Percentage of businesses that will be conducting a holiday celebration in 2007, according to a study conducted by Battalia Winston: 85

Percentage decrease this represents over 2006: 9

Rank of 2007 among the years with the lowest percentage of businesses conducting holiday celebrations since 1988: 3

Source: Battalia Winston.

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Percentage of U.S. employees who rate their manager as effective, according to a study conducted by the Kenexa Research Institute: 63

Percentage of employees with an ineffective manager who say they plan to stay with their job: 15

Percentage of employees with an effective manager who say they intend to leave the company: 23

Percentage of employees with an ineffective manager who say they intend to leave the company: 51

Source: Kenexa Research Institute.

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Monthly cost of care in the Soladi Care Home for Pets in the city of Tochigi, Japan, where the world's first canine nursing home has opened, according to an AARP bulletin: $800

Source: AARP.

 · · · · · 

Percentage of professionals who said they will not shop online while at work during the holiday season, according to an Accountemps survey: 79

Estimated number of hours per week that those who will be searching for holiday bargains will spend while on the clock: 3

Source: Robert Half International.

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Percentage of women who plan to take a day off work to take on the holiday to-dos, according to a Lands' End holiday survey: 18

Ranks of taking part in holiday traditions (33 percent), entertaining family and friends (26 percent), decorating the tree and home (21 percent) and finding the perfect presents (19 percent) that women say are their most joyful holiday experiences: 1, 2, 3, 4

Percentage of respondents who stated that giving gifts brings more joy than being the gift recipient: 92

Source: Lands' End.

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Percentage of consumers who believe the holiday shopping experience would be faster and less frustrating if more retail stores offered self-service to shorten wait times, according to an NCR consumer survey on holiday shopping headaches: 64

Percentage of shoppers who say they would prefer to shop at stores that offered self-service returns — making it easier to get in and out of the holiday rush: 57

Percentage of consumers who will purchase at least one gift card this year: 67

Percentage of consumers who feel product-locator kiosks are the best option to alleviate holiday shopping frustrations: 68

Source: NCR Corp.

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Percentage of British children between ages 7 and 11 who said they are "excited" by Christmas, according to a poll conducted by the BBC: 89

Percentage who said they were saving money to buy gifts for their close friends: 63

Percentage who are aware that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus: 44

Percentage who said that Christmas was primarily about "thinking of others": 29

Source: BBC.

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Estimated number of family caregivers across the United States, according to MetLife Mature Market Institute: 50 million

Estimated value of the time that is donated annually to care for loved ones: $306 billion

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute.

 · · · · · 

Percentage of Americans who believe that travel-related problems and the risk of lost luggage increase during the peak holiday season, according to a survey conducted for the U.S. Travel Insurance Association: 93

Percentage of Americans who mistakenly believe that the airlines will fully reimburse them for loss due to travel-related problems: 25

Source: Kundell Communications.

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Percentage of all Americans surveyed who neglect to ever back up computer files, including personal photos and financial records that they described as "irreplaceable," according to a worldwide consumer survey of adult computer users sponsored by Seagate Technology: 35

Ranks of the United States and the United Kingdom (35 percent) and Australia (30 percent) on the list of countries polled where respondents do the least to protect their digital assets: 1, (tie) 3

Source: Seagate Technology.

John MacIntyre has been writing Figuratively Speaking since 1989. You can contact him by e-mail at [email protected]