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It will cost your true love 6.1% more
Estimated price of '12 Days of Christmas' gift list up sharply due to gas, gold prices and bird flu.
November 28, 2005: 12:03 PM EST
A partridge in a pear tree will cost $104.99 this year, up 12.9 percent due largely to higher delivery costs.
A partridge in a pear tree will cost $104.99 this year, up 12.9 percent due largely to higher delivery costs.

NEW YORK ( - The price tag of the shopping list laid out in the classic holiday song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is sharply higher this year, hit by such modern-day woes as higher energy and gold prices and concerns about the avian flu, according to an annual survey unveiled Monday.

PNC Advisors, which has charted the cost of the gifts laid out in the song for the last 21 years, put the price of the items this year at $18,348 in 2005, a 6.1 percent increase over last year.

Some presents will be difficult to get at any price this year. The threat of avian flu has restricted the international shipment of birds, thus preventing the purchase of three French hens from France, although there are domestic breeders of French hens which helped keep that gift's cost in line. But all the fowl mentioned in the song cost substantially more this year due to the increased delivery costs from higher energy prices.

Oil isn't the only commodity raising the gift buying prices this year. The "five golden rings" given on the fifth day now cost $325, up 27.5 percent due to rising gold prices.

Even the good news on pricing is a troubling sign for gift givers, as the salaries of most of the workers detailed in the song -- the maids-a-milking, lords-a-leaping, pipers piping and drummers drumming are the only gifts for which prices are holding steady. The maids-a-milking each got paid only the $5.15 minimum wage, making an hour of their time the cheapest gift on the list.

The only workers in the song to see increased pay is a modest 4 percent gain for the "nine ladies dancing," based upon information given to PNC by Philadanco, the Philadelphia Dance Company. They also were the best-paid service providers on the list, earning $508.46 each.

Ordering the gifts over the Internet will cost true love shoppers a premium, again due to the increased delivery costs this year. The overall Internet cost is estimated at $29,322.80, up 5.7 percent from 2004 and a premium of $10,973.93, or nearly 60 percent, from shopping in the more traditional manner.

For the gift giver who goes all out and gives the repeated gifts for each day as detailed in the verses of the song will pay $72,608 for all 364 items, up 9.5 percent from the $66,334 price tag in 2004. That's a much bigger increase than the 1.6 percent increase last year.

For a look at the price discount shoppers are already seeing on more standard gifts, click here.

For a special report on the 2005 holiday shopping season, click here.  Top of page

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