- The Washington Times - Monday, December 2, 2013

Those seeking to buy all of the gifts popularized by the holiday carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” should take note: This year’s purchase price has risen by almost 7 percent, from $107,300 in 2012 to $114,651.

Blame it on the ladies dancing and the lords a-leaping, numbers nine and 10, respectively. The average costs for the ladies rose by 20 percent, and the lords by nearly 10 percent, The Associated Press reported. In cold hard cash, that means the dancing ladies now cost $7,553 and the leaping lords, $5,243.

The AP report suggests that cash-strapped consumers can save a bit while still maintaining some of the integrity of the song. The advice: Buy just one of all twelve gifts, not the tabulated number as it grows, line by line. The difference is twelve versus 364 items — for a total of $27,393 versus almost $115,000.

One other piece of advice: Don’t buy the items online, because the collective cost for all 364 would be $173,000.

Here’s a rundown, reported by AP: A partridge is still $15, same as last year. A pear tree now runs $184, compared to almost $190 in 2012. The prices for two turtle doves and three French hens are the same, at $125 and $165, respectively.

The four calling birds’ cost rose a bit, from $520 in 2012 to $600. But the gold rings are still a good buy — unchanged over last year’s $750. Six geese a-laying are still $210, seven swans a-swimming are still $7,000 and eight maids a-milking are still $58.

The 11 pipers piping — priced by performance — actually went up some, from $2,562 in 2012 to $2,635, AP reported. So did the 12 drummers drumming. Per performance, they now cost $2,855, up from last year’s $2,776.