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Last Updated: Tuesday November 29 2005 11:56 GMT

Fun festive facts


What with getting presents, watching telly, eating sweets and having a bit of a snooze in the afternoon, Christmas can be a pretty hectic time.

But what about the people who really do the work to bring festive cheer to the UK?

Impress your friends and family with these facts and figures.

Christmas Trees
  • 7.6 million Christmas trees are sold each year

  • The tree in London's Trafalgar Square is chopped down in Norway, by the Mayor of Oslo
  • The 21.5m high tree needs a crane to put it up when it arrives in the UK
  • It's hung with 612 halogen lamps, and people sing carols around it every night
  • Food
    • More than 3,000 metric tonnes of Robertson's mincemeat is sold in the run-up to the 25th

  • 10 million turkeys are sold each year - which is a whole load of turkey soup, curry and sandwiches for lunch on Boxing Day
  • Presents and cards
    • Six million rolls of Sellotape are sold in the run-up to the big day. That's 369,000km of the sticky gift wrapping stuff, 55 times the length of the River Nile

  • In the four weeks before Christmas, two billion bits of mail will be sent
  • That means 22,000 extra post-people will be working, 21 more post flights will fly each day, and three times the number of post trains will set off
  • The last date you should post something in time for Christmas by first class is 20 December
  • Santa
    • The sun sets on 24 December at 3.55pm in the UK, and rises the following morning at 8.05am

    That gives Saint Nick a 16 hour window to get gifts down the chimneys of kids across the UK