The U.S. Census offers some fun holiday facts just in time to serve as conversation starters at those highly anticipated, exciting office parties.
Between January and September, Americans spent $1 billion on imported Christmas tree ornaments from (wait for it) China. Also, China was the leading foreign source of of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States, having a value of $137.5 million in that same period.
There were 563 locations in the U.S. that mostly produced dolls, toys and games in 2012. California led the nation with 95.
U.S. cities with holiday names — where most people would love to have letters, packages or greeting cards postmarked from now — include Noel, Mo.; Mount Holly, N.C.; Holly Springs, Miss.; Snowflake, Ariz.; Santa Claus, Ind.; North Pole, Alaska; Dasher, Ga.; Rudolph, Wis.; and Santa Claus, Ga.
For the U.S. Postal Service, an estimated 450 million to 470 million packages are expected to be delivered between Nov. 17 and Christmas Day. That’s up 12 percent from last year.
Retail sales in the nation’s department stores in December 2013 totaled $24.4 billion. Inventory in U.S. department stores grew 22.8 percent from Aug. 31, 2013, to Nov. 30, 2013.
The estimated value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2013 was $44.5 billion. That was the highest total for any month last year.
There were 30,185 electronic shopping and mail-order houses in business in 2012, employing 365,508 workers.
Expect all of the shopping data to be higher this year as more wallets loosen because more people are benefiting from the improving economy.