Christmas Price Index

Nov 16, 2021

In my recent sleep-deprived state, I started to think about the Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas. Being a cumulative song, I've always found it funny that, technically speaking, the gift-giver ends up giving the true love 364 gifts. I got looking at the Wikipedia page for the song, and lo and behold, there's an actual economic indicator (albeit a tongue-in-cheek one) that PNC Wealth Management maintains about these gifts. It's called the Christmas Price Index, and gets used as a commodity price index. More amusing than the index itself are some of the criticisms of it that are listed in the Wikipedia article:

First, the index does not clearly define the products that comprise each of the twelve gifts. For example, the price for the eight "maids a-milking" only includes the cost of eight laborers at Federal minimum wage, while milking also requires at least a milk cow, goat, or other such animal, which is an additional cost.

Even better is this note on the index for 2020:

The 2020 index did not include nine Ladies Dancing, ten Lords-A-Leaping, eleven Pipers Piping, or twelve Drummers Drumming due to COVID-19 restrictions on live performances.

Brilliant.

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