The Price of Reindeer Meat, How Fast A Fake Christmas Tree Burns, and Other Fun Facts from Harper’s Index

The following citations are culled from a search of Harper’s Index that used the term “Christmas.” (If it’s not obvious, the numbers before each datum are the month and year that Harper’s originally published the datum in its Index)–

12/84   Number of robots FAO Schwarz expects to sell this Christmas season: 10,000

12/84   Total number of recordings of “White Christmas” that have been sold: 150,431,669

12/84   Chance of a white Christmas in New York: 23%

In Minneapolis: 73%

12/85   Percentage of Jewish households in the United States that had Christmas trees in 1984: 12

12/85   Rank of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” among all Christmas singles, in sales last year: 1

12/87   Price of a pound of reindeer meat at Lobel’s Prime Meats in New York City: $14.98

12/88   Estimated cost of a partridge in a pear tree, retail: $39.95

12/89   Percentage of Americans who say they didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas last year: 6

12/89   Percentage of Americans who say they ate plum pudding last Christmas: 1

12/89   Ratio of U. S. households that have real Christmas trees to those that have artificial Christmas trees: 1:1

12/90   Average number of Christmas cards received by an American household each December: 26

12/91   Estimated number of cookies that will be left out for Santa Claus this Christmas Eve: 84,000,000

12/92   Price paid at auction in October for a 1942 Christmas card signed by Adolf Hitler: $3,025

12/93   Maximum speed at which the seeds of the dwarf mistletoe are expelled when ripe, in miles per hour: 60

12/93   Price of a life-sized computer-controlled triceratops, from the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue: $93,000

12/93   Percentage of Americans who say they enjoy Christmas shopping “a great deal”: 28

12/93   Pages of forms an applicant must fill out to be considered for the position of elf at Macy’s: 10

12/95   Fee charged by a California design firm to place a string of lights on an outdoor Christmas tree, lights not included: $75

12/96   Estimated number of Americans hospitalized last year for injuries involving the ingestion of Christmas ornaments: 687

12/97   Chance that an American adult can name all of Santa’s reindeer: 1 in 4

12/98   Year in which Christmas celebrations, plum pudding, and mince pie were outlawed in England: 1647

12/00   Minutes required to take in “the true story of Christmas ” at Little Rock’s Living Nativity drive-through: 2

12/01   Number of Montreal stores vandalized last year for mounting Christmas displays in November: 14

12/02   Chances of getting a hotel room in Bethlehem on Christmas in 2000 and 2001, respectively: 0, 9 in 10

Chance that a Bethlehem hotel expects to be open this Christmas: 1 in 5

12/02   Rank of a burning Yule-log video loop among the top-rated 8-10 a.m. TV shows in New York City last Christmas: 1

12/03    Estimated number of artificial Christmas trees displayed in U.S. homes each year for every real one: 2.6

12/05   Miles per hour of two low-flying Danish fighter jets in February when they startled a reindeer named Rudolph to death: 450

Amount his owner, a professional Santa, was paid by the Air Force in September to buy a new Rudolph: $5,000

12/06   Number of worldwide incidents last Christmas of “Santarchy,” which involves roving mobs of unruly Santas: 29

Number of fruitcakes that drunken Santas catapulted into the air at the event in Portland, Oregon: 6

1/07   Percentage change since 1970 in the height of the National Christmas Tree: +63

12/07   Number of golf clubs a Phoenix tourism group is sending to troops overseas as part of its “Operation White Christmas”: 14,000

12/07   Number of Christmas trees FedExed last year to U.S. troops: 11,854

12/07   Number of seconds it takes a synthetic Christmas tree to burn: 32

12/08   Percentage of U.S. Christmas trees purchased in 2001 and 2007, respectively, that were artificial: 21, 36

1 thought on “The Price of Reindeer Meat, How Fast A Fake Christmas Tree Burns, and Other Fun Facts from Harper’s Index”

  1. After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any way you’ll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!


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