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What Is the Christmas Price Index?

A partridge in a pear tree can’t really cost that much—can it? You might be surprised by just how much money the gifts from the classic Christmas song “The 12 Days of Christmas” would cost today. You know you’ve always wondered how much the five golden rings for your true love would set you back. And the Christmas Price Index is here to answer that question for you.

Side note: Why does the true love need five rings anyway? Couldn’t they have been happy with one? But that’s a topic for another day . . .

What Is the Christmas Price Index?

The Christmas Price Index is a lighthearted joke based on the (very real) Consumer Price Index that measures the costs of goods and services. But instead of measuring how the price of your grocery bill changes, the Christmas Price Index looks at the price of the “goods and services” from the Christmas song “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

Oh, we’re totally serious.

Hey, if we can believe one man delivers gifts around the world in one single night, why can’t we have a price index on gifts from a Christmas carol? No Scrooges here.

How Much Do the Gifts From the “12 Days of Christmas” Cost?

PNC has crunched the numbers on the “12 Days of Christmas” since 1984, and they’re not stopping now. Here’s how much each gift would set you back this year.

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A Partridge in a Pear Tree: $222.68

Two Turtle Doves: $450

Three French Hens: $255

Four Calling Birds: $599.96

Five Golden Rings: $895

Six Geese-a-Laying: $660

Seven Swans-a-Swimming: $13,125

Eight Maids-a-Milking: $58

Nine Ladies Dancing: $7,552.84

Ten Lords-a-Leaping: $11,260

Eleven Pipers Piping: $2,943.93

Twelve Drummers Drumming: $3,183.17

Grand Total: $41,205.581

The even grander total if you count each time (364) that a gift was mentioned in the song: $179,454.19

The Christmas Price Index and Inflation

No one can escape inflation these days—not even six geese-a-laying. That’s right, the cost of the items in “The 12 Days of Christmas” has gone up just like the everyday products we see in the Consumer Price Index. And honestly, it’s not all that far off from the real inflation rate right now (6.2%).2

Get this: The Christmas Price Index is up 5.7% compared to 2019’s numbers.3 And those six geese? Their price has gone through the roof—increasing by 57% since 2019.4 But they’re not the only birds who saw a price jump. The two turtle doves went up 50%, followed by the three French hens at 40.5%.5 What can we say? Inflation is for the birds, folks.

The Christmas Price Index and Online Shopping

It’s no secret that online shopping has changed the way we get our Christmas shopping done. Gone are the days of having to wait in line in the freezing cold outside of Macy’s to get doorbuster deals. Now, you can shop the same (or better) sales from your phone while sitting on the couch under a warm blanket.

But when it comes to the gifts in “The 12 Days of Christmas,” shopping online will actually cost you more cash to get those gifts in the hands of your true love—$4,394 more, to be exact.6 The big price jump is mostly thanks to the shipping and gas prices for carting around those 23 live birds. That brings the online shopping total to a whopping $45,599 for all 12 gifts. In that case, maybe you should have bought your true love a car. What the heck are they going to do with all those birds anyway? The world may never know.

Is Your Christmas Budget Ready?

All this talk about spending major dough on your true love’s Christmas gift has us wondering—how is your Christmas budget looking? Don’t fall into the trap of overspending (like buying seven swans). Make sure your Christmas budget is on track with our free budgeting tool, EveryDollar.

And if you do want to splurge a bit, skip the lords-a-leaping and treat yourself (or your true love) to the premium version of EveryDollar through Ramsey+, our all-access membership that helps you win with money. The skills that you’ll learn will last a lot longer than that partridge in a pear tree.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

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