One of the most widely recognized Christmas spending sprees in pop culture includes nearly two dozen birds. Sounds romantic, right?
The Twelve Days of Christmas is an English carol that names an ever-increasing list of lavish gifts to one’s true love — including six days of feathered creatures, yet only one day of jewelry — between Christmas Day on December 25 and Three Kings Day on January 6,
The earliest version appears to contain words of French origin but it was first found in print in the 1780 English children’s book “Mirth Without Mischief” and may have originated as a “memories and forfeits” game, in which a group of people took turns reciting the verses and adding lines to see who could remember the most items as the list grew.
The items in the song have no symbolic significance, although some Christian groups have conjured up a link between the number of each gift and a Christian symbol.
Since 1983, PNC Bank has been tallying the cost of purchasing all of the items in the song.
The PNC Christmas Price Index also compares the costs of the items through the years.
The total costs of all goods and services for the 2012 Christmas Price Index is $25,431, a 4.8 percent increase over last year.
If you bought the gifts online, you’d pay $40,440.
PNC also calculates the “True Cost of Christmas” by following each repetition of the song, for a total of 364 gifts. The total True Cost of Christmas this year is $107,300, a 6 percent increase over last year.