Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 23, 2020

With resolution season fast approaching, percentage of Americans who say their New Year's resolutions will be influenced by COVID-19, according to a WalletHub survey: almost 60

Percentage who think New Year's resolutions will be harder to keep in 2021 than 2020: 62

Source: WalletHub.

Year the concept of "New Year's" was first celebrated, according to New Years Facts, History and Stats by Expanded Ramblings: 2000 B.C., in Mesopotamia

Year that Jan. 1was first recognized as the start of the new year: 1522, in Venice

Year that "Auld Lang Syne" was written: 1788

Year that the first New Year's Day college football game was played, featuring Michigan vs. Stanford: 1902

Year that the first ball dropped in Times Square: 1907

Source: Expanded Ramblings.

On a scale of 1 to 10, percentage of Americans who rated their personal 2020 as only a 1 or a 2, according to data from the Ipsos Coronavirus Consumer Tracker: 15

When asked to step back and rate 2020 for the entire nation, the average rating given: 3.4

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

When asked about the perception of those who wear ugly holiday sweaters, percentage who believe that the garment indicates a strong sense of humor, according to a survey by 52

Percentage who say a sense of humor is the most attractive quality in a partner: 70

Percentage of those who typically would not make the first move who claim they would be more willing to initiate conversation if a potential partner was wearing an ugly holiday sweater: 42

Percentage who believe non-participation in an ugly sweater-themed gathering (virtual or in person) reveals close-minded characteristics: 78

Source: Group.

Estimated percentage of Americans who had to alter or cancel holiday travel plans due to COVID-19, according to a survey by Hotwire: 80

Percentage who dreaded breaking the news to loved ones and who procrastinated picking up the phone as long as possible: 28

Source: Hotwire.

For New Year's Eve in Times Square 2021, diameter of the New Year's Eve Ball design, a geodesic sphere, according to the Times Square official website: 12 feet

Weight of the ball: 11,875 pounds

Number of Waterford Crystal triangles that cover the ball, varying in size and ranging in length from 4 inches to 5 inches per side: 2,688

Number of Waterford Crystal triangles that will introduce the new Gift of Happiness design represented by a sunburst of bright cuts radiating outward like a beautiful sunny day: 192

Source: Times Square Visitors Center

Percentage of American adults (representing approximately 141 million people) who think that following through on their New Year's resolutions is well within the cards, according to a Finder survey: 55

Percentage of Americans adults who are rolling into 2021 without personal goals on the calendar: 26


In the midst of a year that includes a global pandemic, percentage of Americans who say that they definitely or probably will give more to nonprofits in 2020 than they did in 2019, according to research by Classy: 39

Percentage who said they had donated or planned to donate to social justice causes in 2020, with a majority of respondents noting that they are giving to these causes for the first time: 42

Source: Classy.

Percentage of Americans who are more concerned about their retirement today compared to a year ago, according to the Nov. 20 SimplyWise Index: 59 

Percentage of Social Security beneficiaries who now worry about outliving their savings in retirement: 43

Percentage of people in their 50s who now plan to work full time in retirement (up from 8% in May): 19

Source: SimplyWise.

Percentage of optimistic Americans -- those who believe the country's overall health situation will improve -- who plan to celebrate the winter holidays this year, according to a survey commissioned by NCSolutions: 94

Percentage of those optimistic Americans who say they plan to spend more this year than they did last year on food and in-home meals/celebrations, compared to 14% of those who feel the situation will stay the same and 17% who feel it will decline: 26

Source: NCSolutions

Idle Thought

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." -- Edith Wharton, novelist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at