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Cost of '12 Days of Christmas' items soars 10.8 percent

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In the unlikely event that your Christmas list this year includes every item mentioned in "The Twelve Days of Christmas," be prepared to pay nearly $100,000.

Trying to buy the 364 items repeated in all the song's verses — from 12 drummers drumming to a partridge in a pear tree — would cost $96,824, an increase of 10.8 percent over last year, according to the annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management.

So you might want to try for one of everything. That would cost only $23,439, or 9.2 percent more than last year.

The 27th annual holiday index has historically mirrored the national Consumer Price Index, but not this year. The PNC Christmas Price Index grew 9.2 percent from last year, compared with just a 1.1-percent increase in the much broader Consumer Price Index.

Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management, said that's because the whimsical holiday price index looks at a much smaller group of goods and services. Even within the index itself, there are some goods that have seen small increases and others that have seen larger ones, he said.

Also, gold prices are high — which pushed the cost of five gold rings up 30 percent, to $649.95 — as was the cost of hiring entertainers. Not to mention the birds.

"There's no doubt that our feathered friends in general make up a good portion of the increase," Dunigan said. The price of feed and availability led to a 78.6-percent increase in the price of two turtle doves, to $100, and a whopping 233-percent increase in the cost of three french hens, to $150.

Dunigan said that higher prices aren't necessarily a bad thing.

"The good news is that the economy is improving, and we are starting to see some pockets of price increases, as long as the total basket is controlled," he said.

Only four of the 12 gifts in the song didn't go up in price from last year: the pear tree ($149, not including the partridge), four calling birds ($599.96), six geese ($150) and the eight maids-a-milking ($58).

The most expensive item on the list was $6,294.03 to hire nine ladies dancing, a 15-percent increase from last year. The cheapest was $12 for one partridge, a 20-percent increase.

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.

The annual index is also used in middle and high schools across the country to teach economic trends.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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