The holiday season is significant for a variety of reasons. In addition to its religious significance, the holiday season is when many retailers enjoy their greatest successes.

To understand just how much business Christmas and Chanukah can bring in, consider the following figures.

20: The percentage of annual sales jewelry stores indicate are made during the month of December.

150,205: The number of clothing and accessories stores open in the United States as of 2009.

27.2: The amount, in billions of dollars, spent during the December 2010 holiday retail season.

983: The amount, in millions, of Christmas tree ornaments imported from China between January and September 2011.


34.87: The average cost of real Christmas trees as of 2011. Artificial trees sell for an average of $70.55.

4.0: The percentage the National Retail Federation expects retail sales to increase this year.

2012: The year when holiday retail sales were the weakest since 2008. According MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, sales in the last two months of 2012 increased by just 0.7 percent from the previous year. Some financial analysts blamed Hurricane Sandy, an epic storm that caused billions of dollars in damage along the eastern coast of the United States, for the small increase in consumer spending.

24: The percentage of U.S. retail sales made by only the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states.

8.4: The percentage growth of online sales from 2011 to 2012. Online sales generally make up about 10 percent of total holiday business.

70: The number, in millions, of poinsettia plants sold in the United States each year.

107,000: The projected cost, adjusted for inflation, of all of the gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

74: The percentage of adults who say the female head of the household is most likely to wrap all of the family’s gifts.

3: The number of years a store-bought Christmas fruit cake can be kept fresh if it is refrigerated. 

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