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'12 Days of Christmas' items top $114,000

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The price of lords-a-leaping and ladies dancing has spiked this holiday season, but other items mentioned in the carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas" still cost the same as they did last year.

Buying one set of the gifts mentioned in each verse costs $27,393 in stores, or 7.7 percent more than last year, according to the so-called Christmas Price Index that PNC Wealth Management updates annually. And if you buy all 364 items repeated throughout the carol, you'll pay $114,651 — 6.9 percent more than last year.

Last-minute shoppers who turn to the Internet will pay even more for all the gifts — about $173,000.

"We were surprised to see such a large increase from a year ago, given the overall benign inflation rate in the U.S.," said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investments for PNC.

The federal government's core Consumer Price Index rose only 1.7 percent this year.

In the three decades since the list was started in 1984, year-over-year increases have averaged 2.9 percent, which is exactly the same number as broader U.S. inflation. But it's a fickle list because the price of some items has barely budged, while others have soared.

Seven swans cost $7,000 this year, the same as in 1984, while the cost of a single partridge went from $12.57 to $15 during the same period. One pear tree to put that partridge in? Thirty years ago it cost $19.95, but will now set you back $184.

The cost of nine ladies dancing is now $7,553, or 20 percent more than last year's $6,294, while 10 lords-a-leaping jumped 10 percent, to $5,243.

Seven items on the list cost the same as they did last year, including gold rings and turtle doves, while pipers piping, drummers drumming, and the pear tree showed only modest changes up or down.

The swans are the most expensive item at $1,000 each. The eight maids-a-milking still cost a total of just $58 because the federal minimum wage hasn't risen. At $7.25 each, they're the least expensive gifts in the song.

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

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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