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Christmas by the Numbers

Story highlights

  • Holiday sales are expected to rise 3.9.%
  • 62% of Americans attend a religious service on Christmas or Christmas Eve
  • 14% of real trees sold that were "cut-your own."

With Christmas comes Christmas trivia. Here's a look at the holiday by the numbers:

1870 - The year Christmas Day became a federal holiday.

3000 - The number of electric lights on the National Christmas tree on Christmas Eve in 1923.

24.5 million - Real Christmas trees purchased in the United States in 2011.

14 - Percentage of real trees sold that were "cut-your own."

3.9% - Expected amount of increased holiday sales in the United States in 2013 over last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

    602.1 billion - Amount of expected total sales, if they do increase by 3.9%.

    62 - Percentage of Americans who attend religious services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

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    More than 70 million - Poinsettia plants sold in the United States each year, within about a six-week period.

    2.7 million - Candy canes manufactured each day by the Spangler Candy Co.

    5,083,000 miles per hour - Average speed Santa's sleigh must travel to be able to deliver presents all over the world in one night.

    $107,000 - This year's cost of all of the gifts in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song.

    364 - Total number of Christmas gifts the "true love" gives.

    27 - Percentage of people surveyed in 2009 who said they wrap their gifts to others a day or two before Christmas.

    4 inches - Real-life height of the young Rudolph figure used in the stop-motion animated TV holiday classic, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

    21% - Expected increase in employment for dentists from 2010 to 2020. That's good news for Hermey, Rudolph's friend who wants to be a dentist instead of making toys.

    74 - Percentage of adults who said the female head of the household was most likely to be the one to wrap all of the family's gifts.

    3 hours - The amount of time it took to apply make-up on Jim Carrey in the movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

    502,165 - The number of lights on the Canberra, Australia, house that won the 2013 Guinness World Records.

    1963 - The year Andy Williams released the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".