Everyone knows the classic song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” But if you’re thinking of making any grand gestures based on the song (à la Andy Bernard in “The Office”), you might want to think again. 

Each year, PNC Bank calculates the prices of the 12 gifts (with their repetition!); and despite any claims to the contrary from the Biden White House, prices are still rising. As PNC explains, the “true cost of Christmas in song” amounts to a staggering $201,972.66 (+2.5%). “This represents the total cost of all the gifts bestowed by True Love when you count each repetition of the song, totaling 364 presents. Spreading cheer throughout the year in 2023 costs 2.5% more than in 2022.” 

If you’re as amazed as I am that these gifts cost more than 200K, you’ll have to read the breakdown: 

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a partridge in a pear tree: While the price of the bird itself remained steady from 2022, the pear tree took a jump (15%). This isn’t surprising given rising housing costs throughout the country but this elegant gift will cost you $319.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… two turtle doves: Turtle dove prices took flight this year, rising 25% from last year to $750. But their calm and beautiful song is just as sweet, even if remarkably more expensive than the year prior.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… three French hens: French hens are your bargain birds this year, only rising 3.5% and costing $330. Not sure what makes them different from normal chickens except for their heritage and perhaps some fun accents. 

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… four calling birds: Your four calling birds aren’t cheap (except for maybe the cheeps they make), but at least they’re the same price as last year, coming in it at just under $600. And actually, they’ve been the same price for quite a number of years, maybe because no one knows quite exactly what they are (does any bird that sings count?). 

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…five golden rings: In a surprising twist, this gift rings in at the same amount as last year. While certainly still expensive at $1,245, this was the first time in more than five years that the price of gold stayed the same.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…six geese-a-laying: Your geese can’t measure up to gold rings but they’re looking more and more like the golden goose of fairy tales, with an unprecedented rise in price since 2018 of almost $500. This year, their price rose 8.3% to a total of $780.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…seven swans-a-swimming: Despite their beauty and previously volatile price, swimming swans did not get any more expensive. But unfortunately for your romantic gift-giver, they still total a whopping $13,125. 

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… eight maids-a-milking: You’d think that hiring maids to milk constantly would be a little more pricey, but hiring vs. buying really helps a person out here. Your eight maids are making the federal minimum wage according to PNC, so their price stayed the same (along with the minimum wage) and rang in at $58. 

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… nine ladies dancing: As many of you may have noticed in the last year, a lot of entertainment has been rising in cost. But the nine ladies dancing price stayed the same from last year (which rose 10% from the year before), totaling $8,308. 

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… ten lords-a-leaping: I’m not really sure why anyone would want to see ten fancy men leaping about but these fine gentlemen are not only the most expensive item, coming in at $14,539, their price increased 4% from the year before. 

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… eleven pipers piping: If you’re looking for some sweet tunes, you’ll be paying through the nose for it—or at least the pipe. The cost of your pipers rose 6.2%, raising their fee to $3,207. Still nowhere near the leaping lords so it’s probably a better deal all around.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… twelve drummers drumming: For that grand finale, you can’t skip the drumline. Your drummers, similar to the pipers, got a bit more expensive, rising 6.2% to a total of $3,468. But let’s be honest, out of a series of gifts that involves a remarkable amount of birds, young women milking cows, and leaping men, a drumline is one of the cooler gifts to receive. 

Inflation is driven by excessive federal spending to the tune of over $2 trillion in 2021. The Biden administration is downplaying how ill-advised federal policy drove prices higher and their solution—the Inflation Reduction Act—was no solution at all as it doesn’t reduce inflation as it was intended to. 

Let’s hope that inflation recedes across all categories and that next Christmas, gift-giving for your True Love will be a little less costly.