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I was determined to preach this sermon despite having pneumonia last week and influenza this week in much the same way that some of you may be determined to find the right gift for your true love.  PNC Wealth Management tells us that the Christmas Price Index only went up one percent over last year.  This is the index based on the gifts in the classic carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  For 2014, it is only up $280.05 at $27,673.22.  Interestingly, the average year-over-year increases since they began calculating this index in 1984 is actually the exact same number as the government’s inflation index.  8 out of 12 items in the index were the same price as last year.  The only significant increases were the cost of the three french hens, which went up 10 percent, the cost of the partridge (which they calculate separately from the cost of the pear tree) — the partridge went up by a third from $15 to $20, and also the six geese-a-laying — which went up a whopping 71.4 percent.  The true cost of Christmas, repeating as the song suggests, is only up 1.4 percent (though you may remember it was up almost 7 percent last year).  Last year the true cost was $114,651.18 but this year the total cost to buy these things for your true love is $116,273.08.  (Avoid buying online, because it is significantly more expensive that way).  But before you can give expensive gifts to your true love you have to find your true love.  This is what the wise men from the east did in Matthew 2:1-12.


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