Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 30, 2012

Percentage of Americans who usually make New Year's resolutions, according to Statistic Brain: 45

Percentage of people who are successful in achieving their resolution: 8

Percentage of Americans who have maintained their resolution through the first week: 75

Percentage who have lasted past six months: 46

Source: Statistic Brain.

Number of brides who married on 12/12/12 -- a 1,446 percent increase over the prior year, according to David's Bridal estimates: 75,000

Date of the second-to-last consecutive series of the century, and though it falls on a Tuesday, many brides have already chosen that day to wed: 11/12/13

Source: David's Bridal Inc.

Percentage of people who have broken up with someone to avoid buying them a Christmas present, according to a survey by JustSingles.com: 5

When single respondents were asked what was at the top of their Christmas list this year -- a relationship, an iPad or an experience day (such as skydiving or a spa visit) -- percentage who chose a relationship: 77

Source: JustSingles.

Percentage of people who say relatives overstay their welcome after a day or less, with some saying their family members wear out their welcome as soon as they arrive, according to a HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report: 22

Percentage who say their relatives never wear out their welcome: 33

Source: HomeAway.

Percentage of ties sold annually that are Christmas gifts, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 20

Value of the necktie-making business per year in the U.S.: $390 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Whether trimming a Christmas tree or preparing a festive meal, percentage of Americans who report that they can't celebrate the holiday season properly without the right music, according to a survey by Pandora: 90

In picking the perfect music to accompany their get-togethers, percentage of people who admit they prefer classic holiday tunes from artists such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole, rather than new releases from today's chart toppers: 75

Source: Pandora.

Cost of the Christmas show tree encrusted in diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other jewels that the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, put up in 2010, according to Bloomberg: $11 million

Source: Bloomberg.

Percentage of companies that said they could attribute better relationships directly to past holiday gift-giving programs, according to an Advertising Specialty Institute survey: 62

Source: Advertising Specialty Institute.

When U.K. adults were asked why they regretted spending money on an ex's presents, percentage who said it was because they broke up with their partner soon after giving them, according to research by MoneySupermarket: 39

Percentage of women who stated they didn't think their former partner was worth spending that much money on: 35

Percentage of men who said the same: 25

Source: Money Supermarket.

Percentage of online shoppers who say they are not likely to make additional purchases from websites that charge shipping on returns, according to a survey, commissioned by ShopRunner: 81

Percentage of these shoppers who feel that returning items purchased online is a complicated process: 69

Source: ShopRunner.

Idle Thought

"When money speaks, the truth keeps silent." -- Russian proverb

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)