Yes, you’ve all been waiting for it – the annual CPI. Consumer Price Index? Oh, no. It’s the Christmas Price Index®!
Compiled every year by the PNC Financial Services Group, this CPI tracks how much it would cost to buy each of the gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (did you know, there are 78 of them?)
Despite the down economy, the 2010 CPI increased a surprising 9.2% over last year. Big increases were seen in the Five Gold Rings (30%), as well as higher costs for wages and benefits for some of the entertainers. The Twelve Drummers and Eleven Pipers both went up 3.1%, Lords-a-Leaping increased 8%, and the dancing Ladies saw a 15% rise (note that none of these performers had a raise last year.) The Maids-a-Milking did not receive an increase, as the federal minimum wage stayed flat at $7.25 an hour.
What about the wildlife, you ask? Bird prices increased due to rising costs of feed and demand for certain fowl. The biggest increase was for the Three French Hens (up 233%) and the Turtle Doves (up 78.6%.)
Interestingly enough, if you do a Summon search on the Twelve Days of Christmas, there are over 22,000 items, including classic New England activities for the holidays, a newspaper article on cruise lines, an article from Mathematics Teacher, and an article from Australian Doctor. And there are 45 books, from such authors and illustrators as Anne Geddes, John O’Brien, Jack Kent, and one of my favorites, Jan Brett.