One of the silly little things that I like about the holiday season is the publication of the Christmas Price Index. This is a calculation of the cost of all the items in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and has been done since 1984. It’s interesting to see how the prices track, both as a whole and as individual items.
This year, the CPI increased 8.1%. Why? Well, swans are scarce this year, and in general many of the birds are a bit expensive. (Amusingly, the press release notes that you can save money by not buying the swans, but it is not recommended, due to the sentimental nature of the gift.) But the price of gold rings has dropped, as retailers hope for an uptick in sales.
They also calculate whether it is better to buy online or in person. This is one area where buying in person wins by a long shot. Of course, that’s because birds are expensive to ship.
PNC does an excellent job putting together the Christmas Price Index, and they’ve revamped their website for this year. I highly recommend checking it out.