Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 11, 2015

In 2015, percentage increase in the price index of the the holiday classic "The Twelve Days of Christmas," according to PNC Wealth Management: 0.6

Total cost to a very thoughtful true love who buys every item, from a single partridge to 12 drummers drumming, from each verse (that's 364 separate pieces of Christmas joy): $155,407.00

Cost of each individual partridge in a pear tree: $215.00

Cost of five golden rings: $750.00

Cost of seven swans a-swimming: $13,125.00

Source: PNC Wealth Management.

Percentage of pet "parents" who say they plan on buying presents for their pets this holiday, according to a Petco survey: 82

Percentage who plan on buying special treats for their pets: 87

Source: Petco.

When dining with family only, percentage of Americans who say they have a no cellphone policy at the table, according to findings from the Toluna Quicksurveys annual Naughty and Nice behaviors survey: 51

Percentage who say they have blocked family or a friend on social media without them knowing: 36

Source: Toluna QuickSurveys.

Percentage of workers who don't plan to take any paid days off around the holidays, according to a survey by Spherion survey: 19

Of those workers who have paid time off, percentage who will lose at least two paid days off because they are unable to take them before the end of the year: 30

Percentage who will lose more than five days: 6

Source: Spherion.

Rank of crowds and long lines (61 percent) on the list of the biggest holiday dreads, according to a Consumer Reports poll: 1

Ranks of bad traffic, aggressive or thoughtless driving in store parking lots, and gaining weight on the list: 2, 3, 4

Source: Consumer Reports.

Among those who typically use credit cards for any of their holiday spending, percentage who say they pay it off either right away or within a month, according to a Harris poll: 62

Percentage who say they pay it off within three months: 15

Percentage who say six months: 8

Percentage who say it takes them longer than six months to pay off the debt: 8

Source: The Harris Poll.

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

Estimated value of the necktie-making business in the United States per year: $390 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of Americans who are concerned about getting sick from family/friends or other travelers during the holiday travel season, yet continue to put others at risk by engaging in regular holiday activities while sick, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Merck Manuals: 28

Percentage who admit that they do not take any extra precautions to stay healthy between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day: 25

Source: Merck Manuals.

Number of Americans who have had packages stolen from their doorsteps before they could open them, according to a report by insuranceQuotes.com: 23 million

Number who have had a guest injured in their home during the holidays: 7 million

Number who have had fires caused by Christmas trees and other decorations: 2 million

Source: insuranceQuotes.com.

Percentage of all annual retail sales that take place during the holiday period, according to the National Retail Federation: 19.2

Source: LexisNexis.

Idle Thought

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." -- Mark Twain

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