300 (-20%)

  • Three French hens: $181.50 (no change)

  • Four calling birds: $599.96 (no change)

  • Five golden rings: $825 (+10%)

  • Six geese-a-laying: $420 (+7.7%)

  • Seven swans-a-swimming: $13,135 (no change)

  • Eight maids-a-milking: $58 (no change)

  • Nine ladies dancing: $7,552.84 (no change)

  • 10 lords-a-leaping: $10,000 (no change)

  • 11 pipers piping: $2,748.87 (+0.8%)

  • 12 drummers drumming: $2,972.25 (+0.8%)

The tune of 11 pipers piping will set you back $2,748.87, modest .8% increase over 2018.

Despite the e-commerce boom, geese and swans are still a little hard to come by. To make up for the online inventory scarcity, these prices reflect the cost of shopping in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. 

Convenience comes at a price and if you bought all of these items online, you'd pay $194,502.72, or 14% more. The ballooned bill is largely attributable to pricey shipping and fuel costs, because it’s fairly expensive to ship 23 live birds.  

PNC has calculated the true cost of “The 12 Days of Christmas” every year since 1984. A lot has changed in the past three decades and prices have jumped 95% since the index’s inception when the cost of the gifts totaled $18,845.97. 

Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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