Since the 1980s, PNC Financial Services has released an annual Christmas Price Index, which tracks current costs of the goods and services that are the gifts given by the “true love” in the song “The 12 Days of Christmas.”
I’ve always been amused by the way PNC calculates the costs because — let’s face it — the only gift that most of us can relate to these days is the five golden rings. For instance, the pear tree is priced by a Philadelphia nursery while the price of the partridge that’s supposed to sit in the tree is set by the Cincinnati Zoo. The nine ladies dancing are priced by a modern-dance company, and the 10 lords a-leaping are ordered from the Pennsylvania Ballet. The eight maids a-milking are considered unskilled labor and therefore get minimum wage, so they often go without a raise for a very long time. Swans tend to be the most volatile item on the list. And beware of the convenience of online shopping! What with tricky shipping arrangements for swans and other birds, Internet shoppers would have spent $43,626.73 ($9,495.74 more than buying “in person”) last year.
PNC is counting down to the release of its 2016 index: We’ve got nine days to go. While you’re waiting to see how much real-life swans cost, you can check out my 18K gold Cleves swan ring and other jewelry gift ideas for whichever December holiday you celebrate — Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Festivus. Don’t observe any of those? Treat yourself to something anyway. It’s been a tough year!
If you like 18K gold set with black gems, be sure to come to the site on Black Friday to get special prices on my black-and-gold jewelry designs!