The cost of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” including that partridge in a pear tree, is up to $87,403 this year.
Gold has risen sharply this past year, escalating the cost of “five golden rings” from $350 to $500. Swans , meanwhile, have come down in price with seven-a-swimming at $5,250. The employment situation being what it is, the 10 lords-a-leaping ($4,414); 11 pipers piping ($2,285) and twelve drummers drumming ($2,475) earned about the same as last year. The “Christmas Price Index” is compiled each holiday season by PNC Wealth Management.
It’s always interesting to browse old History of the Sears Catalog' on searsarchives.com" target="_blank">Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogs for goods and prices from years past. Recently in our corporate Archives, I found some cash books detailing expenses of running Wells Fargo’s office in Denver Colorado in December, 1871. The staff of four there (monthly salaries of $500) recorded monthly operating expenses for coal at $16.98; gas $21.50; and blacksmithing at $18. The lads purchased a coal hod for $3.25; map for $2.50; $8.40 worth of stamps.
They also laid in a supply of pillow cases for $2.40; blankets at $3.50; and fortunately for their coworkers and customers, dutifully sent their laundry out for washing at a cost of $6.25. Other necessities for running a city Wells Fargo office that year: blacksmithing $29.95; ice $3; coal oil matches $11.60; and telegraphing $16.17.
Clearly these early Denver team members were prepared for a long holiday season. But I wonder: Why did they buy pillow cases and blankets?
And how much of that telegraph bill was to the North Pole?