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Present Sense: 12 New Holiday Facts

Snowman head to illustrate 12 holiday facts

Whatever the celebration, ’tis the season to be happy, merry and thankful.  Candles are lit, trees are decorated and corks are popped. Enjoy this bundle of seasonal news facts…and like some good holiday cheer, pass it around!


COFFEE TALK: Starbucks is offering a limited edition rose metal gift card for the holiday season. It’s worth $400 and costs $450. Only 1,000 available. Last year’s steel gift card was the same price but the edition was 5,000. What does that tell you about the coffee business? (Source: DesignTaxi)


SANTA’S CHECKING TWICE: Each year, Consumer Reports releases its “Naughty & Nice” List. Here are a couple of “high-flying” list-makers – NAUGHTY: United Airlines no longer offers families with small children the chance to board the plane early. United said the policy change, which was announced this summer, was designed to “simplify the boarding process.” NICE: Airlines typically allow flight cancellations within 24 hours of booking without financial penalty. Southwest offers greater flexibility if you need to switch flights. You can modify your itinerary without time restriction and simply pay the difference in cost between fares. At some other airlines, such changes can add hundreds of dollars in fees. (Source: Consumer Reports)


THE TECH GENERATION: In 2013, 53% of American Millennials (vs. 44% of Gen Xers) are wishing for tech gifts that keep them connected. Nearly one fifth (19%) of Millennials welcome new clothes for Christmas, while 29% of Gen Xers would like new gear. (Source: BusinessWire)


‘TIS THE SEASON TO GIVE: In a survey by Ask Your Target Market, 57% of respondents said they do donate to charity in some way over the holiday season. Of those who do, 46% said they make a monetary donation directly to an organization, 64% donate to a third party like a bell ringer or store that collects donations for a charity at checkout, 24% buy gifts for people through a mitten tree or adopt-a-family program, 63% donate items like home goods or nonperishable foods, and 22% donate time by volunteering. (Source: Charity Navigator)


SCROOGE MOVE: In 2012, consumers spent an average of $786 on holiday gifts, but if the latest poll from Gallup is correct they’ll be sitting on the wallets this year. Americans say they plan to spend an average of just $704 on holiday giving in 2013. (Source: USA Today)


CYBER SHOPPING SPREE: 68% of smartphone owners plan to use their devices for holiday shopping this year, primarily to search for store locations, check and compare prices and obtain product information. Smartphone owners also plan to spend 27% more on holiday gifts than non-smartphone owners. The survey also found 63% of consumers who own tablets plan to use the device for holiday shopping this year, primarily to shop or browse online. Note to retailers: make sure your site is mobile! (Source: WSJ)


PRESENT DAY: Other than eating, there are lots of other popular activities for holiday parties. 68% of those who attend holiday parties said they normally take part in some kind of gift exchange. 37% play games at their holiday parties. 33% watch movies. And 12% take part in other activities, such as music and readings. (Source: AYTM)


SANTA FLAWS: The popularity of Santa Claus is waning. 53% say Santa is an important element in their celebration of Christmas and only 48% maintain a positive impression of Santa Claus. 43% feel Santa receives too much media exposure and a whopping 56% say Santa improperly influences children at Christmastime. Past surveys indicated a steady approval rating hovering around 65% for Santa Claus. (Source:


BUY RECOMMENDATION: A quarter (25%) of shoppers feel that online shopping experiences improve at Christmas, while 42% of respondents stated that their overall in-store experience deteriorated at this time of year. Improved satisfaction is mainly due to the lack of checkout lines (53%), but price (51%) and the range of products available online (51%) are also seen as key benefits of ecommerce. (Source: eConsultancy)


HAPPY THANKSGIVUKKAH! The first day of Hanukkah this year occurred on November 28, Thanksgiving Day. This won’t happen again for another 77,798 years. (Source: Pacific Standard)


TRASH TALK: Approximately 4 million tons of waste each year is attributed to wrapping paper, shopping and gift bags. Fabric gift wrap is a recent trend (as is gift wrapping paper you can plant) for the environmentally conscious gift-giver. If every American family wrapped just one gift a year in fabric gift wrap, the paper saved could paper 15,000 football fields. (Source: Sustainable Baby Steps)


BELL RINGER: “It’s a Wonderful Life” once again tops the survey as the most popular Christmas movie of all time, with 54% of respondents indicating it as their favorite. More than 68% say they will watch it again in 2013. (Source:


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