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 around, 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 Jaw-Dropping Christmas Spending Facts
- Christmas sales are expected to drop by a whopping $14.56 billion in the UK alone.
- $546.22 is the average EU Christmas budget.
- 60% of Brits are expected to finish their Christmas shopping by the end of November.
- Online spending will grow by a whopping 25.1% in 2020, according to estimates.
- An incredible 40% of Americans plan to cut their Christmas spending this year.
- Over 20% of Americans go into debt because of Christmas.
- Women spend 20 hours, on average, shopping for Christmas presents.
- $15.2 billion is the estimated total of unwanted presents.
- American Christmas spending largely varies on the state.
- 66% of kids expect to get all the presents from their wish-list.
Worldwide Christmas Stats to Get You Started
1. Brits spend 40% more than other European consumers.
2020 estimates show that the average UK gift budget is 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 are expected to be purchased online this year.
Christmas shoppers in Britain are famous for their festive spirit and have no regrets when it comes to Christmas spending — a recent poll revealed that as much as 84% of customers could not remember exactly how much money they spent upon completing their purchase.
2. Christmas sales are expected to drop by a whopping $14.56 billion in the UK alone.
Due to recent lockdowns and the economic strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Christmas spending in 2020 will look quite different than what we’re used to — the most extreme example being the UK. Pre-pandemic estimates projected UK consumers would spend $111.83 billion this year, but now it is more likely that the total spending will reach just $97.27 billion.
It’s the same story with other major European markets, including Germany (a $5.2 billion drop), France (a $15.7 billion drop), and Italy (a $6.5 billion drop).
3. 10% of Europeans go into debt due to Christmas shopping, but they can’t outdo Americans.
This varies from country to country. For instance, in Luxembourg and the Netherlands this figure is fairly small — merely 3% and 5%, respectively — whereas in Romania it is a whopping 19%.
The truth is: 40% of Europeans feel pressured to spend more money than they usually do; as seen by the amount of money spent on Christmas each year.
The situation is even worse in the US, where a staggering 22% of Americans succumb to this temptation and go into debt each and every Christmas, which may reflect poorly on their credit score, and even lead to requiring aid from credit repair services.
4. $546.22 is the average EU Christmas budget.
The average Christmas budget is different for each European country. For example, the UK takes the cake at around €639 (approximately $758), whereas Spain and Italy follow suit with average budgets of €554 (approx $658) and €549 (approx $652), respectively.
The Netherlands and Russia are at the very bottom of the list with merely €341 (approx $405) and €367 (approx $436), respectively.
5. 1 in 10 people return their gifts to the store.
The latest gift-giving statistics show that as much as 15% of people in Europe get gifts they don’t like, and another 10% claim they don’t even remember what they got for Christmas. Hence, it shouldn’t surprise us that about 25% of people regift presents they don’t like and another 14% sell their gifts.
6. 60% of Brits are expected to finish their Christmas shopping by the end of November.
After the UK announced a new round of lockdowns, people all around the country rushed to get their Christmas shopping done. This year’s Christmas spending statistics indicate that there was a 9% spike in the number of shoppers compared to the previous week, and rising. Nevertheless, the figures are still well below the projected totals forecasted for 2020 prior to the pandemic.
7. The average UK household spends an additional £800 (around $1052) 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; food scoring the lowest with merely a 16% increase in spending, whereas alcohol spending increased by another 39%.
Yet, book purchases and DVDs saw the most significant increase during this period by 85% and 116%, respectively.
8. Online spending will grow by a whopping 25.1% in 2020, according to estimates.
In-store Christmas spending in 2020 is expected to decrease by 7%. As a result, 67% of Christmas sales will happen offline this year. Conversely, online retail sales will account for 33% of all sales, compared to last year’s 26.8%.
9. Merely 37% of Australians plan to cut their Christmas budget in 2020.
As previously mentioned, the average amount spent on Christmas is projected to go down. Yet, there’s no stopping some people (or should we say — shoppers).
In the Land Down Under, merely 37% of people are reevaluating their Christmas spending, whereas 56% of people from South Africa do the same.
Likewise, 52% of people from The Philippines and 47% of people from both India and Hong Kong are looking to spend less this Christmas.
US Christmas Spending Trends for 2020
10. 25% of Americans plan 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 statistics confirm a need for an additional 100,000 employees to manage increasing holiday demands. Likewise, FedEx is hiring 27% more seasonal workers this year.
11. 56.3% of Americans set a Christmas budget the previous year, yet only 64% actually stuck to it.
Last year’s Christmas shopping facts 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.
12. An incredible 40% of Americans plan to cut their Christmas spending this year.
The average cost of Christmas in the USA is expected to go down to $732 this year, with one in five citizens planning to cut their last year’s budget by a solid 30% ($318). Another 7% of US citizens plan on cutting their Christmas spending by over 50%.
In fact, seniors are cutting their Christmas budgets the most (some 46% of them), while middle-aged people (those between 45 and 54 years of age) closely follow suit.
It’s also worth noting that younger generations don’t think about saving, as merely 31% of those between 25 and 34 plan their Christmas budget.
13. Over 20% of Americans go into debt because of Christmas.
We all love the colorful, festive spirit of Christmas in the USA, but the facts remain — namely, 27.5% of indebted people have no idea of how they’re going to repay their debts. Another 29.7% expect to pay it off with a tax refund, whereas 13.4% plan to get a personal loan.
14. Women spend 20 hours, on average, shopping for Christmas presents.
Men, on the other hand, spend merely half that time on shopping. Thus, the joint shopping average for both men and women is about 15 hours. And according to Christmas spending statistics, over three hours of that time is spent waiting in line, and another three hours is spent on wrapping gifts for friends and family.
Plus, after the holidays, people spend yet another hour to take gifts they dislike back to the store.
15. 37% of people in the US spend over $1,000 on Christmas gifts.
When it comes to the average cost of Christmas, gifts take the top spot of all expenses — an estimated $942 per person.
Another 27% plan on spending between $100 and $499; 21% expect to spend up to $1000, whereas merely 3% plan on spending less than $100.
16. $15.2 billion is the estimated total of unwanted presents.
As Christmas spending facts have shown over the years, around 61% of Americans expect to get a present they dislike, which equals to some 154 million dissatisfied individuals.
17. 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.
18. 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 aforementioned list with 14%, and parents come third with 7%.
Also, when it comes to age, Gen Xers seem to receive the worst gifts, with 44% of them disliking what they receive. However, Gen Xers also spend the most ($121.90) on presents that turn out to be unwanted.
19. 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, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee topped the list with an 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.
20. American parents spare no expense when it comes to Christmas gifts.
Last year’s data indicates that the average Christmas spending per child in 2019 amounted to over $200 — namely, nearly 20% of parents admitted to planning to set aside over $200 for their kids’ presents.
21. 66% of kids expect to get all the presents from their wish-list.
An increasing number of children want tech toys and gadgets in place of more traditional gifts, hence why almost one-third of parents spend approximately $500 on presents for children aged 8–14. As such, it shouldn’t surprise us that the average Christmas spending per child in the US reached $422 in 2017.
22. Fewer people will buy non-gift items to treat themselves in 2020.
The vast majority of US shoppers are planning on cutting back on non-gift items due to the economic strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, this year’s average Christmas spending in America is expected to be lower than last year — about $997.79 i.e. some $50 less than the last year’s.
How much to spend on Christmas gifts per person?
Although there is no definitive answer to this question, the most recent stats and forecasts tell us that the average US customer spends about $347 on gifts and another $140 on gift-cards.
Yet, in the end, this all comes down to personal preferences — every individual has to consider their own Christmas budget and what they want to buy for their loved ones.
How much does the average person spend for Christmas?
The average American is projected to spend about $1,387 on Christmas-related shopping in 2020 alone.
Most of this money will go on gifts and socializing, yet some of it will also go on personal needs (and desires) — about $175, to be precise. Likewise, an additional $191 “unrelated expenses” is also to be expected.
What percentage of Christmas shopping is done online?
(National Retail Federation)
Recent research has shown that roughly 60% of people will conduct their holiday shopping online in 2020.
Of this, almost 91% of shoppers will search for items with free shipping, whereas another 16% have nothing against paying for same-day delivery.
Lastly, 41% of online shoppers plan to order gifts online but pick them up at the store.
These were our top 20 Christmas spending statistics to get you hyped (and better prepared) for this year’s holiday season. Finding the best presents, choosing the right tree, decorating your house, and cooking all those delicious meals can be stressful indeed.
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.