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The 2017 Holiday Season

Press Release Number CB17-FF.23

This festive season, or simply the holidays, is a time for gathering and celebrating with family and friends, gift-giving, reflection and thanks. To commemorate this time of year, the U.S. Census Bureau presents the following holiday-related facts and figures from its collection of statistics.

The following facts are made possible by the invaluable responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.

Rush to the Stores

$22.7 billion

The estimated retail sales by the nation’s department stores (including leased departments) in December 2016. A decrease of $1.0 billion in retail sales from December of the previous year.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Note: Leased departments are separately owned businesses operated as departments or concessions of other service establishments or of retail businesses, such as a separately owned shoeshine parlor in a barbershop, or a beauty shop in a department store. Also, retail sales and inventory estimates have not been adjusted to account for seasonal or pricing variations.


The estimated percentage for total sales in December 2016 for jewelry stores.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


The December sales accounted for hobby, toy and game stores in 2016.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


The estimated increase in the end-of-month inventories by our nation’s department stores (excluding leased departments) between August and November 2016.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

$61.4 Billion

The estimated value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2016 — an increase of 9.8 percent from the previous year and the highest estimated total for any month last year.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

$30.6 billion

The fourth quarter 2016 after-tax profits for all retail trade corporations with assets of $50 million and over, up from $21.7 billion in the third quarter of 2016.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Christmas Tree Decorations

$1.5 billion

The value of U.S. imports of Christmas ornaments from China for 2016. China led the way with 92.0 percent of the U.S. total imports of Christmas ornaments.

$463.2 million

The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree lights from China for 2016. China led the way with 88.1 percent of the total U.S. imports of Christmas tree lights.

Where Toys Are Made


The number of locations nationwide that primarily produced dolls, toys and games in 2015, an increase of 12 locations from 2014 (560); they employed 6,394 workers in the pay period including March 12, an increase of 179 employees from 2014 (6,215). California led the nation with 90 establishments.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Holiday Names

Some names of places associated with the holiday season consist of a dozen places named Holly, including Mount Holly, N.C. (population 14,495), and Holly Springs, Miss. (7,682). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,764); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,463); North Pole, Alaska (2,232); Noel, Mo. (1,816); and — if you know about reindeer — Dasher, Ga. (979), and Rudolph, Wis. (430). There is also Unity, Ore. (68).

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa

23.7 million

The estimated number of young domestic turkeys hatched during September of 2017 in the United States, which is not statistically different from September 2016.

$401.4 million

The value of U.S. imports of tapered candles in 2016. Most of these came from Vietnam, representing more than 41 percent of America’s imported tapered candles, followed by Canada with more than 21 percent.

The following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

Black (African American) History Month (February)
Super Bowl
Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
Women's History Month (March)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
      St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
Earth Day (April 22)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
Older Americans Month (May)
Mother's Day
Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
Father's Day
The Fourth of July (July 4)
Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
Back to School (August)
Labor Day
Grandparents Day
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Unmarried and Single Americans Week
Halloween (Oct. 31)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day
The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; or e-mail: pio@census.gov.

Related Information

Page Last Revised - December 16, 2021
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