Celebrating the 12 Days of (Cheap) Christmas

The Partridge Family
The Partridge Family

Every year, the PNC Financial Services Group tallies the cost of all the gifts described in the song, "The 12 Days of Christmas." As you may have heard, the price inched up slightly this year: If you were going to buy your true love everything from a partridge in a pear tree to 12 drummers drumming, it would cost you -- get ready -- $87,042.81, though that's just 0.9% more than it would have cost last year.

And while it's awfully nice of PNC to add up the cost of these gifts in what it calls the 2009 PNC Christmas Price Index, its price information, while fun to sift through, isn't very practical. Not only do most shoppers not have a spare $87K lying around these days, most don't need to hire the services of milk maids or buy three French hens, either.