This year, Chanukah (also spelled Hanukkah) begins at sundown on December 24, Christmas Eve. Both holidays are celebrated in the U.S. and have religious as well as secular customs, and can involve food, family, and gift-giving. Celebrated for two millennia, people around the world have been observing Christmas as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. December 25 – Christmas Day – has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days.


Top 5 most popular Christmas trees


#1 Fraser Fir


#2 Douglas Fir


#3 Balsam FIr


#4 Colorado Blue Spruce


#5 Scotch Pine


What do China, Thailand, and Canada have in common?


They are the top three suppliers of ice skates to the U.S.


Percentages


92% of Americans say they celebrate Christmas


81% number of non-Christians in the U.S. who also celebrate Christmas


86% of Americans buy gifts for friends or family as part of celebrating the holiday


88% of Americans put up Christmas trees


30% of the population visits a post office during the holidays


83% of Americans said buying and receiving gifts makes them feel joyful


46% said it makes them feel stretched thin financially


84% of Americans buy a pre-cut tree


16% of Americans cut down their own Christmas tree


Stats


$24.5 billion Estimated retail sales by the nation’s department stores in December 2014.


$48.3 billion Estimated value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2014.


1.76 billion Number of candy canes produced in the U.S. each year.


4 Number of Hebrew letters inscribed on a dreidel.


8 Places abound in the U.S. with Christmas-themed names, not including all the places with Holly in their names: (Santa Claus, IN; Santa Claus, GA; Rudolph, WI; Snowflake, AZ; Noel, MO; North Pole, AK; Dasher, GA; and Holly Springs, MI).


9 Number of candles, Including the shammus — or service — candle, in a menorah.


1.3 billion Number of holiday stamps the U.S. Postal Service sells each year.


19 Number of celebrities mentioned in Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song. (Number of these who are not Jewish: 2).


350 million Number of future Christmas trees growing on U.S. farms.


33 million Number of real Christmas trees sold in the U.S. each year.


9.5 million Number of artificial trees sold each year


7 Average growing time in years for a Christmas tree


100,000 Number of people employed by the Christmas tree industry


3 Number of blessings recited during the first night of Hanukkah.


2 Number of blessings recited during all other nights of Hanukkah


15.8 billion Amount of cards, letters, and packages the U.S. Postal Service delivers between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.


44 Total candles lit (including the shammus) over all eight days of Hanukkah.


30 million Number in pounds of mail American military overseas receive over the holidays.


30 Minimum number of minutes the Hanukkah candles should burn each night.