Top Five Fun Facts: December

Eric DesRoberts continues his monthly series of facts and tidbits he’s uncovered during his research to better understand products and packaging. You can also check out his past Fun Facts here.

1. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are nearly 15,000 Christmas tree farms, and over 100,000 full or part-time jobs are created by the industry. The average growing time for a Christmas tree is seven years.

2. Switching over to a $1 coin piece could save the government more than $4 billion over a 30-year period. The Government Accountability Office reports that this is directly a result of the difference between the cost of producing coins or notes and their face values. A $1 note is expected to last about 4.7 years, while $1 coin is expected to be in circulation for 30 years.

Figure 1: Discounted Net Benefit to the Government of Replacing the $1 note with a $1 coin (Source: US Government Accountability Office)

3. About 91% of long distance (100+ miles round trip) holiday travel in the US is by personal vehicle. Air counts for nearly 6%, and bus, train, and other modes account for the remainder.  In 2001, when Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on Tuesday, the Saturday and Sunday preceding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were generally the busiest travel days of the entire 17-day holiday travel period.

4. In 1996, the US made up over 66% of the world’s online population. Today, it only accounts for about 12%.

5. The 2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (an 80 year-old Norway Spruce) is 80 feet tall, wrapped with 45,000 LED lights spanning about five miles, if strung end-to-end, and is topped with a 550 pound Swarovski crystal studded star. The estimated cost of the tree and ornaments comes in at around $75,000.


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