I had a little extra time while working with a group of kids today. To finish up our time, groups were challenged to see who could list all the gifts of the classic song Twelve Days of Christmas first. Funny enough none of the groups got the list just right- not sure about the ducks and the chickens that were suggested- HA! After reviewing all the correct gifts for each of the days, the groups were challenged to guess what the cost of the gifts might be. Following a WILD set of guesses we went to the web and found this little gem: The PNC Christmas Price Index.
According to the website the index was started 31 years ago by one of the economists at PNC. HE wanted to know what the cost would be for one set of each of the gifts listed in the song. This initial quest for knowledge has become 30 years of looking at the adjustments and cost rise and fall over time. You can see trends in the US economy reflected in the Christmas Price Index. The site is pretty cool. There is a lot of interesting financial info- you can look at the total price over time, the price of individual gifts over time, and look how things as varied as the internet and fuel cost have affected the prices. There is a complete separate section of the site the provides educators with ways to use the information to implement some lesson on financial literacy (don’t be surprised in my classes if you see this round about the 22nd and 23rd).
The site also has lots of fun and clever parts to it. There is a section dedicated to “updating” the song itself since it “has fallen to an all-time low in popularity”. The section is titled The Great Carol Comeback and features cool renditions of the song for each of the 12 gifts. Future classics like “Milk Bucket Music”, “Golden Ring Orchestra”, “Bird Call Quartet” and “French Hen Hairband”. Be sure to check out all twelve of the The Great Carol Comeback.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the 2014 price of one set of all gifts is $27,673.21. Seems fair, right?