Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 23, 2015

Ranks of Orlando, Cancun and New York as the top New Year's destinations for Americans, according to a survey by Orbitz Worldwide: 1, 2, 3

Busiest day for New Year's travel: December 30

Source: Orbitz Worldwide.

Percentage of people who say they have three or more varieties of pie during the holidays, according to a survey commissioned by Fleischmann's Yeast and Karo Syrup brands: 48

Percentage who enjoy the last piece of pie for breakfast the next morning: 34

Percentage who sneak the last piece while everyone is in bed: 23

Source: MSL Group.

Year that the New Year's Eve Ball made its maiden descent from the flagpole atop One Times Square, according to a survey commissioned by Fleischmann's Yeast and Karo Syrup brands: 1907

Number of versions of the ball that have been designed to signal the new year: 7

Number of 25-watt light bulbs that adorned the first New Year's Eve Ball, made of iron and wood: 100

Weight of the ball, which was 5 feet in diameter: 700 pounds

Source: Times Square Visitors Center.

Ranks of Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and the Fourth of July on the list of America's most loved holidays, according to a Harris Poll: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ranks of turkey, stuffing, ham, pie, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes on the list of the one food or dish Americans most look forward to eating each year during this holiday season: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (tie)

Source: The Harris Poll.

Percentage of workers who will work at least part of the week of Dec. 28, according to research by Robert Half: 59

Percentage who plan to take the entire week off for vacation: 28

Percentage who will take time off but will check in with the office: 60

Source: Robert Half.

Amount of extra waste generated in the holiday period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, according to the the Environmental Protection Agency and the American Chemistry Council: 1 million tons

Source: Plastics Make It Possible.

Percentage of consumers who returned a holiday gift after telling the person who gave it to them that they loved it, according to a study by the Centre for Generational Kinetics and Gift Card Impressions: 53

Percentage of people aged 18 to 34 who say they have posted online a picture of a ridiculous gift they have received: 30

Percentage of people who have watched someone open a gift they gave them, realized they didn't like it, yet witnessed the person lie and say they liked it: 80

Source: Center for Generational Kinetics.

Percentage of women who plan to improve their look in 2016, according to a survey by SKOUT: 82

Percentage of men who plan to improve their look in 2016: 71

Source: SKOUT.

While most people say they would prefer to host the holidays at their house, when asked to name the relative for whom they'd most like to find separate accommodations, percentage who said they'd send their sibling packing, according to a HomeAway report: 29

Percentage who said their grown child could stay elsewhere: 22

Source: HomeAway.

Ranks of holiday celebrations, watching TV/movies, cooking, reading and enjoying fireplace fires on the list of favorite winter activities, according to an Ipsos poll: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Idle Thought

"I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received." -- Antonio Porchia, poet

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at