In 2007 Holiday Retail Sales in the US totalled 474.5 Billion dollars! It will be interesting to see if that number is scaled back this year. Want to see where people spent some of that money?
$9.3 billion in jewelry store sales
$5.8 billion in stores on hobbies, toys, and games
$19.8 billion in computer and vido game, console, and accessory sales
$700 million in candle sales
$26.3 billion in gift cards
30-35 million Christmas trees are sold in the US every year
20 billion cards, letters, and packages are delivered by the US Postal Service betwen Thanksgiving and Christmas
275 million first class cards and letters were mailed on December 17, 2007, the busiest mailing day of the year
67 million turkeys are eaten at Thanksgiving and Christmas
131 million pounds of eggnog were sold during the 2006 holiday season
In November and December of 2007, consumers piled up an estimated $12.8 Billion in new debt, according to Cardtrak. (an organization that tracks credit card use) That is 16% of the total debt accumulated that year.
This info is courtesy of GOOD, a weekly series available at Starbucks. Starbucks partners with (RED) to generate money for the Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. This cause is important to me and hits close to home, my husband and I adopted our daughter from Ethiopia in 2003. Visit joinred to learn more.
Consider giving a gift to someone around the world through Heifer International ; you can donate money to buy different animals for a family. I love this organization because they aren't just handing out food, they are helping people become self sufficient, it really changes their lives and helps improve communities.
In 2007 the average American planned to spend $800 on holiday related shopping and $100 on themselves. I bet that number will come down this year.
Enjoy the holidays with your friends and loved ones!