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Costs Edge Up To Purchase All Of The Gifts In ‘The 12 Days Of Christmas’ | Forbes

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And if you’re in the gift-giving mood, get ready to pull out your wallet: purchasing all the gifts in the classic carol “The 12 Days of Christmas” will cost you $34,363.49 in 2016, a boost of $232.50 from last year. That’s the official tally according to the 33rd PNC Christmas Price Index.

PNC’s Christmas Price Index®, or PNC CPI, is calculated using a method similar to the government’s consumer price index (CPI) but – as the name implies – measures the cost of buying the gifts given in the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Here’s the entire list together with the percentage changes from 2015:

  1. Partridge in a Pear Tree: $209.99 (-2.3%%)
  2. Turtle Doves: $375.00 (+29.3%)
  3. French Hens: $181.50 (no change)
  4. Calling Birds: $599.96 (no change)
  5. Gold Rings: $750.00 (no change)
  6. Geese-a-Laying: $360.00 (no change)
  7. Swans-a-Swimming: $13,125.00 (no change)
  8. Maids-a-Milking: $58.00 (no change)
  9. Ladies Dancing: $7,552.84 (no change)
  10. Lords-a-Leaping: $5,508.70 (no change)
  11. Pipers Piping: $2,708.40 (+2.8%)
  12. Drummers Drumming: $2,934.10 (+2.8%)

Those prices reflect the cost of shopping the traditional way: actually going to jewelry stores, plant nurseries and the like. If you bought all of these items on the internet, you’d pay $44,602.53, $10,239.04 more than walking into a store. As Dunigan has previously explained, “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.” This, despite those lower fuel costs overall – it’s apparently pretty expensive to ship swans and doves.

Sales tax (or use tax, if you’re shopping online) might be payable on your Christmas gifts – but that would depend on where you live and where you shop. While most states impose some level of sales tax, there is dramatic variation between what goods and services are subject to tax. This is especially true when it comes to the costs of services. PNC is located in Pennsylvania where food (except for ready-to-eat), most clothing apparel, and medicines are nontaxable. But that pear tree? Taxable. Those gold rings? Taxable. Pets and most animals? Also taxable. Those milkmaids, however? Not taxable; as a farm and dairy state, most dairy-related services are exempt. Figuring the exemptions from state to state would be wildly time-consuming, so the CPI is tax neutral: interested consumers and tax geeks like me can figure those differences on our own.

PNC has figured the CPI each year since 1984. For more of that time, Rebekah McCahan of PNC Wealth Management® has been in charge of tallying up those costs. McCahan gets most of her shopping information directly from the source: a national game bird supplier assisted with the cost of the partridge and turtle doves. The sources for the prices generally remain the same to promote consistency. They have, however, changed when necessary – along with economic trends. For an in-depth look at the numbers, you can find the price chart here.

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Costs Edge Up To Purchase All Of The Gifts In ‘The 12 Days Of Christmas’.