Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 08, 2017

Percentage of U.S. workers who say they are happier on the job during the holidays, even though 35 percent admit to being more stressed this time of year, according to a survey from Accountemps: 51

Rank of balancing holiday events with work obligations as the most stressful part of the holiday season cited by workers: 1

Source: Accountemps.

Percentage of Americans who say the thing they most look forward to during the holiday season is spending time with friends and family, according to a Harris Poll: 52

Ranks of holiday dinners and parties, finding and giving presents, putting up holiday decorations, watching television specials or hearing holiday songs on the radio on the list of holiday events they most enjoy: 2 (tie), 4, 5

Percentage of Americans who say the one thing they dislike most about the holidays is spending too much money: 27

Source: The Harris Poll.

Percentage of Americans who celebrate Christmas, according to Pew research: 92

Percentage of Christians who celebrate: 96

Percentage of non-Christians who celebrate: 81

Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Average amount that companies are spending to thank each employee this holiday season, according to Advertising Specialty Institute survey: $79

Percentage that report they will spend over $100 on each: 23

Average amount that employers will spend to thank customers or prospects for their business: $46

Source: Advertising Specialty Institute.

When asked what their go-to gift was for someone they didn't know particularly well or someone they hadn't planned to give a gift originally, percentage who said gift cards, according to a survey by Consumer Reports: 29

Percentage who cited wine/other alcohol: 16

Percentage who said chocolates/dessert/candy: 15

Source: Consumer Reports.

Percentage of parents who try to get everything on their kids' wish lists, according to a T. Rowe Price survey: 58

Percentage of kids who expect them to buy everything on their lists: 66

Source: T. Rowe Price.

Percentage of Americans who plan to spend time with family and friends this holiday season, according to a nationwide survey by C Spire: 80

Percentage who plan to give or open gifts: 63

Percentage who plan to make a special meal or festive treats: 50

Percentage who plan to attend a church service: 31

Source: C Spire.

Estimated percentage of homes that still put up and decorate a real Christmas tree each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 20

Estimated percentage of U.S. households that now use artificial trees to decorate for the holidays: 50

Value of artificial Christmas trees imported into the U.S. from China during the first nine months of last year: $80 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of women who will buy a little something for themselves while shopping for others at Christmas, according to a Marshalls survey: 91

Percentage who say their significant other gives them the most thoughtful or surprising gifts: 50

Ranks of parents, significant others and siblings on the list of the toughest people to buy for: 1, 2, 3

Source: Marshalls.

Percentage of Americans who would skip exchanging gifts if their family and friends agreed to it, according to a survey conducted on behalf of SunTrust Bank: 69

Percentage of respondents who said they would use that money on activities with friends and family: 25

Source: Nielsen Online.

Idle Thought

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." -- Aesop

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at