The annual Christmas Price Index, compiled by PNC Wealth Management, has done a bit of bean-counting for all the romantics out there. If you wanted to buy all the items from the famous Christmas ditty, The Twelve Days of Christmas, you'd have to fork out over £100,000. And you'll kick yourself for not doing it last year - prices were an average of 4.4% cheaper in 2010.
So what would you get for your money? Well, it would be an absolute cacophony with 12 drummers drumming and 22 pipers piping. Strictly would have nothing on your toe-tapping celebrations with 30 lords-a-leaping and 36 ladies dancing. With the price of gold on the rise, your 40 gold rings could be a decent investment. And you could open a dairy with your 40 maids-a-milking. But you'd better be a bird lover, with 42 swans-a-swimming, 42 geese-a-laying, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, 22 turtle doves, and 12 partridges in pear trees cooing, scratching and sending feathers flying.
For the more prudent Christmas shopper, a single set of each verse in the song will cost $24,263 this year (a more moderate 3.5 percent rise on 2010).
So which of these purchases have really leaped in value? Not the maids-a-milking. 'The story in general is wages are still a very sluggish part of this economy,' says Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management. The price of eight maids is still just $58 (minimum wage).
The seven swans-a-swimming are the most expensive item, coming in at $6,300, a 12.5 percent rise over last year. And shoppers looking to save a bit of cash by shopping for these French hens and such online are in for a nasty surprise. Due to the high cost of shipping birds, the core list, costing about $24,000 in stores, will come to $39,860 online.
But you don't have to go overboard for your true love this Christmas. For a more pocket-pleasing gesture, fans of the Twelve Days of Christmas can always settle for the cheapest item on the lists. At just $15, the humble partridge is a nice gesture. And it roasts a treat on Christmas day too.