Counting on Christmas Statistics

Posted On December 19, 2006

Filed under News Americas, Offbeat News
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Here’s a yuletide yardstick of the 2006 season.

From 25-year-old fruitcake to the new PlayStation 3, Americans celebrate the holidays in their own way. Here’s a yuletide yardstick of the 2006 season.

Holiday spirit >

  • 87% – Americans who believe holidays should be more about family and caring for others, not giving and receiving gifts.
  • 79% – Do not believe it’s necessary to spend a lot of money in order to have a fulfilling and enjoyable holiday.

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.

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.
  • 84% – Malls that will hold charity events. Toys for Tots and Giving Trees are the most popular charity events in malls.
  • $260 billion – Total charitable donations in 2005, up from $245 billion in 2004. About half of the increase was due to giving for one of three major natural disasters: tsunami in southern Asia, Gulf Coast hurricanes, and Pakistan’s earthquake.

Where the money goes >

  • $93.2 billion – Amount of donations given to religious organizations, the top recipient of aid.
  • $38.6 billion – Amount donated to education, the second largest sector.

Decking the White House >

  • 18 ft., 6 in. – Height of the White House Christmas tree.
  • 17 – Number of decorated trees in the White House.
  • 1,089 – Feet of garland strung throughout the first mansion.
  • 4,638 – Red ornament balls.
  • 269 – Wreaths in the White House.

Even more Christmas numbers >

  • 36 million – Estimated number of real Christmas trees to be sold in 2006
  • 46 million – Households that plan to use an artificial tree this year
  • 55% – Consider shopping for presents more of a joyful experience than a chore
  • 40% – Consider it more of a chore
  • $260 billion – charitable donations in all of 2005
  • $245 billion – charitable donations in all of 2004
  • $791 – Amount the average consumer is expected to spend this year
  • $738 – Amount consumer spent in the 2005 holiday season
  • 47% – Consumers predicted to shop online this holiday season
  • Dec. 19 – Busiest mailing day, with twice the average volume
  • Dec. 21 – Busiest delivery day of the year

Sources: Center for a New American Dream, BIGResearch, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Harper’s Index, The Joy of Cooking, Department of Defense, Unity Marketing, National Christmas Tree Association, USDA Economic Research Service, Guinness Book of World Records 2006, US Census, US Department of Commerce, Charity Navigator, Giving Institute, The White House, Gallup, US Postal Service.

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28 Responses to “Counting on Christmas Statistics”

  1. Kate

    I put this in a blog about christmas.. I weill also post the link… thank you!

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  3. Interesting « Life in Purgatory

    [...] I came across this blog (http://christmasspirit.wordpress.com/2006/12/19/counting-on-christmas-statistics/) the other day while surfing. I must say, there are a few numbers in there that I was astounded by. [...]

  4. jasontrauer

    Ever try to locate statistics on total consumer spending for any particular year? I haven’t found anything tabulated yet. I’d like to know the difference between what we spend during the rest of the year and specifically for the holidays. No one seems to care about these figures. The only numbers you will find offered on websites will be Holiday sale figures and online sales figures and projections. Give me a flat number on total consumer spending for a particular year (recent year) using the same sort of criteria for holiday numbers and I will be the happiest boy this holiday season.

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  6. l33

    interesting statistics, anyway mxmas and hny!

  7. Logan Renz

    This is really cool. I cannot believe the number of numbers your put up. My only wish were that the “where the money goes” section were only one number and that number was education.

    Great Work!

    Regards,
    Logan Renz

  8. rw_man

    “$93.2 billion – Amount of donations given to religious organizations, the top recipient of aid.
    $38.6 billion – Amount donated to education, the second largest sector.”

    Did you ever ask yourself why this is the case? It’s because the Government basically runs the education system and when the Gov get’s involved in something it completely kills any motivation for citizens to give money to education. Same thing happened with private vs. state orphanages. Once the state started setting up Orphanages then private donations went bye bye. This is simply because no one in their right mind tries to compete with the Government once they have taken over a new sector of our society. Trust me I know this well because I live in Russia and see this effect everywhere.

    Russian Women the Real Truth
    http://russianwomen.wordpress.com

  9. $93.2 billion given to religious organizations, $38.6 billion to education. « Dimaak-Ka-Dahee

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  10. Tadpole

    Very interesting statistics. Sad to see religion is getting more money than education. Seems like that’s probably a source of many of the issues we face in the United States today…

  11. wesley

    On the religion/education issue, let me remind everyone that Religious organizations get ZERO federal funding, and COMPLETELY depend on private donations. People gave 38.6 billion to Education in ADDITION to Federal Funding. Besides, many religious organizations (and let’s not forget the Salvation Army) do a lot of great work for society.

  12. Trevor Blake

    Please provide citations for your claims.

  13. Payam

    Nice job of research, and thank you for citing the sources. It’s strange that one can so thoroughly quantitate the amount by which the American priorities are completely out of whack, and yet have nobody take notice or action. Sheesh….

  14. Amishnet

    The religious organizations get so much more money than education, in my humble opinion, because the religious organizations actually do something good and tangible with the money. Education has taken a nosedive into a horrible ‘social engineering’ that accomplishes nothing for the children or the society. If I hadn’t taught my own children their reading, writing, arithmetic, social science, American history, and on and on, they wouldn’t have learned it in school! I took a LOT of heat from the teachers, too, over it. At least if I give money to Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul, someone gets food in their belly, someone gets medication they can’t afford, someone’s heat bill gets paid.

  15. Rob Caskey

    “ED currently administers a budget of about $88.9 billion per year—$57.6 billion in discretionary appropriations and $31.3 billion in mandatory appropriations”

    http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/index.html?src=ln

    Ok, thats Federal, which is only a very tiny chunk, most of education is funded at the state & local levels. What about State?

    http://www.oms.nysed.gov/budget/bud0708/2007-8summary2.htm#2 says NY funds like 22 billion a year at the state level in addition. And then there are local sales taxes, etc.

    So err yeah, I don’t have any qualms about funding my church.

    Would you rather we run churches by taxes and fund education 100% by donation?

  16. truckerswife

    Great post with super statistics if only even 1%b of those would go to those who most need it.

  17. James

    I second the request for source citations.

  18. grhomeboy

    Well, it seems that this post has made the news or is it the talk of the town? Anyway, let me say a BIG Thank You to everyone who has commented as well as to those who will add their comments in the future.

    Since a few of you asked about our sources, here are again, for the second time (although these are mentioned on the footnote of this post, i.e. at the end of the post/entry) >

    Sources: Center for a New American Dream, BIGResearch, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Harper’s Index, The Joy of Cooking, Department of Defense, Unity Marketing, National Christmas Tree Association, USDA Economic Research Service, Guinness Book of World Records 2006, US Census, US Department of Commerce, Charity Navigator, Giving Institute, The White House, Gallup, US Postal Service.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2007 to everyone!

  19. links for 2006-12-28 » aardling

    [...] Counting on Christmas Statistics From 25-year-old fruitcake to the new PlayStation 3, Americans celebrate the holidays in their own way. Here’s a yuletide yardstick of the 2006 season. $93.2 billion given to religious organizations, $38.6 billion to education. (tags: Christmas USA statistics commercial government) [...]

  20. prabhagovind

    Very very interesting statistics!!:)

  21. sportandnews

    wow thats alot! lol check out mine..

  22. shelbycockrell

    These stats are insane but I believe them. I cannot understand spending this much money on one day! It’s like a wedding or something.

  23. Michelle

    can you tell me where I can find similar statistics for online holiday donations? or even some of your other stats? they’re great and I’m looking for 2006 holiday charity stats.

  24. grhomeboy

    @ Michelle

    try any search engine such as google or other

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  26. Potter

    These statistics are very intersting. There is one descrepancy I am trying to figure out though. At the top it says “$457.4 billion – Expected holiday sales in 2006.” Then just under that it says “$791 – Amount each consumer is expected to spend this year.”

    If you do the math on this it comes out to over 500 million consumers. Can anyone shed any light on the details of these numbers? Where the source is for those two stats?

    Using it for a presentation and it would be very helpful.

  27. grhomeboy

    Expected sales VS Expected expense is simply a forecast figure [both refer to year 2006].

    As far as sources of the statistics you can find and read them as above, but here are again >
    Sources: Center for a New American Dream, BIGResearch, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Harper’s Index, The Joy of Cooking, Department of Defense, Unity Marketing, National Christmas Tree Association, USDA Economic Research Service, Guinness Book of World Records 2006, US Census, US Department of Commerce, Charity Navigator, Giving Institute, The White House, Gallup, US Postal Service.

  28. atul kumar

    it’s very usefull for all selling criteria. thank’s a lot ….

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