If one were to assume that Santa works in the realm of standard time, estimated length of time he would be able to spend visiting each home, according to NORAD: 2 to 3 ten-thousandths of a second
Length of time Santa's Christmas Eve trip seems to take to us: 24 hours (Though, to Santa it may last days, weeks or even months in standard time because he functions within a different time-space continuum than the rest of us do.)
Percentage of travelers who feel pressure to travel to see family for the holidays, according to the results of a TripAdvisor survey: 22
Percentage who have cut short a holiday family trip because they were "family-ed out": 17
Percentage of survey respondents who start at the top by eating the head of a gingerbread cookie first, according to the results of the annual holiday survey by Dunkin' Donuts: 64
Percentage who go straight for the gingerbread man's legs: 20
Percentage of cookie eaters who begin with a farewell to the arms: 16
Source: Dunkin' Donuts.
Percentage of consumers who will buy less-expensive gifts this year, according to a study by Ogilvy Chicago in partnership with consumer insight firm Communispace: 53
Percentage who are setting a budget: 45
Percentage who are making gifts: 24
Source: Ogilvy & Mather.
Percentage of respondents who believe being together with family and friends is important, more so than getting a raise (51 percent), having a career (47 percent) and having the best of everything (30 percent), according to survey by Bacardi: 64
Percentage of those with high togetherness who also have high well-being: 84
Source: Bacardi USA Inc.
Year that the first Christmas tree debuted at Rockefeller Center, standing only 20 feet tall -- about a quarter of the size of this year's holiday specimen -- and erected by construction workers eager to receive a day's pay in the depths of the Great Depression, according to Time Magazine: 1931
Height of the 2010 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree: 74 feet
Weight of the tree: 12 tons
Source: Time Magazine.
Year that the first Christmas seals went on sale at a table in the Wilmington, Del., post office for a penny apiece, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1907
Initial goal of the first Christmas seals sale: $300
In 1908, value of the Christmas seals sale: $135,000
Source: U.S. Census Bureau.
Percentge of U.S. adults who would want to contact Santa Claus if given the chance, according to a survey sponsored by WhitePages.com and conducted by Harris Interactive: 80
Percentage of adults who would want to contact Saint Nick in person: 26
Percentage who would send him an e-mail: 24
Source: Harris Interactive.
Date of the probable first flight of Santa's sleigh, a versatile, all-weather, multipurpose, vertical short-take-off and landing vehicle capable of traveling vast distances without refueling, and deployed, as far as we know, only on Christmas Eve (and briefly for a test flight about a month before Christmas), according to NORAD: Dec. 24, 343 A.D.
Length of the sleigh, built by Kringle & Elves Inc., with a home base at the North Pole: 75 candy canes or 150 lollipops
Weight at takeoff: 75,000 gumdrops
Maximum speed: Faster than starlight
Average number of years it takes to grow a Christmas tree of typical height (6 to 7 feet), according to the National Christmas Tree Association: 7
Source: National Christmas Tree Association.
"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done." -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)