Heard of the CPI? No, not the Consumer Price Index, but the Christmas Price Index.

For the last 30 years, US bank PNC has published the PNC Christmas Price Index, the current cost for one set of each of the gifts given in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

So how much does a set of Christmas gifts cost this year?

US$34,363.49, or about SG$48,942.

Compared to last year, the CPI rose by 0.7%, “driven by the price increases for the Turtle Doves due to lack of availability, and wage increases for the Drummers and Pipers”.

Here’s the breakdown (in USD).

  • TWO TURTLE DOVES – $375.00
  • THREE FRENCH HENS – $181.50
  • FOUR CALLING BIRDS – $599.96
  • FIVE GOLD RINGS – $750.00 (Apparently, this was a good year to buy gold rings, as retailers kept price steady despite gold commodity price fluctuations)
  • SIX GEESE-A-LAYING – $360.00
  • SEVEN SWANS-A-SWIMMING – $13,125.00
  • NINE LADIES DANCING – $7,552.84
  • TEN LORDS-A-LEAPING – $5,508.70
  • ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING – $2,708.40

The bad news, however, is that the true cost of Christmas is much higher. If you count it based on the cumulative cost of all the gifts, since lines in the song are repeated, the total number of gifts (364!) will set you back only US$156,507.88 (roughly SG$222,906).

Yep. Fortunately, most of us won’t be spending that sort of money to send gifts to our true love.

If you must do the 12 gifts, consider swapping out some of these pricey imports with our perfectly good local produce. Partridge in a pear tree? Try javan mynah in a pongpong tree; you can find them anywhere and we could all do with less bird poop on our freshly washed and waxed Toyotas.

(You’re welcome, and Merry Christmas!)


Singapore no doves, so use mynah instead.