Christmas facts: 10 pieces of trivia about the holiday and its traditions

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Millions of Americans are getting prepared to celebrate Christmas this year.

Presents will be exchanged, carols sung and homes decorated. 

Few may know of the first Christmas celebration or how many people participate in the secular traditions that have evolved around the Christian holiday.

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Here are 10 number-based facts about Christmas.

336 A.D. – The first recorded Christmas celebration reportedly happened in Rome on Dec. 25, 336 A.D., according to Christianity.com, a Christian media company.

Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25 every year. It’s an annual holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. (iStock / iStock)

93% of Americans celebrate Christmas – Nine in 10 Americans (93%) reportedly celebrate Christmas, according to a public opinion poll conducted by Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm.

Millions of Americans reportedly celebrate Christmas. (iStock)

$942.6 to $960.4 billion in holiday spending – The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that holiday sales for 2022 will be between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion.

Gift exchanges are a common Christmas tradition. (iStock / iStock)

"In terms of retail spending, the winter holidays include the months of November and December and cover major consumer shopping events such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa," the NRF wrote in its 2022 holiday spending forecast. 

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"However, many consumers start browsing holiday items and sales earlier than that."

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25 to 30 million Christmas trees – The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that approximately 25 million to 30 million Christmas trees are sold each year.

Families decorate Christmas trees with ornaments, lights and garland. (iStock / iStock)

2 billion Christmas cookies – Americans reportedly eat more than two billion Christmas cookies each year, according to The Cookie Elf, a holiday baking blog.

Christmas cookies are a common holiday dessert. (iStock / iStock)

135 million pounds of eggnog – Americans reportedly consume more than 135 million pounds of eggnog between November and January each year, according to researchers at Indiana University.

Eggnog is a popular dairy beverage that’s consumed around Christmas. (iStock / iStock)

1.76 billion candy canes – Each year, more than 1.76 billion candy canes are made worldwide, according to Candy Cane Facts, an online candy cane information resource.

Candy canes are a striped peppermint-flavored treat that’s used for decoration and consumption. (iStock / iStock)

13.2 billion pieces of mail and packages – The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) reportedly delivered more than 13.2 billion pieces of mail and packages over the 2021 holiday season.

The USPS reported in a press release that these 13.2 billion-plus pieces of mail were delivered in 2.7 days on average.

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6 in 10 Americans go to Christmas service – Approximately six in 10 Americans reportedly attend a Christmas church service, according to a LifeWay Christian Resources poll.

Churches around the world celebrate Christmas with festive decorations. (iStock / iStock)

LifeWay Christian Resources is a Nashville-based Christian media publishing and distribution company tied to the Southern Baptist Convention, the world's largest Christian Baptist denomination.

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52% of Americans like Christmas "a lot" – Half of Americans (52%) reportedly like Christmas "a lot," according to a poll conducted by YouGov America Inc, a multinational market research and data analytics firm, which is headquartered in the U.K. 

Nearly 13,000 U.S. adults were polled in the survey published in 2020.

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Almost a quarter of Americans (23%) told YouGov they "somewhat like Christmas" while one in 10 Americans (13%) told YouGov they "neither like nor dislike Christmas."

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