You’re going to be spending more money on gifts this year! Don’t believe me? I read it in an internet article, so it MUST be true. It said the average family will spend $1,536 on Christmas presents this year compared to $1,226 last year.

It’s that time of year when I share all those tidbits I’ve faithfully collected and filed under “Ideas for Tall Tales.”

I have this great fear that Cynthia Calvert will say a column is due and, when I sit down in front of the computer, my mind goes blank. My mind always goes blank. That’s why I have my “Ideas for Tall Tales” file. Every time I see something that makes me think, “Wow!” I jot it down or print it out.

I’ve got a bulging file that’s screaming, “Put me in a column or throw me away,” so here’s some useless but fascinating info I must share with you.

You already know that you’re spending more money on gifts this year. I forgot to write down how the experts figured this out, but it had something to do with us having lots of confidence in the economy. We think we’re going to keep our jobs long enough to pay off the credit cards.

When you do shop, shop late. Why? That same Money article says shoppers who shop early spend $370 or 28 percent more than those who shop at the last minute.

Think about that for a few minutes. Shop late, spend less? Really? I remember doing some last-minute shopping before I retired when I discovered a colleague had bought me a Christmas present. I frantically rushed over to Deerbrook Mall, willing to pay any price, I mean ANY PRICE, to find a suitable gift that didn’t scream “I forgot to buy you something.”

On the other hand, who am I to quibble with the experts?

Different experts, on the other hand, have declared that the Red Delicious apple is no longer the most popular apple in America.

Which do Americans love more? The Gala? The apple experts tabulated that we ate 52.4 million boxes of Galas and only 51.7 million boxes of Red Delicious. This is serious. Red Delicious has been first for 50 years.

I cannot lie. When I do my apple shopping at Randalls, I look for Honeycrisp, partly because of the name. Say it. It just sounds delicious. But mostly because it “smacks” when I bite into it.

Here’s a “fact” that could cause a verbal battle or two – the happiest states.

Wallet Hub came up with the rating. That’s a personal finance website that offers free credit scores and full credit reports. They’ve created quite a name for themselves because they rate all kinds of things that people like to argue over – like what states are happiest.

In this case, Wallet Hub looked at all 50 states and, after evaluating our emotional and physical well-being, work environment and community, we Texans were in the middle of the pack – 22. My home state of Nebraska rated 10th happiest. Happiest state was Hawaii. The unhappiest people were West Virginians.

Let the water cooler battles begin.

Do you have a useless nugget to share for Tom’s Tall Tales, too? Email Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.