Sunday, January 4, 2009

The true cost of the 12 days of Christmas

I think we're still technically in the 12 days of Christmas. So, if you are so inclined, you still have time to get your True Love one or more of the presents from the classic song! Turtledoves are probably hot right now! And there's a wealth management company out there to help you figure out how much it's going to cost.

I didn't know this, but apparently PNC (not sure what it stands for), a financial company, has been calculating the cost of Christmas, as defined by the song "Twelve Days of Christmas," and reports on it each year, including a comparison with the cost from previous years. This year, the seven swan-a-swimming are much more expensive, but several other gifts on the list saw decreases, so the overall increase in the Christmas Price Index is right in line with the Consumer Price Index. The maids-a-milking got raises, because they make minimum wage, and that, of course, went up. The maids get minimum wage? That's a bummer. I would consider that at least a semi-skilled job. The total cost is $21,080.10, although I would dispute some of the costs. They buy 14-carat gold rings for $69 each. That's a cheap gold ring, although it's probably just the gold, with no embellishment. Still, if someone gave me a gold ring that only cost $69, I would be questioning her taste in jewelry, not to mention her sense of romanticism. And, quite possibly, her commitment to me.

They also calculate the "True Cost of Christmas," which is what it would cost to give all of the gifts if you repeated all of the verses (therefore 12 partridges in 12 pear trees, for example). That's $86,609. Now THAT'S true love. Of course, it also immediately raises questions - what do you do with all those swans and partridges?

Jim Dunigan, an executive at PNC, gives us the lowdown:

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