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The Price Of Twelve Days Of Christmas Gifts Take Huge Jump

An annual tally of items in the beloved 12 Days of Christmas song by PNC Financial Services Group comes to $96,824 this year, up a whopping 11% from 2009. It’s the second-highest jump in cost in the 27 years PNC has done the tally and the largest percentage increase since 2003. The price accounts for the 364 items chronicled in the song. Non-purists who ignore the repetition in the song would shell out only $23,439, up 9% from a year ago. Blame commodity prices in part on the increase – the cost of Five Golden Rings is up 30%. Nine Ladies Dancing saw the biggest dollar increase from 2009 at $820, up 15%. However, the cost of Three French Hens has more than tripled over last year, at $150. Only four items — Pear Tree, Calling Birds, Geese-a-Laying and Maids-a-Milking — were the same price as in 2009. The cost of purchasing all the Twelve Days of Christmas items online is higher than traditional brick-and-mortar stores, with a total of $34,336. The 2010 PNC Christmas Price Index:
 
Traditional:
 
 
 
 
 
 
2009
2010
% Change 2010/09
 
One Partridge in a Pear Tree
$159.99
$161.99
+1.3%
 
Partridge
$10.00
$12.00
+20.0%
 
Pear Tree
$149.99
$149.99
0.0%
 
Two Turtle Doves
$55.98
$100.00
+78.6%
 
Three French Hens
$45.00
$150.00
+233.3%
 
Four Calling Birds
$599.96
$599.96
0.0%
 
Five Gold Rings
$499.95
$649.95
+30.0%
 
Six Geese-a-Laying
$150.00
$150.00
0.0%
 
Seven Swans-a-Swimming
$5,250.00
$5,600.00
+6.7%
 
Eight Maids-a-Milking
$58.00
$58.00
0.0%
 
Nine Ladies Dancing
$5,473.07
$6,294.03
+15.0%
 
10 Lords-a-Leaping
$4,413.61
$4,766.70
+8.0%
 
11 Pipers Piping
$2,284.80
$2,356.20
+3.1%
 
12 Drummers Drumming
$2,475.20
$2,552.55
+3.1%
 
Total Christmas Price Index
$21,465.56
$23,439.38
+9.2%
 
True cost of Christmas in song
$87,402.81
$96,824.29
+10.8%
 
“Core” index, excluding swans
$16,215.56
$17,839.38
+10.0%
 
 
Internet:
 
 
 
 
 
2009
2010
% Change 2010/09
One Partridge in a Pear Tree
$209.94
$194.94
-7.1%
Partridge
$85.00
$70.00
-17.6%
Pear Tree
$124.94
$124.94
0.0%
Two Turtle Doves
$165.00
$200.00
+21.2%
Three French Hens
$195.00
$260.00
+33.3%
Four Calling Birds
$500.00
$450.00
-10.0%
Five Gold Rings
$349.75
$374.75
+7.1%
Six Geese-a-Laying
$555.00
$525.00
-5.4%
Seven Swans-a-Swimming
$6,450.00
$6,482.00
+0.5%
Eight Maids-a-Milking
$324.16
$333.44
+2.9%
Nine Ladies Dancing
$7,237.00
$8,322.55
+15.0%
10 Lords-a-Leaping
$11,629.00
$13,373.35
+15.0%
11 Pipers Piping
$2,200.00
$2,200.00
0.0%
12 Drummers Drumming
$1,620.00
$1,620.00
0.0%
 
 
 
 
Total Christmas Price Index
$31,434.85
$34,336.03
+9.2%
True cost of Christmas in song
$127,643.08
$137,851.73
+8.0%
“Core” index, excluding swans
$24,984.85
$27,854.03
+11.5%
 
For a historical look at PNC’s Index, visit www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com.
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November 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The 12 Scams Of Christmas

With today’s arrival of “Cyber Monday,” when many holiday shoppers turn to the Internet for the latest deals for the gift-giving season, McAfee is warning that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. McAfee has released its annual list of the “12 Scams of Christmas.” One of the top scams to watch out for is a $10 iPad. The company says that usually ends in a stolen credit card number or with users unwittingly signing up for a $10-a-week text message spam. Other scams to look out for include:
 
2. “Help, I’ve Been Robbed”: After infiltrating a user’s social networking profile, a missive is sent out to all the user’s contacts and family members, advising them that the person is stranded or otherwise in distress and needs money to be wired or transferred to get them out of the jam.
3. Fake Gift Cards: The scam artists use Facebook or Twitter or some other online forum to promote fake gift cards in order to steal users’ IDs, passwords and, eventually, bank accounts.
4. Holiday Job Offers: The most common variation is one in which the thieves use Twitter to send out malicious links promising high-paying, work-from-home gigs that require information like your name, Social Security number and home address. Avoid at all costs.
5. Beware of “Smishing”: “Smishing” is phishing via SMS texts. The unsolicited texts are sent to a cell phone and appear to be legitimate and from the recipient’s bank or a prominent online retailer. The texts usually say that there is something wrong with an account and you have to call a number to verify your account information. In reality, it is merely a ruse to extract valuable personal information.
6. Suspicious Holiday Rentals: During peak travel times when consumers often look online for affordable holiday rentals, cybercrooks post fake holiday rental sites that ask for down payments on properties by credit card or wire transfer.
7. Recession Scams: Cybercriminals offer pay-in-advance credit schemes and other offers of nonexistent prequalified, low-interest loans and credit cards for simply paying a “small” processing fee. The cards and loans never materialize.
8. The good ol’ E-Card Scam: E-cards are convenient, cheap and thoughtful. They also provide a really easy way for malware authors to send and spread malicious links and attachments in a hurry. Worse, if someone has gotten into your Facebook or LinkedIn account, all your contacts will probably soon be receiving tainted greetings that appear to come from you.
9. Not-Such-A-Great-Deal Deals: Shoppers should be cautious of products offered at prices far below those of competitors. Cyber scammers use auction sites and fake websites to offer too-good-to-be-true deals with the goal of stealing your money and information.
10. Charity scams:  Common ploys include phone calls and spam e-mails asking you to donate to veterans’ charities, children’s causes and relief funds for the latest catastrophe.
11. Dangerous holiday downloads:  Holiday-themed screensavers, jingles and animations are an easy way for scammers to spread viruses and other computer threats, especially when links come from an e-mail or IM that appears to be from a friend.
12. Hotel and airport Wi-Fi:  During the holidays many people travel and use free Wi-Fi in places like hotels and airports. This is a tempting time for thieves to hack into networks hoping to find opportunities for theft.

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Movies That Make Men Cry

Play.com is warning that even the toughest guys could find themselves reduced to blubbering wrecks after the release of “Toy Story 3” on DVD, following a poll identifying the Top 10 films that make grown men cry. The e-tailer surveyed its male customers to create the “guy-cry” Top 10 film classics that force fellas to reach for the tissues, even if they don’t want to admit it in front of their women.
 
1. “Toy Story” (The first film in the trilogy)
6. “Titanic”
2. “Forrest Gump”
7. “The Notebook”
3. “Star Wars: “Return of the Jedi”
8. “Marley And Me”
4. “ET”
9. “Shawshank Redemption”
5. “Jerry McGuire”
10. “Up”
 
Other films named by men include: “Saving Private Ryan,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Platoon,” “Babe,” “Short Circuit,” “Out of Africa” and “Terminator 2.”

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Black Friday Sales Up

Shoppers spent more money Black Friday weekend compared to last year, according the National Retail Federation. Here are the results of the NRF’s survey:
 
·         212 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 195 million last year.
·         People spent more, with the average shopper spending $365.34, up from last year’s $343.31.
·         Total spending reached an estimated $45 billion.
·         The number of people who began their Black Friday shopping at midnight tripled this year to 9.5%. By 4 a.m., 24% of Black Friday shoppers were already at the stores.
·         Thanksgiving Day shopping – both online and in stores – has doubled over the past five years, from 10.3 million in 2005 to 22.3 million in 2010.
·         The top gifts purchased over the Black Friday weekend were jewelry, gift cards, toys, books and electronics.
·         Department stores (52.0% this year vs. 49.4% last year) and clothing stores (24.4% vs. 22.9%) saw healthy increases in traffic compared to last year, while the percentage of people who shopped at discounters this year declined 7.2%.
·         The percentage of people who shopped online this weekend rose 15.2% over 2009, to 33.6% this year – a good sign heading into today’s Cyber Monday.
·         According to a survey conducted for Shop.org by BIGresearch, 106.9 million Americans plan to shop online today, which is Cyber Monday, up significantly from the estimated 96.5 million who shopped on Cyber Monday last year.

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WINNERS OF THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS…

— Soul/R&B Album: Usher, “Raymond v. Raymond.”

— Soul/R&B Female Artist: Rihanna.

— Soul/R&B Male Artist: Usher.

— Pop/Rock Album: Justin Bieber, “My World 2.0.”

— Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group: The Black Eyed Peas.

— Pop/Rock Female Artist: Lady Gaga.

— Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Bieber.

— Rap/Hip-Hop Album: Eminem, “Recovery.”

— Rap/Hip-Hop Male Artist: Eminem.

— Country Band, Duo or Group: Lady Antebellum.

— Country Album: Carrie Underwood, “Play On.”

— Country Female Artist: Taylor Swift.

— Country Male Artist: Brad Paisley.

— Contemporary Inspirational Artist: Mercy Me.

— Soundtrack: “Glee: The Music, Volume 3 — Showstoppers.”

— Latin Music Artist: Shakira.

— Alternative Rock Artist: Muse.

— Adult Contemporary Artist: Michael Buble.

— Breakthrough Artist: Justin Bieber.

— Artist of the Year: Justin Bieber.

November 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turkey Day

How will Americans keep their Thanksgivings running smoothly? According to a new survey by Dunkin’ Donuts, a nap is on the menu at many households this year; 46% of adults plan to indulge in a snooze during the holiday, including half of all males. And maybe it’s best that males nap – brothers and fathers were identified as most likely to brew trouble by saying something inappropriate at the Thanksgiving meal. Survey highlights include:
 
·         50% of adult males will take a Thanksgiving Day nap. Overall, 46% of adults will enjoy a nap, with more preferring their holiday snooze after Thanksgiving dinner (68%) versus before the meal (32%).
·         Those most likely to say something inappropriate at the Thanksgiving meal are:
1. (Tie) Brother / Father
5. Aunt
2. Sister
6. (Tie) Uncle / Spouse
3. Mother
7. (Tie) Son / Niece / Nephew
4. Cousin
 
 
·         43% of workers say they will be spending more time at work this week to make up for holiday time off.
·         63% of adults completed most of their shopping for the Thanksgiving meal the week before the holiday. Only 10% will wait until the day before Thanksgiving.
·         Favorite leftovers are:
1. Turkey
5. Ham
2. Stuffing
6. Cranberry sauce
3. Pumpkin pie
7. Green beans
4. Potatoes

November 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Black Friday 2010 Predictions

Hundreds of Black Friday shoppers participated in a survey by BlackFriday.com to give insight into consumer expectations for Black Friday shopping this holiday season. The survey found that 91% of consumers expect retail Black Friday activity to be at least as big as 2009 and nearly 60% believe it will be much bigger. When asked what types of products are exciting consumers the most this Black Friday, electronic devices topped the list:
 
Electronic devices
59%
 
Music or music-related products
25%
DVDs or Blu-rays
49%
 
Home appliances
25%
Clothing
48%
 
Gift certificates
21%
Video Games or Systems
45%
 
Home furnishings
16%
Computers
44%
 
Jewelry
14%
Toys
38%
 
Software
13%

 

When asked to predict the hottest individual product for Black Friday 2010, the 15 most popular responses were:
 
1. Apple iPad
6. HTC Droid
11. Apple iPod Touch
2. Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect
7. Canon Digital Camera
12. HP Mini Netbook
3. Apple iPhone
8. Samsung 3D TV
13. Flip Video Camcorder
4. Sony HDTV
9. Dell Laptop
14. VIZIO LCD HDTV
5. Blu-Ray
10. Amazon Kindle
15. Xbox 360 Gaming Console
 
Some took a stab at guessing what the non-gaming toy craze would be in 2010:
1. Zhu Zhu pets
2. Pillow pets (and Pillow pals)
3. Disney “Tangle” toys (related to Thanksgiving week movie)
4. Beyblades
5. Paper Jamz

November 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bon Jovi and Rihanna!!!

November 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Most Profitable Actresses In Hollywood

Forbes has released its annual rankings of Hollywood’s profitable actresses. First on the list was Anne Hathaway. Every dollar invested in her movie has brought movie studios a profit of $63, mostly due to her participation in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which brought in $1 billion at the box office worldwide. Her next-highest-grossing film, “Get Smart,” earned $230 million. The list included actresses who over the past three years have played in at least five films.
 
1. Anne Hathaway
$63
6. Angelina Jolie
$14
2. Kate Blanchett
$26
7. (Tie) Kate Hudson
$13
3. (Tie) Jennifer Aniston
$20
7.(Tie) Cameron Diaz
$13
3. (Tie) Meryl Streep
$20
9. Reese Witherspoon
$12
5. Sarah Jessica Parker
$16
10. Nicole Kidman
$11

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment