Here are some Christmas facts you may not know. U.S. farmers sell a half billion dollars worth of Christmas trees. The U.S. Postal Service delivers about 20 billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We spend billions of dollars on toys and other gifts. Read on for more fun Christmas facts and trivia about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve - everything you need to survive the holiday season.
Christmas by the Numbers
In 2007, the busiest mailing day was expected to be Dec. 17, with more than 275 million cards and letters mailed, more than 3 times the typical 82 million.
China is the top supplier of ornaments and artificial Christmas trees. Americans imported nearly $600 million worth of Christmas tree ornaments and $66 million of fake trees from China between January and August 2008.
Our last-minute shopping helped push up sales in the final month of the year:
- U.S. department stores took in $30.5 billion from retail sales just in December 2007.
- Department stores made 14 percent of their annual sales in that month.
- Retail e-commerce sales totaled $39 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Toys, Toys and More Toys
Only 96 U.S. companies primarily manufactured dolls and stuffed toys in 2006, employing 2,410 people. Another 691 establishments made games, toys and children's vehicles, providing jobs to 13,665 workers that year.
U.S. manufacturers shipped $3.4 billion worth of dolls, toys and games in 2006.
Americans imported $4.9 billion worth of toys from China, excluding dolls, just between January and August 2008. These include:
- $42 million worth of roller skates
- $136 million of sports shoes
- $638 million of golf equipment
- $31 million worth of basketballs
- $42 million worth of ice skates
Fixings for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's
If you eat potato latkes this Hanukkah, they probably originated in Idaho or Washington, which grew 52% of the nation's spuds in 2007.
Those lighting candles for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa contributed to the $1.3 billion worth of candles shipped in this country in 2002.
U.S. manufacturers shipped $475 million worth of sparkling wines and champagne that year.
Places with Holiday Names
If you live in Noel, Mo., how could you avoid the holiday spirit?
Other towns with holiday-oriented names include North Pole, Ala.; Rudolph, Wis.; Dasher, Ga.; and Snowflake, Ariz.
There are two locales named Santa Claus, in Indiana and Georgia. Over a dozen places include Holly in their name.
Source: the U.S. Census Bureau
For more fun facts about the holidays, check out the About Working Moms calendar of holiday facts.