we may not be as broke as we think

As Christmas approaches, lots of people are lamenting the fact that there is little or no money to spend on gifts, parties or travel this year. I came across some stats from last year that may prove otherwise. Check this out:

In 2008, the U.S. Postal Service delivered an estimated 19 billion cards, letters, and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In December 2008, despite a devastatingly bad economy, the nation’s department stores reported $28.2 billion in retail sales—14 percent of the overall sales for 2008.

An additional $24 billion was spent via electronic shopping or mail-order houses.

U.S. Christmas tree farmers reported $410 million in sales in 2008. To decorate those trees, over $470 million was spent to import decorations from China.

The value of U.S. toy imports from China between January and August 2009 totals $4.3 billion.

Maybe things are better than they appear. At least we can hope so. I am getting from this that it is time to look more closely at our priorities. While there is nothing wrong with buying decorations, we can’t really say we are in poverty if we are spending millions to do so.

source: “Facts for Features: The 2009 Holiday Season,” Census.gov (10-29-09)

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