Down the Ballot

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Price Index

Every year since 1984, PNC Wealth Management has kept track of the costs of purchasing each of the items mentioned in the beloved Christmas carol, The 12 Days of Christmas. Here is a graph that shows the changes in cost since 1984. The graph was found on Wikipedia.

As you can see the price of the items took a nose dive in the mid-90s, but has since risen well beyond the 1984 prices. In only three years has the price fallen below the previous year, most recently in 2002. This is all done mostly for laughs and deep thought experiments. 2011marks the first time since 1984 that will cost someone over 100,000 dollars to deliver on the entire song (note this is what PNC calls the True Cost of Christmas) If you bought the items for each of the 12 days of Christmas. 100,000 dollars is a lot of money that many of us just don't have in these tough economic times. I started thinking about if there might be a cheaper 12 days worth of gifts out there. Luckily for me Allan Sherman wrote his parody of the 12 Days!

So I started pricing out his version...

1st Day: Japanese Transistor Radio:
Now this seemed really easy at first, until you start finding out that in 2011 some of these radios have become highly collectible. So I went with a search of ebay and found one for $20.00

2nd Day: Green Poka-Dot Pajamas:
There were many...many different kinds of sleepware that came in Green Poka-dots. Mostly for women. $24.99

3rd Day Calander from my Insurance Agent:
This one I'll say free. I know, I know what about the cost of the insurance plan? Well what? Agents give these things away to anyone. I'll stand by FREE. It also saves me time from having to pick an insurance plan.

4th Day Simulated Alligator Wallet:
Another cheap gift, I found one on Amazon for $9.99.

5th Day Statue of a lady, with a clock where her stomach ought to be:
Found one! $54

6th Day aluminum nutcracker:
Found this really neat Squirrel Nutcracker on Amazon for only $28.99.

7th Day pink satin pillow with fringe all around it:
Looking around, I was able to find one for $25.00.

8th Day Plastic Birdbath:
So far the lamest gift of all, coming in at $20.00.

9th Day Pair of Teakwood Shower Clogs:
Found a used pair on ebay for $8.99.

10th Day Chromium manicure scissors and lighter:
Scissors run about $10.00 or even cheaper, a good lighter can go for about $20.00. Again there is a collector market involved so I am sure there are even more expensive ones out there.

11th Day Automatic Vegetable Slicer:
In the song this item works on tv, but not when you get it home. I found one of the "As Seen on TV' brand ones for $42.00.

It comes out to about $236.96 dollars for the first 11 days, if you bought all these items for each 11 days or the True Cost of Christmas price would be $2,606.56 if you did this, and the best part is on the 12th day of Christmas you return them all!

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