Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 06, 2019

Year that President Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn, according to and the National Christmas Tree Association: 1923

Year that the National Christmas Tree Association began giving a Christmas tree to the president and first family for display in the Blue Room: 1966

Source: University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners.

Percentage of Americans who would give up extraordinary things to eat pizza as much as they want without feeling guilty, according to a survey by Caulipower: 63

Percentage who would have a social media detox for one year in exchange for guiltless pizza consumption: 37

Percentage who would throw their smartphones away for one month: 17

Percentage who would give up sex for a year: 16

Source: Caulipower.

Percentage of retirees who say they always pay their credit card balances in full when due, compared to 39% of current workers, according to a study by T. Rowe Price: 72

Percentage who say they always stick to their monthly budget if they have one, compared to 26% of current workers: 52

Percentage who say they never have problems paying their bills on time, compared to 58% of workers: 89

Source: T. Rowe Price.

Amount that Americans who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30), according to the 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business: $19.6 billion

Percentage of American adults who are aware of Small Business Saturday, which always falls two days after Thanksgiving: 70

Source: Genesys.

Percentage of families who committed to an unplugged vacation who had enjoyed themselves more, according to research from Alamo Rent A Car: 41

Percentage who had better conversations: 40

Percentage who felt more relaxed: 38

Percentage who felt closer as a family: 36

Source: Alamo Rent A Car.

Amount the average December holiday air traveler will spend, according to a report: $1,033

Among those planning to stay in hotels or short-term rentals, average expected expense for the December holidays: $673

Percentage of millennials who will fly or stay in a hotel over the December holidays, versus 12% of those age 39 and older: 35


Globally, percentage of respondents who said they have tried a diet to lose weight, according to a Global Advisor survey by Ipsos: 51

Percentage who said they were content with their weight: 55

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Percentage of households that are "high spenders" -- spending more than $2,100 during the holidays -- accounting for 60% of total holiday spending, according to Deloitte: 20

Percentage of dollars spent on holiday travel, restaurants and hotels that are accounted for by high spenders: 70

Source: Deloitte.

Number of pieces of mail the U.S. Postal Service handles every day, according to a report from Clutch: 484.4 million

Number of packages handled each day by FedEx: 6.2 million

Number of packages and documents UPS handles daily: 20.7 million

Source: Clutch.

Estimated cash gifts children expect to receive this Christmas, according to the Kids' Allowance Report by Rooster Money: $58

Source: RoosterMoney.

Idle Thought

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." -- Desmond Tutu

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at