Want the '12 Days of Christmas' gift items? Get ready for a 0K price tag | Economy | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.


Jun 02nd
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Want the '12 Days of Christmas' gift items? Get ready for a $100K price tag

njmall_optBY PAM LOBLEY

Who knew a Partridge in a Pear Tree cost so much? But it’s a bargain compared to Seven Swans a-Swimming. Those babies will set you back over $7,000.

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” is not just a song; it’s also a price index. (Of course it is!) Because these days everything about Christmas is calculated, codified, and assigned an index – Price Index, Consumer Confidence Index, Number of People Trampled on Black Friday Index, etc.

This year’s items from the “12 Days” song would total $107,300 - which is up 6.1 percent from last year. It’s a lot to spend, admittedly, but darn it all, if it’s true love, well, maybe it’s worth it.

Every year, PNC Wealth Management computes the cost of the twelve items. I don’t know why they do this, except to remind us that Christmas will cost us all more this year than last year. Duh! I already knew that!

The fun part is that PNC has made an enchanting video that you can download and watch. The Christmas Price Index 2012 features a global interactive hunt for all the gift items, complete with travel photos and interesting financial statistics. For instance, Five Golden Rings are up 16.3 percent from last year, to $750. I knew gold was increasing in value! William Devane told me so.

Not everything went up in price. Eight Maids a-Milking cost the same as last year. I’m sure my teenaged son will be happy to hear that.

I actually preferred the Christmas Price Index 2011, and not just because the prices are lower. It’s kind of a Polar Express theme, and very Christmasy. You could watch either of them with your kids, or just on your own. They are fun, but take a little time. And if there’s anything that’s in shorter supply than money this time of year, it’s time.

Of course, the 12 Days List is not really full of great gift ideas. First of all, it’s loaded with birds … calling birds, turtle doves, French hens, etc. Birds are very messy creatures. I wouldn’t want to be cleaning that up on Christmas morning. But it could be a good way to preface a conversation like, “We can’t afford an Xbox, and new skiis, and an iPad. You have to pick one.”

The Christmas Index is very entertaining, but I’m more concerned about The Twelve Days of Fiscal Cliffness. What will that cost us? I look forward to PNC’s video on that.

Pam Lobley writes the “Now That’s Funny” column. Check out her blog: "Better Living Through Chaos!" Follow her on twitter @plobley.


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