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'Twelve Days of Christmas' list priciest ever at $101,119.84

November 29, 2011|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

True loves beware — buying all the items in "The Twelve Days of Christmas," complete with partridges and pear trees, will cost $101,119.84 this year.

It's the most expensive total ever, according to the annual True Cost of Christmas index from PNC Wealth Management, a financial services firm that calculates the cumulative cost of all the gifts in the song — including each repeated verse.

Compiled based on prices of the 364 items listed in the Christmas classic — with prices sourced from jewelry stores, dance companies, pet retailers and organizations such as the National Aviary in Pittsburgh — the index rose 4.4% from last year.

Birds were a pricey proposition. The cost of seven swans-a-swimming soared $700, or 12.5%, to $6,300 in the largest dollar increase of the song's gifts.

A partridge is now 14.2% more expensive at $15. The two turtle doves cost $125 –- a 25% increase because of the rising cost of feed and availability. (The price tags for heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving rose this year for similar reasons.)

But the cost of French hens stayed steady, as did the cost for maids-a-milking, ladies dancing and lords-a-leaping. Entertainment fees for pipers piping and drummers drumming increased modestly.

The cost of five gold rings declined 0.8% because high prices for the metal drove down retail demand.

The report, released on Cyber Monday, noted that buying all the items online would run a dedicated gift-giver even more — $174,382.93 — a 26.5% increase from last year because of shipping costs.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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