By Mika McKinnon, Math and Statistics Editor
The holiday season is here, social gatherings lighting up the long, dark, cold winter nights. Here’s how Canada celebrates it all — New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday, and Winter Solstice — by the numbers.
Poinsettias are indoor potted plants popular for holiday decor, their vibrant red and green foliage bringing a pop of colour to long, dark nights. Despite the plants being indigenous to the much-warmer Mexico, Canada grew 7.1 million poinsettias in 2014, all tucked snugly inside greenhouses.
7.8 million litres of eggnog
Commercial eggnog is a seasonal treat in Canada. In November 2014, Canadians bought 2.5 million litres of eggnog, then another 5.3 million litres the following month.
2,381 Christmas tree farms
In 2011, 2,381 Canadian farms grew Christmas trees. The farms were mostly in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia, and New Brunswick. Quebec has the largest farms, averaging 22 hectares of Christmas trees.
1.8 kilograms of fresh cranberries per person
Cranberries are serious business. In 2014, 267 farms covering 6,148 hectacres produced 158,079 tonnes of fresh cranberries with a farm gate value of $89.6 million. That works out to 1.8 kilograms fresh cranberries per capita available for consumption after retail, household, cooking, and plate loss.
$78.4 million cash for trees
Christmas tree farms brought in $78.4 million in cash receipts in 2015, a 21.6% increase from 2014.
1,719,735 fresh-cut Canadian trees exported
In 2015, Canada exported $41.4 million fresh-cut Christmas trees to the rest of the world. Most trees — 1,634,249 to be exact — were exported to the United States for $36.7 million in sales. The remainder were sent around the world to Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Jamaica, Panama, Russian Federation, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Maarten, Thailand, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
$155.5 million extra sweets
Candy, confections, and snack foods get a sales spike each December. In 2014, December sales hit $460.8 million from large retailers, a distinct increase over the $305.3 million average monthly sales.
5.5 million litres of whipping cream
Apparently it’s not the holiday season without whipping cream: commercial sales peak each December. In December 2014, Canadians bought 5.5 million liters of whipping cream. The next biggest month? July 2014 saw 4.3 million litres of whipping cream change hands.
15.1 million litres of sparkling wines
The sales of sparkling wine was steady at $310.9 million in Canada for 2012/2013 and 2013/2014, with roughly one fifth the products coming from Canada. In 2014, Canadian liquor stores sold 15.1 million litres of sparkling wines, the equivalent of 5.6 million bottles of domestic sparkling wines and 14.5 million bottles of imported wines.
40% LED holiday lights (and growing!)
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are energy-efficient and cool to the touch. Canadians are rapidly embracing them for holiday lighting, with 29% of households reporting they used LED holiday lights in 2007, growing to 40% in 2013.
New Brunswick is the fastest adopter with 47% of households using LEDs, followed by Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador at 46%. The most reluctant converts are Saskatchewan (34%), Alberta (36%), and Manitoba (37%).
Header image: Robert Nunnally CC by 2.0