Percentage of cat owners who go the extra mile this time of year to buy their cat the perfect present to put under the tree, according to a survey conducted by Temptations Treats for Cats: 46
Percentage of female owners who consider their cat when buying gifts during the holidays: 49
Percentage of men who do the same: 43
Estimated percentage of homes that still put up and decorate a real tree each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 20
Percentage of U.S. households that now use artificial trees to decorate for the holidays: 50
Percentage of homes that do not use a tree for the holidays: 30
Source: U.S. Census Bureau.
Number of children (under the age of 18) in the world, according to Santa statistics from Funs.co.uk: 2 billion
At a rate of, say, 3.5 children per household with at least one good kid in each, number of homes Santa calls on: 91.8 million
Number of hours Santa has to complete his Christmas Eve work, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the Earth, assuming he travels east to west: 31
Percentage of attendees at the office Christmas party who kissed a colleague, according to a poll by TGI Friday's: 23
Percentage who made a fool of themselves: 19
Percentage who shared a personal secret they wished they hadn't: 10
Source: TGI Friday's.
Compared to last year, percentage increase in the price index in the whimsical economic analysis by PNC Wealth Management based on the prices of gifts in the holiday classic "The Twelve Days of Christmas": 7.7
Current price tag for these gifts, up from $25,431.18 last year: $27,393.19
Cost to a very thoughtful true love wishing to buy the whole shebang from a single partridge to 12 drummers drumming for each verse (that's 364 separate pieces of Christmas joy): $114,651.18
Source: PNC Financial Services Group.
Year of the first written record of a decorated Christmas tree (Riga, Latvia), according to History.com's Christmas Section: 1510
Year there is a record from Alsace, France (then a German territory), that trees were sold in the marketplace and brought home and set up undecorated and limited by law to the size of "8 shoe lengths" (slightly over 4 feet): 1530
Period it became common in Germany to decorate Christmas trees with apples: 1600s
Period during which the Christmas tree was introduced in the U.S. by German settlers, rapidly growing from tabletop size to floor-to-ceiling: 1800s
Year that Christmas trees began to be sold commercially in the United States: 1851
Year that Franklin Pierce is credited with bringing the first Christmas tree to the White House: 1853
Source: History.com's Christmas Section.
Percentage of Americans who indicate that they'll be "giving back" in some way this holiday season, whether it be in the form of money or goods, volunteering or both, according to a survey conducted on behalf of PlanG: 70
Percentage who say that "knowing a business gives back in some way impacts their purchase decision": 69
Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.
Number of cases of wine consumed in the U.S. annually, according to the Wine Institute, Department of Commerce Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau: 330 million
Number of cases of wine consumed in France annually: 320.6 million
Average amount of wine consumed annually per U.S. adult: 267 ounces
Source: Wine Institute.
Percentage of Americans who will travel this holiday season, according to a TripAdvisor survey: 45
Percentage of travelers who will stay with family or friends: 49
Percentage who will stay in a hotel: 45
Percentage who will stay in a vacation rental: 9
"Every saint has a past and every sinner a future." -- Oscar Wilde
(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)