Why '12 Days of Christmas' Gifts Could Set You Back $116K

But if you insist, brick-and-mortar is the way to go. Online would be pricier.

ByNICOLE PELLETIERE
December 1, 2014, 2:49 PM

— -- Turtle doves? French hens? OK, maybe golden rings. But otherwise, would most people really want the stuff in "12 Days of Christmas"?

Add in the price tag, and it gets worse.

If you went to stores to buy all the things in the holiday tune each time they were repeated, it would cost you $116,273.08, according to the 31st annual PNC's Christmas Price Index. Even without the repetition, it all would cost $27,673.22.

Online, it would be even more expensive because of high-priced shipping for oddities like partridges and pear trees.

“It would cost $192,470 to buy the 364 gifts online,” said Jim Dunigan, PNC's chief investment officer. “Things like the Internet, Black Friday and doorbusters have changed the pace of the holiday. As online shopping became more popular we started an online version of the index, as well.”

The Internet price to buy the items only in the quantities first mentioned in the song would be $43,959 -- an 8 percent increase from last year, according to PNC.

PNC worked with various outlets to calculate the gifts mentioned in the carol.

"We work with Petco for the calling birds, using the prices of pet store canaries," Dunigan said. "For 'nine ladies dancing,' we reach out to a local Philadelphia dance company called PHILADANCO, and the Pennsylvania Ballet Company for "10 lords a leaping."

Significant changes in gift prices since 2013 were surprisingly few. "Eight items went unchanged, and that’s the most we've had since 2006," Dunigan said.

The charge for "six geese a laying" went up a staggering 71.4 percent. Swans stayed the same, as did "eight maids a milking," for which they calculated the rate of unskilled workers at minimum wage.

Survey results were revealed on PNC's "The Great Carol Comeback" site. Visitors can view and share music videos to help revive the classic, which has dropped to number 98 on the list of Christmas songs.

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