Really. Every year retailers and industry focus on the year-end buying spree and try to project your holiday numbers. Here are some for 2006:
$791.10 -- How much the average shopper was expected to spend this year on holiday merchandise, a $52.99 increase over last year
$99.22 -- Average amount shoppers were expected to spend on themselves, taking advantage of sales and discounts
$30.77 -- Amount people were expected to spend on Christmas cards (not including postage), with the average household sending some 26 Christmas cards
31 million -- Number of real Christmas trees Americans were expected to buy this year
20 billion -- Number of letters, packages and cards delivered by the U.S. Postal Service between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year
9.8 million -- the number of packages that moved through the FedEx system on their busiest day of the year, December 18th. That's 63% more than FedEx handles on a normal day and up 10% from the same day a year ago.
Finally, China was the leading country of origin for a number of popular holiday gifts including: electric trains ($65 million), puzzles ($49 million), roller skates ($82 million), sports footwear ($215 million), golf equipment ($47 million) and basketballs ($30 million). China barely edged out Canada as the leading supplier of ice skates ($6.7 million versus $6.6 million), with Thailand, of all places, ranking third ($4.9 million).