You’d better hope Santa Claus puts some cash under the Christmas tree — you’ll need the dough to help cover the expense of his visit on the night before Christmas.
For LawnStarter’s first-ever “Santa Is Coming” Cost Index™, we found that the average cost to prepare your home for Santa’s arrival — from fixing the roof to buying Christmas stockings — is $1,558.03. That’s enough money to purchase 37 Elmo “Play All Day” dolls. Still, it’s considerably less than the cost of buying every item mentioned in the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” This year, the song’s haul will ding your bank account to the tune of $34,130.99.
To calculate the “Santa Is Coming” Cost Index™, LawnStarter researched the costs for 10 items you should jot down on your to-do list before St. Nick comes shimmying down the chimney. (Make sure you check that list twice.) In most cases, the cost of goods or services is based on a U.S. average.
Personal finance blogger Paula Pant says that while the “Santa Is Coming” Cost Index™ tally sounds high, one item — roof repair — “is the gift that keeps on giving.” Roof repair accounts for more than 40 percent of our index.
“Repairing your roof is a need, rather than a want, since it’ll protect your home from leaks, mold and infestations. I’d prioritize spending your holiday money on that,” Pant says.
If Santa, his sleigh and his eight reindeer are landing on your roof, you don’t want them crashing through it. Therefore, it’s smart to fix your roof before Santa comes to town.
Cost: $674 (2015)
Sure, Santa is used to getting soot on his suit from squeezing into chimneys around the world. But if you hope to be in Santa’s good graces, you probably should have your chimney cleaned in time for his arrival.
Cost: $208 (2015)
Gallon of Whole Milk
Sticking to tradition, you’ll want to set out a glass of milk so that Santa can keep up his energy.
Cost: $3.38 (October 2015)
Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
There’s nothing like a plate of homemade cookies to make Santa feel right at home. Bake a dozen so you’ve got enough for Santa and your family.
Cost: $6.15 (2014)
Data source: www.monroenews.com/news/2014/oct/28/cookie-cost-homemade-vs-store-bought
Photo: Flickr/David Snedecor
Bag of Carrots
Santa isn’t the only hungry one stopping by. The reindeers deserve something to munch on, too, so go pick up a 1-pound bag of carrots.
Cost: 82 cents (November 2015)
Christmas Light Installation
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so you’ll want to be sure the outside of your house is gleaming with Christmas lights.
Cost: $380 (2015)
Data source: www.homeadvisor.com/cost/seasonal/install-holiday-lighting
Photo: Flickr/Dan Thibodeaux
Real Christmas Tree
A fresh-cut Christmas tree will truly impress Santa.
Cost: $50 (2014)
The average American family has three members, so you’ll need three stockings to hang by the chimney with care.
Cost: $59.97 (November 2015)
You definitely should prevent creatures — even a mouse — from stirring in your house.
Cost: $60 (2015)
One-Time Leaf Removal
Santa won’t be stepping foot on your lawn, but he will spot it from the roof. Get rid of the leaves to guarantee your lawn doesn’t look ho-ho-hum.
Data source: LawnStarter customer data
Photo: Flickr/Dean Hochman