Noodle this one

First of all, what does “Noodle this mean”, right? I get that sometimes. It means “think about it” and reminds me of the 90s cartoon my kids used to watch called PB&J Otter. When they would try to think of something, they would use their “noodle” and then, of course, break in the “noodle dance”.  For your entertainment/distraction, click HERE for a 20 second clip of that. You can thank me for that later.  🙂

Back to what to noodle now.

The topic du jour is “Holiday Spending”. And no, I’m not complaining about how much you spend – that will be the topic of a future blog. This thought, by the way, came to me after trying to figure out why on Earth Toys R Us, and I think Kohls are open 24 hours now until Christmas. Seriously, who the (@$*&#*! needs to buy something at 2 or 3A!? I guess I can understand maybe 6A to Midnight – I guess. But who is shopping from midnight to 6A? Does that even make financial sense for those kind of stores to operate 24 hours a day?  Sigh…I digress.

Back to my topic – again…

Here’s the question for you to “noodle” (doing the dance is up to you): What if we (as in all of us) took just 10% of what we spent on the holidays and donated that to a truly worthy cause?

Since I am a numbers guy and love data, let me give you some real data to help your noodling process.

According to the American Research Group, “Shoppers around the country say they are planning to spend an average of $983 for gifts this holiday season, up from $929 last year…” (click here for source)

If I look at where I live, in Kane County, the last population number I found was 515,269. So do the math and that means just Kane County will spend about $506,509,427. Ok, yes, not everyone is spending that much, I get it. So let’s cut that number in half, just to be conservative and say that only 50% of the people in Kane County will spend the “average” amount for the holidays. I believe this is a very conservative given the demographics in our county. That said let’s roll with it.

That take our Kane County spending for the holidays down to a paltry $253,254,713.50. (feel free to double-check my math)

Back to my question above, what if we (yes, those of us in Kane County) took 10% of our holiday spending and donated it.

Let me help you with that math…

That means, that just in Kane County alone, we would be donating, are you ready for it, drumroll please…


Yeah, that’s right, $25M, give or take a few hundred grand.

I have done enough work in non-profit over the years to know that If just my lousy county did that, many of the charities I know would, as the kids like to say, poop their pants.  🙂

OK, let’s even me more conservative and assume that many people are already doing some charitable giving, so of the 50% that I mentioned were going to do the holiday spending, let’s say that 50% of them are already doing some solid donating.

So, of the 515,269 people in the county, I said half were doing the spending, so we’re at 257,634 people spending, Assuming 50% of them are already donating, now we’re down to 128,817 people that are spending and not donating.

128,817 people spending the average of $973 per person gives us $125,338,941 spent, times 10% is $12,533,894.10.  So our “charitable upside” (just made that up) is about $12.5M.

Back to my blog title: “Noodle this one”. Go ahead and do that – dance at your discretion.

What would $12,533,894.10 mean to those that are truly in need?

I think you know the answer to that, but noodle it anyway.


Merry Christmas!