Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about Christmas, we came up with this batch of numbers to put the whole thing into perspective.


Shopping 

  • $457.4 billion – Expected holiday sales in 2006.
  • $435.6 billion – Holiday sales in 2005.
  • 51.7 million – People who shopped online from work for holiday gifts in 2005.
  • 60% -People who say they will spend about the same amount as they did last year.
  • 23% – People who say they will spend less than last year.
  • 16% – People who say they will spend more than last year.
  • $791 – Amount each consumer is expected to spend this year.

Of that…

  • $451.34 – Will be spent on family.
  • $99.22 – On himself or herself.
  • $85.60 – On friends.
  • $22.40 – On co-workers.
  • $44.52 – On people like clergy, teachers, and baby sitters.
  • $30.57 – On greeting cards and postage.
  • $451.34 – Will be spent on family.
Hot items

  • 55.2% – People who want books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games as gifts.
  • 53.3% – Want clothing or accessories.
  • 52.8% – Want gift cards.
  • Top 2006 toys for boys – TMX Elmo, cars, PlayStation 3, video games, LEGOS, Nintendo DS, Hot Wheels, Xbox 360, remote-controlled cars, trucks.
  • Top 2006 toys for girls – Dolls, Bratz, TMX Elmo, Dora the Explorer, Disney Princess, iPod/MP3 players, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3.
Nuttier than a…

  • 47% – People who say they’d toss a holiday fruitcake in the trash without delay.
  • 11% – People who say they would make time to regift a fruitcake.
  • 1:1 – The ratio of the density of the average fruitcake to the density of mahogany.
  • 25 – Number of years that fruitcakes can age and still be enjoyed, as long as they have the right preservatives and are stored in tightly closed tins.
  • 2,952 – Pounds of fruitcake delivered to US troops in Iraq for the holidays.
Ornamentation

  • $15.8 billion – Amount spent on new holiday decorations in 2005.
  • Top decorations – Candles, party paraphernalia, garlands, roping, swags, ribbons, poinsettias, Christmas tree ornaments.
Scotch pine vs. Scotch plastic

  • 32.8 million – Real Christmas trees sold in 2005.
  • 9.3 million – Artificial ones sold in 2005.
  • $41.90 – Average cost of a real Christmas tree in 2005.
  • $72.20 – Average cost of an artificial Christmas tree in 2005.
  • 22 million – Households that do not plan to have a Christmas tree this year.
  • 7 – Years required to grow a tree to a retail height of 6 to 7 feet.
  • Top-selling trees – Balsam fir, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, noble fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine, and white pine.
  • $485 million – US farmers’ tree-sale revenue in 2005.
  • $126 million – Tree sales in Oregon in 2005, top-grossing state (followed by North Carolina, Washington, and Michigan).
  • 221 feet – The tallest Christmas tree, a Douglas fir erected at Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Wash., in 1950.
The China connection

  • $1.2 billion – Value of Christmas ornaments imported from China in 2005 – America’s No. 1 foreign supplier.
  • $39 million – Value of imported Chinese nativity scenes and figures in 2005.
  • $160 million – Value of artificial Christmas trees from China last year.
Charity

  • 87% – People who donated money to a charity in 2005 (religious or nonreligious).
  • 62% – People who donated their time to a charity in 2005 (religious or nonreligious).
  • 11,000 – Christmas trees to be donated to US troops and their families by tree growers this year.
  • 50% – Yearly charitable donations made between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
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