‘True Loves’ Cost of Christmas 2022

Are you planning to re-create ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ for your true love? Brace yourself for higher costs. Just as inflation has bumped the price of food, toys and clothing, it’s impacting things like pear trees and pipers piping.

PNC’s (a US bank) Christmas Price Index notes that the overall price for the 12 gifts in the song was up 10.5% for Christmas 2022 – the third-highest increase in the 39-year history of the calculations.

You would have spent $45,523.27 last Christmas if you had picked up each of the 12 items mentioned. If you’re a stickler for detail and bought everything in the song (saddling your poor paramour with 12 pear trees and more birds than many aviary sanctuaries), you’re looking at a bill of $197,071 – and high odds that you’ll either be dumped by New Year’s Eve or viciously attacked by those 42 jerk geese you thought were a good gift idea.

It’s the five gold rings that saw the most significant increase last Christmas. The price of those jumped more than 39% as commodity prices spiked. Turtle doves were close behind, with a 33.3% price increase over last year. Higher fertilizer costs mean you’ll pay an extra 25.8% for the partridge in a pear tree (that bird, actually, costs the same as Christmas 2021 —as do the swans-a-swimming).

There’s definitely a glass ceiling in this song, as the lords-a-leaping saw their value increase 24.2% (and they’re, by dollar value, the most expensive item on this year’s index, coming in at $13,980). Ladies dancing, though, saw just a 10% jump to $8,308.

And let’s not even talk about the injustices for maids-a-milking, who haven’t seen a pay raise since 2009. The line-item cost for those hard-working women? Just $58.

How much have things changed through the years? Shoppers who purchased all 12 items back in 1984 would have paid less than half of today’s cost, shelling out just $20,069.58. And the index hit an all-time low in 1995 when it dropped to $17,915.25.

Still, think inundating your love with fowl and service people is the way to go? (Does your true love even HAVE a cow, much less eight that need to be milked??) Here’s how the gift prices break down:

The PNC Christmas Price Index
Note: All prices are in US dollars

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