Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 11, 2020

Percentage of U.S. and U.K. adults between the ages of 18 and 25 who think a modernized Santa should swap his heavy boots for sneakers, according to a survey from GraphicSpring: 25

Percentage who think he should ditch the sleigh for a flying car: 22

Percentage who would change Santa's delivery method, opting for his use of the Amazon Prime delivery service: 23

Source: GraphicSpring.

Year 2020 price tag for purchasing all presents from the beloved song "The 12 Days of Christmas," according to PNC Bank: $16,168.10

Decrease from last year's cost, with a third of the items literally not available for purchase this year because of COVID-19: $22,825.45 (58.5%)

If True Love is looking for a little sparkle this holiday season, amount that will have to be paid for five golden rings ($120 more for this index item than in 2019): $945.00

Largest price increase in this year's index, represented by the total cost of birds of a feather flocking together (a 36.4% increase from 2019): $328.50

Source: PNC Financial Services Group.

When asked what they would like most from their employer this holiday season, percentage of respondents who said a bonus, according to research from iSolved: 37

Percentage who said job security: 35

Percentage who said a merit raise: 21

Source: iSolved.

Percentage of American parents who think Mrs. Claus deserves more credit than she gets throughout the holiday season, according to a survey by Zulily: 68

Percentage who feel Mrs. Claus is the real brains behind the North Pole gift-giving operation: 57

Percentage of American moms who say their role in the family is primarily that of the "giver" when it comes to this magical time of the year: 88

Source: Zulily.

Ranks of phone, doll, Roblox, Lego and tablet on the girls' top 5 wish list, according to stats based on real wish lists entered into the RoosterMoney app by kids themselves over the last few months: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Lego, Fortnite, computer, Nintendo Switch and Pokemon on the boys' top 5 wish list: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: RoosterMoney.

Percentage of adults who say their at-home children believe in Santa Claus, according to a new Pew Research Center poll: 19

Percentage of children who plan to "pretend" that St. Nick will visit their house on Christmas Eve: 70

Percentage of parents who said that Santa "visited" their homes with presents as kids years ago: 72

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

Percentage of dog owners (and 71% of cat owners) who get special gifts or treats for their pets during the Christmas/winter holiday season, according to research by Packaged Facts: 77

Percentage of dog owners who say, "I consider my pets to be part of the family": 95

Percentage of cat owners who agree: 94

Source: Packaged Facts.

Each year, average number of fires that are sparked by dried-out Christmas trees, resulting in $9 million in property damage, according to Consumer Product Safety Commission reports released this year: 100

Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Percentage of shoppers who plan on using one credit card while shopping this holiday season, according to findings of Generali Global Assistance in conjunction with Mastercard: 62

Percentage of consumers who plan to do their holiday shopping online, up 21% from last year: 86

Percentage who indicated they will also shop for the holidays in a brick-and-mortar store, down 15% from last year: 48

Source: Generali Global Assistance.

Percentage of companies that implemented salary/wage cuts during the pandemic and had fully reversed this action by September, according to research by the Conference Board: 25

Percentage of companies whose employees either already returned or are currently planning to return to the workplace by March 2021 -- dependent on the severity of the second COVID-19 surge: 60

Percentage who are awaiting a vaccine or noting other determining factors, such as trends in COVID-19 cases in the geographic area: 25

Source: The Conference Board.

Idle Thought

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer." -- Zora Neale Hurston, folklorist and writer

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at