Saturday, December 20, 2008

Director of Purchasing: Lois Bidder Instrument repairman: Anita Hammer Attorney: Gil T. Azell

Christmas trivia
• During the Christmas buying season, Visa cards alone are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the United States.
• Hallmark introduced its first Christmas cards in 1915, five years after the founding of the company.
• In an effort to solicit cash to pay for a charity Christmas dinner in 1891, a large crab pot was set down on a San Francisco street, becoming the first Salvation Army collection kettle.
• More diamonds are purchased at Christmas-time (31 %) than during any other holiday or occasion during the year.
• More than three billion Christmas cards are sent annually in the United States.
• After ‘A Christmas Carol,’ Charles Dickens wrote several other Christmas stories, one each year, but none was as successful as the original.
• An average household in America will mail out 28 Christmas cards each year and see 28 cards return in their place.

Boring Christmas Statistics
$457.4 billion - Holiday sales
$93.2 billion - Donations given to religious organizations, the top recipient of aid
842 million mph - Speed Santa traveled to visit all 842,000,000 houses on his route
51.7 million - People who shopped online from work for holiday gifts
46 million - Households with an artificial Christmas tree this year
36 million- Estimated number of real Christmas trees sold
22 million - Households without a Christmas tree this year
$791 - Amount each consumer will spend this year ($451.34 - spent on family / $99.22 - spent on self)
$30.57 - Spent on greeting cards and postage
25 - Number of years that fruitcakes can age and still be “enjoyed,” as long as they have the right preservatives and are stored in tightly closed tins
11% - People who say they would make time to re-gift a fruitcake
4% - Americans who don't celebrate Christmas at all

'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’
Ad-man Robert L. May created “Rudolph” in 1939, when he wrote a whimsical little story and circulated it at Christmas time in pamphlet form among the Montgomery Ward mail-order department. Ten years later, tunesmith Johnny Marks composed a musical setting, and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” burst on the holiday scene in Gene Autry’s hugely successful recording. (Autry was originally afraid the song wasn’t right for his cowboy image, but his wife, Ira, convinced him it was.)

#1 Song on this date in history
December 21
1958 – ‘The Chipmunk Song’ (David Seville & the Chipmunks)
1952 – ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ (Jimmy Boyd)
1942 – ‘White Christmas’ (Bing Crosby)

History of Christmas Toys Timeline: ‘Lincoln Logs’
Question from last week: John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, introduces a new toy in 1916. He is inspired by the way his father designed the earthquake-proof ‘Imperial Hotel’ in Tokyo, Japan. What popular toy did he design?
Answer: John Lloyd Wright was inspired by his father’s building design to invent interlocking toy logs called Lincoln Logs, which children still use to build imaginative structures. The patent for Lincoln Logs [# 1,351,086] was issued 8/31/1920. As late as 1975, Lincoln Logs were still selling at a rate of one million sets a year.
Next week: In 1901, at just 22 years of age, Joshua L. Cowen creates a battery-powered toy as an ‘animated advertisement’ for products in a store’s display window. To his surprise, customers are more interested in buying his display toy, than the merchandise in the display window. What toy did he invent? Answer next week.

We would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.