Cost of True Love’s 12 Gifts Hold Steady in 2019

PITTSBURGH – There’s good news this holiday season for shoppers looking to buy gifts for their true love: the dozen items in the classic song “The 12 Days of Christmas” are essentially even with last year’s prices.

In total, the items will cost $38,993.59, up just $67.56 or 0.2%, according to PNC’s annual Christmas Price Index. For those who prefer the convenience of online shopping, the cost is $42,258.91, a 0.1% increase. The higher price is largely due to shipping costs, PNC said.

And for those looking to purchase the gift for each repetition of the song, a true love can expect to spend $170,298.03.

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

Among the highlights of this year’s index are:

  • The price for turtle doves fell 20%, the first time the second item in “The 12 Days of Christmas” has seen a decrease in price since 2004.
  • The cost of five gold rings was up 10% in 2019, following up last year’s dip due to lower demand and price fluctuations.
  • Six geese-a-laying saw prices rise 7.7% thanks to an increase in backyard farming.

The full PNC Christmas Price Index can be seen below.

Source: PNC

To mirror the government’s core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, PNC removes the seven swans-a-swimming – typically the most volatile item in the index – from its total index. The core PNC Christmas Price Index was up 0.3% from a year ago, while the government’s core Consumer Price Index rose 2.3% year-over-year through October. Normally, both core indexes trail fluctuations seen in the overall index prices.

To assemble the index, PNC sources prices from retailers, hatcheries, Philadelphia Dance Co. and Pennsylvania Ballet Co. 

A PNC predecessor bank in Philadelphia began estimating the cost of the 12 Christmas gifts in 1984 as a holiday client letter. This year’s price is approximately 95% higher than the inaugural report 35 years ago.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.