Christmas is just around the corner, and we all know what that means — we’ve seen Love Actually (or Last Christmas, if you’re a bit younger) — the right person could be standing just around the corner, bumping into you by sheer holiday magic.
As you’re running around trying to finish all the preparations in time and happen to run into your soulmate, your hard-earned money could be gone — and no amount of Christmas magic will bring it back. This is why our team made a list of the essential Christmas spending statistics to keep in mind this year.
If you want to know how much money people usually spend on food and gifts, if they will shop online or join the crowd in stores, and if 2020 is the year you could finally get a nice present from your friends — keep reading.
Keep an eye out for that significant other, though!
Top 10 Christmas Stats to Keep in Mind
- Online sales will make 33% of the overall Christmas purchases in 2020.
- Americans spend an average of 15 hours shopping for presents.
- 3% to 22% of people went into debt worldwide to afford Christmas shopping in 2015.
- In 2017, 66% of parents said their kids expected to get all the presents they had wished for.
- People without a set budget can end up spending up to $114.12 more.
- 25% of Christmas shoppers in America expect to start their shopping early.
- 23% of people believe their friends make terrible gift-givers.
- The UK economy will take an $11 billion blow because of a decrease in Christmas spending.
- The average European Christmas budget was $546.22 in 2019
- Online sales will make 33% of the overall Christmas purchases in 2020.
Fast Christmas Spending Facts to Put You in the Holiday Spirit
1. The average European Christmas budget was $546.22 in 2019.
Of course, this is just the average. In reality, the average amount spent on Christmas differs vastly among countries. The United Kingdom is traditionally the biggest spender, with its citizens spending approximately $758 to celebrate Christmas.
In comparison, their neighbor, the Netherlands, was stuck at the bottom of this list with the average Christmas-related spending of around $405.
Spain and Italy were at the top of the list with the UK; the Christmas spending statistics indicate that the average Christmas budget in these countries in 2019 was $658 and $652, respectively.
2. 15% of Europeans disliked the gift they got in 2015.
A 2016 research even indicates that an additional 10% don’t remember what they got the year before. If we do the math, it turns out that 10% tried to return their gifts to the retailer, 14% of people sold them, while a surprising 25% simply gave their unwanted present away as a gift to someone else.
3. Gift-giving statistics reveal that most people want to get clothes and accessories.
If you started dating recently and feel stupid about asking your partner what they want for Christmas, keep this 2015 list in mind: 50.8% of Americans wanted clothing/accessories, 34.5% wanted toys, 33.5% wished to get a gift card, while 22.8% preferred electrical gadgets.
You may think this has changed by now, but we are quite confident that these are pretty much the safest, timeless gift choices.
4. 3% to 22% of people went into debt worldwide to afford Christmas shopping in 2015.
One of the persistent yet not so cheery Christmas spending trends reveals that 10% of Europeans and 22% of Americans went into a holiday-shopping debt in 2015.
However, it’s not all black and white — 40% of Europeans admitted to feeling pressured in regard to spending money on Christmas, and the rate of indebted Christmas shoppers varies among European states.
In 2015, Romania led the way with 19%, and Luxembourg was in the last place with only 3% of people who succumbed to merrily spending more than they had planned.
5. Every Christmas, DVD sales in the UK rise up to 116%.
(Bank of England)
Insight into Christmas spending facts indicates that the average UK family spends approximately $1,052 (£800) more every December.
A more detailed look indicates that this amount spreads across multiple consumer categories: 85% increase in book purchase spending, a 39% increase in alcohol spending, and a 16% increase in food shopping.
6. Americans spend an average of 15 hours shopping for presents.
Past research shows that Christmas shoppers in the US spend three-and-a-half hours queuing and three hours wrapping the presents they got. Another hour after the celebration is over is used to return the unwanted gifts to the store.
However, these are just the average estimates. American women, infamous shoppers, spend around 20 hours doing their share of shopping, while men finish everything on their holiday shopping list in ‘just’ ten hours.
The US Christmas Spending Statistics
7. Americans will spend an average of $650 on Christmas gifts in 2020.
If you’re standing in line to pay for the third — or tenth — cute thing that could bring a smile to your significant other’s face, wondering how much an average American spends on Christmas, the answer is $998 (estimated at the time of writing). But take it with a pinch of salt, as the average number is the average of only the mentioned budgets.
Apart from gifts, you would need to set aside another $230 for food and decorations, and some $117 for non-gift items.
8. Christmas spending among states can go up to $413.11.
As pretty much everything else, the average amount of money spent on Christmas varies depending on the state — and yet, surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the average income of the said state.
Although Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee score very low on the list of average incomes in the US, they topped the Christmas spending list in 2019, with an average of $1,127.58.
On the other hand, ‘rich’ states like Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota were at the bottom, with a $714.47 Christmas budget.
9. In 2019, 27.5% of people entered debt to handle Christmas shopping with no idea how to repay it.
As we already mentioned, one of the less festive stats about Christmas in America is that over 20% of people have to get into debt to cover their holiday expenses.
Paying it off through a tax refund was a plan of 29.7% of indebted shoppers, while 13.4% counted on getting a personal loan to repay it.
10. People without a set budget can end up spending up to $114.12 more.
In 2019, 56.3% of Americans who celebrated Christmas set a holiday budget, but Christmas shopping facts reveal that only 64% of them played by the rules. The available stats will surely convince you to consider setting a budget this year — those who planned their budget beforehand spent $878.21, while those who didn’t, spent $992.33, on average.
11. In 2017, 66% of parents said their kids expected to get all the presents they had wished for.
The average Christmas spending per child reached a surprising total of $422 in 2017. However, the fact is that kids rarely wish for traditional toys nowadays; they mostly fill their letters for Santa with wishes for high-tech gadgets, forcing around 30% of parents to set aside $500 per child to fulfill these wishes.
12. 154 million people in the US got disappointing presents over the holidays.
Christmas-themed movies romanticize the idea of celebrating Christmas in the USA, but the facts tell us that, with $15.2 billion spent on unwanted presents, you are more likely to get a Christmas-themed ugly sweater than experience some mistletoe magic.
At least you’ll be comfy watching romcoms, just like other 61% of people who already expect to get a lousy gift.
13. 23% of people believe their friends make terrible gift-givers.
Friends may be surprising title-holders of this unflattering list, but the second place in this gift-giving statistics is (perhaps unsurprisingly) held by in-laws with 14% of unwanted gifts. Some 10% of disliked presents come from parents.
Not-So-Glamorous Christmas Spending in 2020
14. The UK economy will take an $11 billion blow because of a decrease in Christmas spending.
The average Christmas spending will experience a severe drop in economies around the world, and the UK will be hit quite severely. Known for their festive spirit, the Brits were projected to spend $84.46 billion this year, but now, $73.46 billion seems to be the most realistic projection.
The second biggest European Christmas market — Germany — is also expected to experience a drop, by $3.2 billion. Other major markets such as France and Italy will follow, with a $11.95 billion and $5.53 billion drop each.
15. Holiday budget cuts are the most drastic in South Africa — 56%.
This year’s Christmas spending statistics confirm that people around the world will be cutting their holiday budgets significantly. Apart from South Africans, 52% of Philippine citizens will also cut their spending, as well as 47% of people from India and Hong Kong.
Still, Australians seem reluctant to give up their Christmas celebration — only 37% of them plan to consider cutting the budget, and it remains questionable how many will actually succeed.
16. Online sales will make 33% of the overall Christmas purchases in 2020.
According to the estimates, 2020 online spending will grow by 25.1% while in-store spending will decrease by 7%. If you haven’t tried it yet, it might be the time to try — it can’t be scarier than online dating. This means that 67% of Christmas sales will happen offline this year.
17. Holiday shopping for Brits will be over in November.
After their government confirmed a new round of nation-wide lockdowns, Christmas shopping statistics in the UK showed a 9% increase in the number of shoppers.
Despite that, the projected revenue is expected to stay much lower than the pre-pandemic expectations, as 60% of citizens plan to finish their Christmas preparations by the end of November.
18. 25% of Christmas shoppers in America expect to start their shopping early.
More specifically, in early November, due to a growing number of people trying to keep out of crowds and prevent potential lockdowns caused by shortages.
Home Depot began its holiday sales on 8 November, and the new Amazon figures confirm the need for an additional 100,000 workers to handle rising holiday demands. FedEx is also hiring 27% more seasonal staff this year.
19. 46% of senior citizens in the US will be forced to cut their Christmas budget.
An astounding 40% of Americans are preparing to slash their Christmas expenses this year. This means that the average cost of Christmas is projected to fall to $732, with one in five people preparing to slash their last year’s budget by $318.
Another 7% of US people are preparing to slash their Christmas expenses by more than 50%.
20. People won’t be spoiling themselves with gifts this Christmas.
The 2020 gift-giving statistics reveal that fewer people will purchase items for themselves in 2020. Although we all love to spoil ourselves and feel beautiful, the vast majority of US shoppers are preparing to eliminate non-gift products due to the economic burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Likewise, this year’s average Christmas-related spending in America is predicted to be lower than last year — approximately $997.79, which is about $50 less than last year’s average spending.
How much to spend on Christmas gifts per person?
While there is no single correct answer to this question, it is recommended to set a budget, determine what you can afford and how much you’re willing to spend.
Generally, it is recommended that your budget for good friends should be from $15 to $25 per person, or some $10–$12 for group gifts for teachers.
How much does the average person spend for Christmas?
According to the 2019 Christmas stats, an average American spent around $1,050 on holiday-related purchases. For this year’s estimates, check the stats 7–13 of this article to find more details.
We’ve reached the end of our list! We hope that these Christmas spending statistics gave you a hint of what you should expect this year as you prepare for the holidays.
Take a deep breath, decorate your home, and enjoy the festive spirit and love of people around you. It could be precisely what you need to unwind at the end of this stressful year. Christmas magic is upon us!