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How much would it cost to buy everything in The Twelve Days of Christmas?

More than €75,000 for the full complement of partridges and lords-a-leaping. We’ve got the full breakdown…

A partridge (pear tree not pictured)
A partridge (pear tree not pictured)
Image: Dave-F via Flickr

THE PRICE OF partridges, pear trees and turtle doves has spiked, pushing the cost of every item mentioned in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to its highest ever level – more than €75,000.

Holding mostly steady this year: maids-a-milking, ladies dancing, lords-a-leaping and gold rings.

The 364 items repeated across all the song’s verses would cost US shoppers $101,119 (€75,563), an increase of 4.4 percent over last year, according to the country’s annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management.

Those with the money to spend would end up with 12 drummers drumming, 22 pipers piping, 30 lords-a-leaping, 36 ladies dancing, 40 maids-a-milking, 42 swans-a-swimming, 42 geese-a-laying, 40 gold rings, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, 22 turtle doves, and 12 partridges in pear trees. (The price does not include bird maintenance.)

But buying just one set of each verse in the song will cost €18,130 this year – a moderate 3.5 percent rise.

Eleven pipers piping will set you back €1,813, but that’s a relative bargain compared to seven swans-a-swimming, which cost €4,707. That’s a 12.5 percent rise over last year.

Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management, said the core rate of increase is less than half the 9.2 percent jump last year.

“The story in general is wages are still a very sluggish part of this economy,” said Dunigan, who noted that the price of eight maids-a-milking at US minimum wage was €43 – the same as in 2009.

Five gold rings even declined a bit, Dunigan said, to €482, from €485 last year.

But last-minute shoppers who turn to the Internet may be in for some surprises. The core list that costs about €18,000 in US stores will come to €29,800 online – a whopping 16.1 percent increase over Internet prices last year. Dunigan said the high cost of shipping live birds explains some of the difference.

Six items didn’t go up in cost this year: French hens, calling birds, gold rings, maids-a-milking, ladies dancing and lords-a-leaping. Pipers piping and drummers drumming rose 3 percent. The partridge is still the cheapest item, at €11, and swans the most expensive.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. checks jewelry stores, dance companies, pet stores and other sources to compile the list. Some of its sources this year include the National Aviary in Pittsburgh and the Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Ballet Company.

Can’t remember everything in the Twelve Days? Allow this men’s a cappella group to refresh your memory:


(Video: Straight No Chaser)

Read more: Irish shoppers to spend over €250m online this Christmas>

Gallery: Is this where your Christmas presents are coming from?>

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Associated Press

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