Great Lords-a-Leaping! The 12 Days of Christmas costs are going up

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 9:34 AM CST
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PITTSBURGH (WBAY) - The cost of Christmas is going up if you consider yourself a true romantic and have the cash to celebrate The 12 Days of Christmas.

Financial services group PNC released its 38th annual PNC Christmas Price Index based on the classic holiday carol. This year’s PCI shows a 5.7% cost increase over 2019. (Last year’s PCI was an outlier, since the pipers piping and drummers drumming were in quarantine).

According to PNC, the higher cost is driven by gold commodity prices, inflation affecting the cost of raising exotic birds, and increased costs for live performances. However, there’s no gender equity in the performing arts: Lords a-leaping are earning 12.6% more than 2019 while ladies dancing didn’t get a cost-of-living increase, nor did maids a’milking, who are making the same minimum wage as two years ago.

Here then, on the 12 days of Christmas, is what the True Love paid for thee....

  • A Partridge in a Pear Tree... $222.68 (+6.0%)
  • Two Turtle Doves... $450.00 (+50.0%)
  • Three French Hens... $255.00 (+40.5%)
  • Four Calling Birds... $599.96 (0.0%)
  • Five Gold Rings... $895.00 (+8.5%)
  • Six Geese-a-Laying... $660.00 (+57.1%)
  • Seven Swans-A-Swimming... $13,125.00 (0.0%)
  • Eight Maids-a-Milking... $58.00 (0.0%)
  • Nine Ladies Dancing... $7,552.84 (0.0%)
  • Ten Lords-a-Leaping... $11.260 (+12.6%)
  • Eleven Pipers Piping... $2,943.93 (+7.1%)
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming... $3,183.17 (+7.1%)

Total cost... $41.205.58 (5.7%)

If you ring up the gifts through the repetition of the song, it totals 364 presents. That brings the True Love’s ultimate cost to $179.454.19 (+5.4%)

When the PNC Christmas Price Index began in 1984, the total cost of The 12 Days of Christmas (not including the repetition) was $20,069.58. According to, that’s equivalent to $51,653.13 in today’s dollars, so over the past 38 years True Love’s cost of Christmas has stayed below national inflation.

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