As heard on the Good Stuff with Jim Thompson

Every year for the past 28 years, PNC Wealth Management has released a Christmas Price Index that calculates the total cost of all the presents in the "Twelve Days of Christmas"--you know, the maids a-milking and swans a-singing and everything else from your true love.

Not only is it a hilarious exercise, it's a pretty revealing look at the state of the economy.

This year, a generous giver would have to spend $101,119.84 to buy all 364 items mentioned in the carol, a 4.4% increase compared to last year.

The actual index price for 2011 came out to $24,263.18, a 3.5% increase over last year. That's a far more modest jump than the 9.2% price spike between 2009 and 2010.

This year's Christmas index was nearly on par with the government’s Consumer Price Index, which grew 3.9% over the last 12 months, PNC said.

Notably, PNC excludes the cost of the swans-a-swimming from its annual index since they are subject to huge price swings. This year the cost of swans rose by 12.5%, almost double last year’s rise of 6.7%, to $6,300.

One interesting finding: the Christmas index would be at $39,860.06 if the gifts were purchased online, proving that the "Cyber Monday" hype isn't all it's cracked up to be--and that live birds are very expensive to ship.