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A HOLIDAY POST-MORTEM

NOW THAT Christmas shopping is over, it's time for some holiday trivia:

Is "Jingle Bells" still ringing in your ears? No wonder. According to a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers, that Christmas classic is the tune played most in shopping malls during the holiday season. Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" is No. 2.

What was hung in that stocking with care? Sprint's national Stocking Stuffer Survey found that money is the most popular stocking stuffer, followed by movie tickets, prepaid phone cards, disposable cameras and Internet access CD or diskettes.

Christmas stuffing: A large majority of people polled by the Wild Turkey Bourbon 1997 Survey of Holiday Gobbling admitted they overeat during the holidays -- with 42 percent figuring they gain between three to five pounds. Those confessing to tipping the bottle a bit, however, say they are moderating their drinking habits this year -- with 68 percent of those surveyed limiting themselves to one to two alcoholic drinks at holiday functions.

Shop 'til they drop: 72 percent of people polled by the Spiegel "Art of Giving" Holiday Survey said they enjoyed holiday shopping. More than a third of them said they "truly love it." Only 10 percent scrooged out, saying they hated holiday shopping. What makes a good gift? Thirty percent say it's one that shows a lot of thought went into it.

How about Christmas in July?

SOME 36,000 state employees in Indiana had Friday off -- not for Boxing Day, but for George Washington's birthday.

Next year, they'll have Christmas Eve off for Washington's Birthday.

Never mind that the rest of the nation observes the holiday in February. These Hoosiers are different.

They celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday on the day after Thanksgiving, even though the 16th president's birthday falls in February.

The reason: State law allows the holiday shuffling. Indiana has 12 state holidays, and they can be observed on any day of the year. So people move them around to make four-day weekends.

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