Sunday, November 30, 2008
Powerful video, and I agree with the idea. My wife and I are working on how we want to do Christmas, especially now that we have a son. We're coming up with some ideas.
Note: Someone from a church in NY contacted me about the $450 billion figure, asking if it's correct. It's misleading. $450 billion is roughly the retail & food sales in the U.S. during the month of December (2007, it was actually $429 billion). Americans spend $350-400 billion in a given month anyway. How much of that is spent at Christmas that wouldn't be spent otherwise? My rough estimate is about $51 billion. That would be the difference between the seasonally adjusted retail sales and the raw figure.
(*update*: The numbers they use come from the National Retail Federation's website in 2006.
"NRF defines 'holiday retail sales; as retail industry sales which occur in the months of November and December. Retail industry sales include most traditional retail categories including discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants."
The NRF is estimating that $41 billion was spent this past weekend.)
While Christians using misleading statistics to advance their causes is a pet peeve of mine, my own estimate of $51 billion is still a hefty sum compared to the estimated $10 billion needed to provide clean water to all of Africa.