Billions of people around the world eagerly await Christmas every year. Yet, this one will undoubtedly be unlike any other we’ve seen thus far. Namely, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many things will be quite different this year round, including Christmas spending statistics.
In this article, you’ll find all you need to know about the latest affairs concerning Christmas (both pre- and post-COVID), including average household expenses, budgets, gift purchasing, and more!
If you like what you hear, just keep on reading!
Top 10 Christmas Spending Statistics for 2021
- Parents plan to spend an average of $276 per child when it comes to Christmas gifts in 2021.
- 10% of Europeans go into debt due to Christmas shopping.
- 1 in 10 people returns their gifts to the store.
- 41% of Americans are willing to take on debt due to gift shopping.
- $15.2 billion is the estimated total of unwanted presents.
- America is expected to spend almost $6.1 billion on Christmas trees.
- In 2021, 21% of Americans plan to spend less money on holiday gifts.
- Americans are going to spend an average of $886 on Christmas gifts.
- Women spend 20 hours, on average, shopping for Christmas presents.
- 56% of US consumers want to receive a gift card as a present in 2021.
US Christmas Spending Trends
What makes Americans different from other shoppers? How much do they spend on average on Christmas presents?
1. In 2021, the Christmas Price Index (CPI) amounted to $41,205.58.
The Christmas Price Index shows the current cost of gifts given in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
In 2021, the Christmas Price Index (CPI) in the US amounted to $41,205.58. That’s a 5.7% growth compared to 2019 ($38,993.59).
2. In 2021, Americans are going to spend an average of $886 on Christmas gifts.
How much does the average person spend for Christmas? This holiday season Americans plan to spend more money on Christmass gifts than they did in the past 20 years — $886 on average.
More than half (56%) will most probably do their Christmas shopping via online stores. Others will very likely buy their gifts from discount stores (29%), department stores (24%), and specialty stores (18%).
Mail-order catalogs are a preferred option for only 6% of American holiday shoppers.
3. American parents plan to spend an average of $276 per child when it comes to Christmas gifts in 2021.
(Statista) (Credit Cards)
It seems that some parents would even rob a bank to make their child happy. Joke aside, according to the data, the average Christmas spending per child in 2021 amounted to $276 for parents who have kids, while partners without kids will cash out an amount of $251.
Either way, as 17% of US parents were willing to spend over $200 on kids’ gifts in 2020, this is quite an improvement.
4. 25% of Americans planned to do their Christmas shopping early in 2020.
Namely, early November, due to the increasing number of people looking to stay clear of crowds and avoid possible lockdown-caused shortages.
Home Depot started holiday sales on November 8, and the latest Amazon company data confirmed a need for an additional 100,000 employees to manage increasing holiday demands. Likewise, in 2020, FedEx was hiring 27% more seasonal workers.
5. Holiday spending 2020 vs 2019 — despite the pandemic, there was an increase in holiday sales by 8.3%.
Retail sales during the holiday season witnessed an unexpected increase of 8.3% compared to the same period in 2019.
People managed to save more money due to the lockdowns, early payments, travel restrictions, etc. and were keen on spending it.
The US holiday sales in 2020 amounted to $789.4 billion.
6. In 2021, 21% of Americans plan to spend less money on holiday gifts.
Based on one poll, while 1 in 5 Americans plan to spend less money this holiday season, 48% will continue to spend the same amount of money they did last year. 13% of Americans have their hearts set on spending even more on holiday gifts than they did last year.
According to Mastercard’s projections, the holiday sales in 2021 will be 7.4% higher compared to 2020. Deloitte is forecasting a similar increase (7%–9%).
7. In 2021, Americans are expected to spend nearly $6.1 billion on Christmas trees.
46.9% of US households will continue the tradition of buying a Christmas tree this year. In other words, Americans will be spending an average of $83.39 per household for a real tree and $118.08 for an artificial tree.
8. Christmas spending statistics show clothes and household items are the most unwanted presents.
If you wish to avoid giving someone a present that will not wow them in any way, try avoiding clothes and household items as presents. These two top the unwanted presents list with 43% and 20%, respectively.
The safest bet? Probably food or drinks, as only 4% of the buyers get it wrong.
9. In 2019, 56.3% of Americans set a Christmas budget yet only 64% actually stuck to it.
Christmas shopping facts from 2019 indicate that 29.6% of shoppers without a budget spent a lot more than they initially planned — around $992.33 on average. On the other hand, those who, in fact, had a budget spent an average of $878.21.
10. Women spend 20 hours, on average, shopping for Christmas presents.
Men, on the other hand, spend merely half that time shopping. Thus, the joint shopping average for both men and women is about 15 hours.
According to Christmas spending statistics, over three hours of that time is spent waiting in line. Another three hours are spent on wrapping gifts for friends and family.
Plus, after the holidays, people spend another hour taking gifts they dislike back to the store.
11. Friends are the worst Christmas shoppers when it comes to unwanted gifts.
23% of people have labeled their own friends as a source of unwanted gifts. In-laws take the second spot on the list above with 14%, and parents come third with 7%.
Also, Gen Xers seem to receive the worst gifts when it comes to age, with 44% of them disliking what they receive. However, Christmas spending facts show Gen Xers also spend the most ($121.90) on presents that turn out to be unwanted.
12. $15.2 billion is the estimated total of unwanted presents.
Around 61% of Americans expect to get a present they dislike, which equals to some 154 million dissatisfied individuals. It’s the thought that counts, right?
13. American Christmas spending largely varies on the state.
How much an average American spends on Christmas mostly depends on the region they live in — and surprisingly, it has nothing to do with American median domestic income.
For example, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana topped the list with average spending of $1,127.58, despite having some of the lowest average incomes.
Meanwhile, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri are stuck at the very bottom of the list, spending an average of $714.47.
14. 56% of US consumers want to receive a gift card as a present in 2021.
Based on estimations, this year, Americans will spend $28.1 billion on gift cards. Most people will opt for restaurant gift cards (32%), department store gift cards (26%), bank-issued gift cards (26%), coffee shop gift cards (20%), entertainment gift cards (15%), and online merchant gift cards (15%).
Worldwide Christmas Spending Statistics
How much money do people spend on Christmas gifts around the globe?
15. Brits spend 40% more than other European Christmas shoppers.
The average amount spent on Christmas in 2020 was around $743, which is a lot more than the average European consumer. What’s more, chocolate, cosmetics, and perfume top the list of choices for adults, whereas books and sportswear are the most common gifts for children.
In addition, 44% of all presents were expected to be purchased online.
Christmas shoppers in the UK are famous for their festive spirit and have no regrets when it comes to spending. A recent poll revealed that 16% of customers could not remember exactly how much money they spent upon completing their purchase.
16. In 2021, Brits plan on spending an average of $726 on Christmas gifts.
At the same time, 69% plan to spend less on Christmas gifts in 2021. Namely, 27% will set a price limit with family and friends, 14% will reuse gift packaging, 9% plan to give an inexpensive experience as a gift and use Secret Santa.
8% will buy second-hand gifts, use re-gifting, wait for the Boxing Day sales, or give freebies as gifts.
17. Christmas debt statistics report 41% of Americans are willing to take on debt due to gift shopping.
45% claim they are willing to go into debt to make themselves happy, 41% will do it to make their kids and spouse happy, while 44% will go into debt to make another friend or family member happy.
Over half of them (60%) claim they would add their new holiday debt to the debt they already have, which could potentially lead to bankruptcy.
18. 10% of Europeans go into debt due to Christmas shopping, but Christmas spending facts show they can’t outdo Americans.
This varies from country to country. For example, in Luxembourg and the Netherlands this figure is relatively small — merely 3% and 5%, respectively — whereas in Romania it is a whopping 19%.
The truth is that 40% of Europeans feel pressured to spend more money than they usually do.
The situation is even worse in the US. A staggering 22% of Americans succumb to this temptation and go into debt each and every Christmas. This may reflect poorly on their credit score and even lead to requiring aid from credit repair services.
19. Unfortunate gift giving statistics state 1 in 10 Europeans returns their gifts to the store.
Indeed, 15% of European people get gifts they don’t like. 1 in 10 of them will replace the gift. Another 10% claim they don’t even remember what they got for Christmas.
Hence, it shouldn’t surprise us that about 14% of people sell their gifts.
20. The average UK household spends an additional £740 (around $1,021) each December.
(Bank of England)
The average UK household spends about £2,500 (or roughly $3,289) a month. Yet, consumer spending during Christmas 2019 indicates that more money was spent across each category; Spending on alcohol increases by 38% during the festive month.
21. Merely 37% of Australians planned to cut their Christmas budget in 2020.
In the Land Down Under, only 37% of people were reevaluating their spending, whereas 56% of people from South Africa did the same.
Likewise, 52% of people from the Philippines and 47% of people from both India and Hong Kong were looking to spend less money on Christmas.
22. Christmas shopping statistics show 63% of Poles will reduce their Christmas spending in 2021.
(The First News)
Based on a survey conducted by the Polish Banking Association, while more than half of Poles plan to limit their Christmas spending this year, 26% won’t control their holiday spending habits. On that note, Poles are planning to spend an average of $346.39 (€308) on Christmas gifts.
23. In 2021, Australians plan to spend an average of $1,232 on Christmas-related gifts.
Regarding the states, Victorians are expected to spend the most ($1,373), followed by New South Wales ($1,361), Queensland ($1,146), South Australia ($1,112), and Western Australia ($1,037).
Most money will be spent on gifts ($374 per person), food ($308), and travel ($269).
24. Christmas spending statistics indicate that clothing, shoes, and accessories were the most desirable gifts in Italy.
In 2020, 42% of Italians preferred to receive clothing or shoes as a Christmas gift. Another 22% wanted to get books and magazines, whereas 20% opted for children’s toys.
Only 13% were excited about getting a new smartphone or a phone accessory. Food (16%), and personal care products (17%) were more desirable than gadgets.
25. Pre-Christmas spending in 2020 in the UK dropped by 2.3% in December.
This was the biggest decline since June 2020. What’s more, in-store spending was down by 8.3%, due to the pandemic and shopper’s inability to leave their homes. On a positive note, online retail sales grew by 52.2%, making 46.8% of all retail spending in December.
26. Online retail sales in Brazil generated about 3.76 billion Brazilian reals during Christmas.
Despite the pandemic, online retail sales in Brazil witnessed an increase of 44.6% in 2020 compared to 2019.
Based on the holiday statistics, 65% of people planned to spend less, and 11% planned to spend more money on the upcoming holidays.
27. 5.89% of Hungarians plan to buy (nearly) all of their Christmas presents online.
On the other hand, 44.86% of the surveyed said they would like to buy nearly all the presents from offline stores, and 49.25% plan to buy their Christmas presents from both online and offline stores.
How much to spend on Christmas gifts per person?
Experts recommend that people should spend about $100 on their partner’s gifts, $75–$100 on presents for their parents, and $50 on a brother or sister’s gift.
When it comes to your friends, $15–$25 is a good amount to spend. Hosts and teachers should get gifts that range from $15–$25. Unless you’re getting something as a group. In this case, the amount can be between $10 and $12.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider making a list of potential gifts, going with group gifts, and checking for bank discounts.
What does the average person spend on Christmas?
The average American is projected to spend about $886 on Christmas gifts. Furthermore, based on NRF’s predictions, this year’s holiday spending is expected to increase by 8.5–10.5%, reaching a staggering $859 billion.
What percentage of Christmas shopping is done online?
Recent statistics show that 56% of Americans are “very likely” to purchase their Christmas gifts online, while 76% are “somewhat likely” to do the same.
On the other hand, 29% and 24% of Americans are “very likely” to shop from discount stores and department stores.
How much does the average person spend on Christmas per child?
American parents spend an average of $276 on their children (under 18) and $251 on themselves. In 2021, 48% of parents plan to spend the same amount of money. At the same time, 21% plan to spend less, and 13% intend to spend more.
Average Christmas spending per child in 2020 was over $200 too but only for 17% of the parents.
What’s more, 41% of people are even willing to go into debt during this holiday season.
The most desirable toys among children are LEGO, Barbie, cars and trucks, dolls, and video games.
How much to spend on Christmas per child in 2021?
While there are no written rules, the experts believe that you shouldn’t go over $75 when it comes to children under 18. If you’re on a budget, it’s not wise to spend $200–$300 on your children’s gifts. So what can you do?
Be open with your kids and explain to them why their presents won’t be expensive this year. This might be difficult if in the past you used to give them expensive gifts because they will expect to get the same amount of presents every year.
What was the average Christmas spending per child in 2019 in the UK?
Based on one poll, Brits spent an average of £100 ($139.33) per child, whereas UK households spent an average of £363 ($505.77) on Christmas gifts.
The smallest amount spent on Christmas presents was £25 ($34.83), but some people went overboard by spending a staggering £2,000 ($2,786) on gifts alone.
When it comes to British teenagers, they usually get gifts worth about £150 ($208.99). The budget for small kids and babies was much smaller.
How much do couples spend on each other for Christmas?
Americans plan to spend an average of $251 on gifts for themselves and their partners. Experts somewhat agree with this sum. They recommend that people should spend about $100 on their spouses, $75–$100 on their parents, $50 on their siblings, and $75 on their children.
Final Take on the Christmas Spending Statistics
How has the pandemic changed the favorite holiday spending habits? Apparently, we haven’t saved one bit, which may be a good indicator that nothing has changed much regarding gift giving in the “new normal”.
We’re positive our top Christmas spending statistics got you both hyped and better prepared for this year’s holiday season. Still, don’t forget to take a deep breath, spend some more time with friends and family, and most important of all — enjoy yourself! It is Christmas, after all.