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How Much for That Partridge in a Pear Tree?
Singing ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ won’t cost you a thing, but buying the gifts referenced in the lyrics will have your wallet singing the blues. According to PNC’s 2011 Christmas Price Index, the total value of the items mentioned is $24,263.18, a 3.5% increase from last year.

2011 Christmas Price Index Chart, PNC

From ‘Pipers Piping’ to ‘Maids-a-Millking,’ here’s a look at how these famous (but hardly traditional) Christmas gifts stack up.

Note: The prices listed take into account the quantity of each gift.

Photo Source: PNC

Twelve Drummers Drumming, PNC

Twelve Drummers Drumming

In 2011: $2,629.90

In 2010: $2,552.55

Change: + 3%

The pricetag on a dozen drummers got a bit heavier in 2011, rising 3% from last year. PNC says it used figures provided by a Pennsylvania musicans union to calculate the cost.

Note: A spokesman for the company says that for the entertainment-based gifts in the index, the calculation is loosely derived from the price of a private performance at the performance venue, not at a private residence.

Photo Source: PNC

Eleven Pipers Piping, PNC

Eleven Pipers Piping

In 2011: $2,427.60

In 2010: $2,356.20

Change: + 3%

As is the case for their drumming counterparts, giving someone 11 pipers piping would cost you 3% more than it did last year. The same musicians union that provided the data for the drumming calculation also provided data for this performance.

Photo Source: PNC

Ten Lords-a-Leaping, PNC

Ten Lords-a-Leaping

In 2011: $4,766.70

In 2010: $4,766.70

Change: None

If you bought 10 lords-a-leaping last year, you can expect to pay the same amount this year. PNC notes that instances in which merchants maintained their prices may have been an attempt to “attract reluctant buyers.” The Pennsylvania Ballet provided data for the calculation.

Photo Source: PNC

Nine Ladies Dancing, PNC

Nine Ladies Dancing

In 2011: $6,294.03

In 2010: $6,294.03

Change: None

The cost of nine ladies dancing didn’t change from 2010 to 2011, but that’s a rare case. The cost jumped 15% in both 2009 and 2010, and since 1984, it has increased 316%. PNC used figures from Philadanco, a modern dance company in Philadelphia, for the calculation.

Photo Source: PNC

 

Eight Maids-a-Milking, PNC

Eight Maids-a-Milking

In 2011: $58

In 2010: $58

Change: None

Compared to the other gifts, the price of eight maids-a-milking is a steal. PNC says the maids are paid minimum wage -- $7.25 an hour, which remained flat in 2011.  

Photo Source: PNC

Seven Swans-a-Swimming, PNC

Seven Swans-a-Swimming

In 2011: $6,300

In 2010: $5,600

Change: +12.5%

The price of seven swans rose by $700, the biggest dollar increase in the index. The National Aviary in Pittsburgh provided the costs of the swans, as well as the cost of the geese, doves and partridge in the rest of the song.

Photo Source: PNC

Six Geese-a-Laying, PNC

Six Geese-a-Laying

In 2011: $162

In 2010: $150

Change: +8%

The price of six geese a laying rose 8% last year, a much more modest change than the 37.5% drop and 33.3% drop seen in 2009 and 2008, respectively. PNC says bird prices overall were tempered by lack of demand.

Photo Source: PNC

Five Gold Rings, PNC

Five Golden Rings

In 2011: $645

In 2010: $649.95

Change: -0.8%

After massive gains in 2009 and 2010, the price of five 14-carat gold rings at national chain Gordon’s Jewelers edged slightly lower in 2011. James Dunigan, managing executive of investments at PNC offered this explanation: “While gold commodity prices are at or near record highs, the demand for retail gold is waning.”

Photo Source: PNC

Four Calling Birds, PNC

Four Calling Birds

In 2011: $519.96

In 2010: $599.96

Change: -13.3%

Unlike its other avian counterparts, calling birds – or what we commonly call canaries – saw a substantial price decrease this year. Pricing information from PetSmart was used to calculate the cost.

Photo Source: PNC

Three French Hen, PNC

Three French Hens

In 2011: $150

In 2010: $150

Change: None

Averaging $50 a piece, French hens remained the same price this year as they were last year. Still, they’re more than 16 times as expensive as they were in 1984, when they were about $3 a piece.

Photo Source: PNC

Two Turtle Doves, PNC

Two Turtle Doves

In 2011: $125

In 2010: $100

Change: +25%

If you bought turtle doves last year, you’re in for a rude awakening – they’re about 25% more expensive this year. Still, that increase is better than the 78.6% jump that occurred from 2009 to 2010.  

Photo Source: PNC

One Partridge Pear Tree, PNC

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

In 2011: $184.99

In 2010: $161.99

Change: +14.2%

The cost of a partridge jumped to $15 in 2011 from $12 in 2010, a 25% increase. The pear tree proved to be much more expensive, coming in at $169.99, but only 13.3% higher than last year’s $149.99. Pricing for the pear tree came from Philadelphia-based nursery Waterloo Gardens. As previously mentioned, the National Aviary in Pittsburgh provided the cost of the partridge.

Photo Source: PNC

How Much for That Partridge in a Pear Tree?

Singing ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ won’t cost you a thing, but buying the gifts referenced in the lyrics will have your wallet singing the blues. According to PNC’s 2011 Christmas Price Index, the total value of the items mentioned is $24,263.18, a 3.5% increase from last year.

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