In 1984, an economist at PNC Bank’s predecessor, Provident National Bank, created the highly anticipated economic annual report known as the Christmas Price Index (CPI). Each year, the CPI measures the current cost for one set of each item mentioned in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” For 2016, PNC reports that the “Total Cost of Christmas” rose to $34,363.49, up 0.7% from 2015 due mostly to wage increases for Pipers and Drummers and a lack of supply of Turtle Doves driving up prices.
Here’s the thing. That song is great and all, but unless it’s the John Denver and the Muppets version, I’m not really listening. I do love the lesser-known Allan Sherman version, featuring an array of gifts his true love gave to him that he only intends to return on Twelfth Day.
Inspired by PNC’s Christmas Price Index, I’ve created a new version, using Sherman’s eleven gifts and shopping around on eBay. Without further adieu, and likely far too late to earn college credit for that ECON class I never finished, I present:
Dice’s eBay Christmas Price Index (hint: give the song a listen before reading!)
On the first day of Christmas…Japanese Transistor Radio – $19.99
Sherman’s first gift, a Nakashuma Mark IV Japanese Transistor Radio, features a leatherette case and an earphone jack that doesn’t work. As noted in the song, the Mark IV has been discontinued, so it’s not easy to source. eBay did have a “must see” Matsushita transistor radio “in good condition” that “probably works fine,” that is only $19.99 with free shipping.
On the second day…Green Polka Dot Pajamas – $18.99
This new 3X loungewear set from Laura Scott retails for $42, unless you shop on eBay! What a steal and the mint green screams that you’re feeling fresh. Free shipping and an A+++ seller!
On the third day…Calendar with the Name of my Insurance Man – $12.50 ($2.75 S&H)
I get my insurance online, mostly to avoid insurance agents, but also to avoid getting free calendars that I’ll forget to use. This vintage calendar is from the acclaimed Wilgus D. Smith Agency in Portland, Oregon and is in great condition. Shipping and Handling seems a little steep, but this art is “crisp, clean, and complete.”
On the fourth day…Simulated Alligator Wallet – $12.99
Tough to pass up a three pack of these faux alligator wallets for $12.99 with free shipping. Seller seems a little sketchy, so I may not get these on time and I may not get my money back upon return. Re-gifting may occur.
On the fifth day…Statue of a Lady with a Clock – $48.00
Turns out finding a “statue of a lady with a clock where her stomach ought to be” on eBay is tougher than I imagined. That means they’re rare, so if you find one, take it to Antiques Roadshow and get rich. Until then, I splurged on this Athena inspired statue that might show Athena using the Parthenon’s antiquated facilities.
On the sixth day…Aluminum Nutcracker – $29.99
I’m sure I already have a nutcracker in some kitchen drawer that I never dig deep enough into, but for the economy’s sake, I’ll pony up for this mid-century aluminum nutcracker, bowl, and pick set.
On the seventh day…Pink Satin Pillow from San Diego – $65.70
Another impossible to find item, so I settled for combining this pink satin sheet set ($30.95) and this San Diego Chargers body pillow ($34.75). Someone should probably take away my PayPal password.
On the eighth day…Indoor Plastic Birdbath – $69.97
This gnome birdbath is made of durable resin and can probably also be used outdoors… you know… where birds live.
On the ninth day…Teak Wood Shower Clogs – $26.10
Thankfully, the eBay seller states, “these shoes are for décor not for wearing.” Trust me karolinagreen8200, despite teak being naturally rot and mildew resistant, I’m not wearing anyone’s used shower clogs.
On the tenth day…Chromium Manicure, Scissors, and Cigarette Lighter – $10.98
eBay does have some vintage all-in-one pieces, but I really couldn’t resist the awesome functionality of this LighterBro multi-tool. Dude, the LighterBro features scissors, a poker, and a nail file all while fitting on all regular Bic brand lighters.
On the eleventh day…Vegetable Slicer That Works On TV – $19.99
Choosing from the many “As Seen On TV” vegetable slicers available on eBay wasn’t easy. At $5.98, I like the price of the Slice-O-Matic, but I’m convinced that the Veggetti Pro spiral vegetable slicer will make me eat healthier even if it doesn’t work, so I’m spending the big bucks.
On the twelfth day…Although it May Seem Strange…
Apparently, returning all my purchases on eBay is next to impossible. On the plus side, we can calculate Dice’s Total Cost of Christmas. Dice spent $335.20 and only needs $10.95 for Shipping and Handling. Check back next year to see if Dice’s eBay CPI goes up or down!
And there’s fun for the kids, too! Download the CPI Coloring Book HERE.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Trivia Teams!