Like eggnog, ugly Christmas sweaters and cookies so bad even the birds won’t touch them, it’s back. The 12 Days of Christmas price list.

Hope you’ve saved those pennies from last year. These gifts this year are not cheap by any means. Started 30 years ago, the PNC Christmas Price Index was created as a way to engage clients and has since become one of PNC’s most popular and anticipated economic reports. PNC is a highly diversified and growing financial services organization spanning the retail, business and corporate markets. The PNC Christmas Price Index is available at:

A price index measures price changes through a representative group of individual items. The PNC Christmas Price Index is an index of the current costs of the goods and services listed in the classic holiday song The Twelve Days of Christmas. Calculated by PNC Wealth Management, the PNC Christmas Price Index reflects changes in the economy in the same way the Consumer Consumer Price Index issued by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics does.
The Consumer Price Index measures the change in the prices of goods and services reflecting the spending habits of the “average” American. It includes goods and services such as food, housing clothing, and utilities. It’s percent change is widely used as a measure of inflation. If inflation is higher than expected it may cause the stock market to become bearish.

There are two purposes for the PNC Christmas Price Index. The secondary purpose is to entertain and have people imagine if they could purchase the items in the song, while the primary purpose of these activities is to use the PNC Christmas Price Index as an investor tool by examining the impact of the cost for goods and services on the performance of securities in The Stock Market Game portfolio. Think of it as an economics lesson that you don’t have to sit through a lecture for.

As for the gifts in the song? The price tag last year was $34,363.49. This year, get ready for sticker shock. Those same items will now run you $34,558.65, up 0.6 percent. That’s not a lot but still they don’t come cheap.

Let’s start with that duo, the partridge and the pear tree.

The bird and the tree last year? $209.99. This year? $219.95. However… if you were to purchase them separately, the cost of the bird stayed the same at $20, while the pear tree will run you $199.95 (last year, that tree would have cost $189.99. There’s a bright side to that. In a few years, youill be eating pears like it’s going out of style.)

Now for the two turtle doves, the three French hens and the four calling birds? Their prices did not change. The turtle doves cost $375, the French hens are $181.50 (and they are a food source if you want Chicken soup) and the calling birds are $599.96. 2017 was a decent year to be a bird.

The five gold rings had the biggest jump from 2016. Those rings last year cost $750, this year they cost $825, a 10-percent increase. Gold tends to fluctuate from day to day price-wise, so there is some method to that increase.

The six geese? They stayed the course, costing $360. Again, you have another food source with the geese. While goose is somewhat fatty, if cooked properly, it’s pretty tasty; if not, you’ll actually have a goose to play “duck, duck, goose.” As for the seven swans, they stayed the same as well, costing $13,125. Swans are somewhat of a good investment and they mate for life.

Now for the humans in the song. Of the 50 humans mentioned, only one group got a pay raise. The 10 Lords? They’re going to get a little more in the pay envelope this year. Last year, the lords took home a price tag of $5,508.70. It’s a good year to be a leaping lord as they’ll cost $5,618.90. Granted, they’ll be in a somewhat higher tax bracket but it’s a lot more dead presidents in their wallets. That’s the good news.

Now for the bad. The milk maids ($58), dancing ladies ($7,522.84), pipers ($2,708.40) and drummers ($2,934.10) will have to work a little hard next year if they want coin in their purse in 2018.

For all the gifts mentioned in the song, if you were to go into a brick and mortar store, this year’s price tag is a whopping $34,558.65, up 0.6 from last year’s $34,363.49. The true cost of everything is $157,588, up 0.7 (last year’s price was $156,507.88). The core index, if you left the swans out of the discussion, would cost $21,433.65, up 0.9 percent from last year’s $21,238.49. The price if you went on line? For all the items in question, last year they’d run you $44,602.53 (2017? $45,096.43) and we’re not sure if Amazon will deliver next-day.

The 12 Days of Christmas are pricey… but if you save your pennies or win the lottery, you can shower your true love with all those gifts.