Covid or no covid, fear not about this year’s holiday shopping, as these holiday spending statistics indicate that we have nothing to worry about — winter holidays will be as merry as ever! This article will look into the different aspects of winter holidays, from the typical amount people spend on gifts to exactly how many people have switched to online shopping sprees. Also, we’ll reveal whether the pandemic has taught us to spend less (or more).
To find this out and more, just keep on reading!
Top 10 Holiday Spending Statistics for 2021
- Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the spending on holidays in Canada has decreased by 31%.
- 15% of Europeans report getting “unsatisfying gifts” over the holiday season, while 62% of Americans believe they will dislike the gift.
- In 2021, Brits plan to spend £810 million on Easter presents, 10% less than they spent in 2020.
- 61% of people start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, thus spending more.
- In 2020, Americans spent about $997.79 on holiday-related shopping. 5% less than in 2019.
- The US retail sales witnessed an increase of 8.3% despite the pandemic.
- 51% of shoppers exhibit shopping-related anxiety due to COVID-19.
- 60% of consumers planned to do their holiday shopping online in 2020.
- Millennials are willing to spend roughly $228.10 on New Year’s Eve celebrations.
- Two-fifths of Europeans report feeling pressured to spend money on Christmas.
Worldwide Holiday Spending Statistics Explained
How much money do people spend on holidays, and which country spends the most?
1. Romania spends 32% of its monthly income on Christmas.
Not only do Romanians spend the most money compared to other European countries, but their Christmas seasons also begin earlier. It starts on St. Andrew’s Day (November 30), and it ends on New Year’s Eve (January 1).
In addition to that, most Romanians spend their money on traveling during the holidays.
The US and UK each spend about 15% of their monthly income on gift-giving during the holiday season.
2. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, spending on holidays in Canada has decreased by 31%.
Holiday shopping stats show that while the average spending in 2019 was $1,280, in 2020, it amounted to $887. To elaborate, Canadians spent $506 on gifts ($13.66 less than in 2019), $247.55 on travel (compared to $597.18 in 2019), and $133.42 on entertainment ($30.54 less than in 2019).
Millennials were spending the most ($977 on average), followed by Gen X ($850) and Baby Boomers.
3. Christmas spending statistics report two-fifths of Europeans feel pressured to spend money on Christmas.
In Europe, Christmas colors the balance of many a European shopper red. In fact, one-fifth of consumers go into debt during the holiday season, with the most likely “candidates” being Romanians and Brits (19% and 17%, respectively).
Citizens from Luxembourg and the Netherlands are the least likely to do so, with just 3% and 5%, respectively.
4. Yet, the world’s top holiday spenders are people from the US.
Americans are also the biggest Christmas spenders in the world. What’s more, a staggering 22% of the population goes into debt each year due to holiday shopping.
5. Black Friday facts and statistics indicate that in 2019 the sales in European countries witnessed a massive increase of almost 700%.
The sales were compared to the first 4 weeks of October.
According to the data conducted on 35 countries, 2 billion transactions, and 5,000 retailers, Denmark had the highest increase of sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
- Denmark +692%, followed by
- Norway (+687%),
- Portugal (+460%),
- Spain (+444%), and
- Finland (+432%).
6. Christmas spending statistics from 2020 show the retail sales in Europe went down due to the pandemic.
In the UK, the Christmas sales in the pre-covid era amounted to $116.64 billion, compared to the post-covid sales that amounted to $101.45bn.
The same trend can be seen in other European countries like:
- Germany ($101.13bn vs. $87.04bn),
- France ($88.80bn vs. $72.30bn), and
- Italy ($53.36bn vs. $45.72bn).
7. 15% of Europeans report getting “unsatisfying gifts” over the holiday season, while 62% of Americans believe they will dislike the gift.
What’s more, another 10% of people don’t even remember the gifts they receive during the holidays. One of the recent holiday season store statistics shows that 1 in 10 people return their gifts back to the store.
Moreover, 14% of people sell the gifts they don’t like, around 5% give them back to the giver. In contrast, younger generations simply throw unwanted gifts away (most of the time).
In the US, a whopping 62% of consumers expect to get something they don’t like. In other words, some 154 million Americans receive over $15 billion worth of presents they dislike.
8. Holiday statistics imply that Luxembourg residents spend the most money on holiday trips of all Europeans.
Research has shown that citizens of Luxembourg spend €768 (or $906), on average, on travel during the holidays, which is almost double the amount that the average EU citizen spends — €336 (or $396).
9. In 2021, Brits planned on spending £810 million on Easter presents, which is 10% less than they spent in 2020.
Holiday spending statistics for 2021 further reveal that 12% of Brits were planning on celebrating Easter without spending any money.
On average, UK citizens spend around £24.86 (or about $34) on Easter.
This year, Londoners and Northern Ireland were planning to spend the most (an average of £35, or about $48).
10. Black Friday is the most popular holiday for shopping online in Europe — 31% of online shoppers use this opportunity.
Consumer holiday spending trends show 19% of consumers will do their online shopping during early November, while 13% will shop in late October, and 12% in mid-November.
Unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday is less popular among Europeans, as are the days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Only 6% of consumers will do their online shopping on the mentioned days.
11. In 2020, Aussies spent an average of $718 per person on Christmas gifts and decorations.
Although the Christmas spending in 2020 was reduced due to the pandemic, Aussies still planned to spend an average of $314 per person on Christmas gifts.
The biggest Christmas spenders were people from New South Wales who spent an average of $812. The residents of Western Australia did quite the opposite. They spent the least money ($566 per person).
Who spends the most during holidays? Millennials with an average of $831, followed by Gen X ($774), and Gen Z ($661), while Baby Boomers spent the least ($570).
American Spending Statistics — Holiday Edition
How much money do Americans spend on holiday gifts?
12. In 2020, Americans reportedly spent about $997.79 on holiday-related shopping — 5% less than in 2019.
Americans will spend most of their money on gifts for family members, friends, and work colleagues ($650).
Next in line are non-gift holiday goods, like greeting cards, food, and decoration ($230). Other non-gift purchases add up to $117.
13. In 2020, US retail sales witnessed an increase of 8.3% despite the pandemic.
According to the data collected by the National Retail Federation for holiday spending in 2020, retail sales (for both online and non-store sales) reached $789.4 billion.
The NRF predicted that the holiday retail sales will experience an increase of 3.6%–5.2%. However, the sales witnessed a growth of 8.3%, compared to 2019.
The highest growth was seen in the sales of building materials and garden supplies (19%). Sporting goods have become very popular too, by 15.2%.
On a negative note, based on the same holiday retail sales statistics, electronics and appliances witnessed a decrease of -14.9% in sales, as well as clothing and clothing accessories (-14.9%).
14. Your spending habits can decrease your holiday expenses by as much as 24%.
Speaking of spending habits, if you are an efficient shopper, you will save considerably more than the average shopper ($325).
Likewise, suppose you like walking around and searching for those bargain deals, you can still save up to 9%, which is about $119 less than the average holiday shopper.
Yet, there are those among us who are true holiday aficionados and spare no expense to make people around them happy. Hence why the holiday spending budget of these so-called “festive shoppers” is 19% bigger than that of the average shopper, amounting to $1,652 in general.
15. Americans spend approximately 15 hours on gift shopping.
You may be thinking that the holidays are all about spending quality time with your family and friends — well, think again. On average, US women spend around 20 hours searching for the perfect gift during the holiday season, whereas US men spend merely 10.
16. Annoying holiday shopping facts say people spend approximately three and a half hours queuing.
Some even wait a whole hour to return a present they don’t like after Christmas.
Moreover, if you like to hand beautifully wrapped presents with colorful bows and shimmer, you better be ready to spend an additional three hours doing so.
17. Winter holidays are the time of year when shoppers spend the most holiday money, recent consumer spending statistics indicate.
Winter holidays are among the best on the list of top-spending holidays of 2020, with the average customer spending $997.79 no less.
Easter is way back, with average spending of just $151.25.
When it comes to non-religious holidays, Mother’s Day seems to be the most important one, sitting at $204.74. Father’s Day follows suit with $148.58.
Halloween takes the last spot with just $92.12. But then again, Halloween is a lot about creativity and improvisation.
18. Holiday shopping statistics show 51% of shoppers exhibit shopping-related anxiety due to COVID-19.
Despite 49% of shoppers saying that they will gladly return to real-life shopping after the COVID-19 vaccine is out, 65% of them still prefer shopping online or in stores that are not part of larger malls (48%).
19. 52.3% of gift-givers pay with money from their savings account.
Moreover, women are more likely to perform this kind of behavior than men, according to stats (56% compared to 47%, respectively).
Another 42.6% of customers prefer to swipe their credit cards, and 5.5% borrow cash from someone else. Excessive spending may be one of the reasons for eventually turning to credit repair companies.
Holiday spending statistics from 2019 highlight that gift financing through personal savings was the most common choice for all age groups. Gen X led the pack with 53.6%, after which came Baby Boomers (51.4%) and Millennials (51.2%).
20. 61% of people start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, thus spending more.
People who start their holiday shopping spree before Thanksgiving spend an estimated $1,537 over the holiday season. On the other hand, those who start shopping only after Thanksgiving will save a significant amount of money, spending an estimated $1,149.
Despite earlier predictions that the COVID-19 pandemic would significantly impact current spending trends, the most recent data indicates that the shopping fever remains largely unchanged.
21. 60% of consumers planned to do their holiday shopping online in 2020.
Apart from online shops, people were also looking to shop at department and discount stores (45% and 43%, respectively).
The holiday spending trends also highlight that 91% of online shoppers can find items with free shipping. Another 16% are even prepared to pay for same-day delivery to get their items on time.
22. Millennials are willing to spend roughly $228.10 on New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Let’s not forget that American Millennials contribute around $600 billion to the economy each year. Hence, it shouldn’t surprise us that they made a substantial impact on holiday spending in 2019. Namely, while the average American spends $185.60 on New Year’s Eve experiences, Millennials spend an average of $228.10 on this special night.
23. 82% of Thanksgiving spending goes on food.
Likewise, 18% of the budget goes on traveling, so everybody tries to make use of gas credit card awards. And the estimated cost of hosting a pre-pandemic Thanksgiving celebration was around $500.
What’s more, the 2019 data on average holiday spending shows that Americans spent $186.05 on Thanksgiving. A steady increase for the last couple of years — namely, $175.65 in 2018 and $165.14 in 2017.
24. Online shoppers spent $4.2 billion in total on Thanksgiving in 2019.
Despite this being a 14.5% increase since the previous year, retail holidays such as Black Friday still came on top scoring revenues unrivaled by any traditional holiday.
In fact, it was estimated that an average customer spends $168 on Black Friday. In 2019 the grand total came at a mind-blowing $7.4 billion. This was topped merely by Cyber Monday that achieved an impressive $7.9 billion in revenue.
25. In 2020, 65% of people planned to spend Thanksgiving with their immediate family.
There were even those who planned to celebrate it online — around 18%. Furthermore, 28% of people expected it to be very different in 2020, whereas 68% believed it would be slightly different.
Thanksgiving holiday spending statistics indicate that around 60% of people planned to spend the same amount as in previous years despite the economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Conversely, 34% of people planned to spend less than in previous years.
26. 148 million Americans celebrated Halloween, despite the pandemic.
Decorating homes is the number one priority according to 53% of participants, whereas pumpkin carving takes second place, with 46%. Pet costumes are also gaining popularity, with 18% of people participating in this activity.
27. Based on the 2020 Halloween spending statistics, the total consumer spending for this spooky holiday amounted to $8.05 billion.
This is a slight decrease compared to 2019 ($8.78 billion).
People who intended to celebrate Halloween also planned to spend more money on home decorations, greeting cards, and candy, i.e., $92.12 on average, compared to $86.27 on average in 2019.
In addition to that, Halloween shopping in 2020 started earlier compared to previous years (in September).
Online shopping was still more preferable among shoppers due to the pandemic. 30% of people planned to make their purchases for Halloween through online sources.
28. For the majority of American parents, the average Christmas spending per child in 2020 was between $50 and $100.
While on average, Americans spend $91 on their children’s gifts, some go even further by paying $200 for the presents.
The most popular toys for children are Barbie, dolls, LEGO, cars and trucks, and video games. Keep in mind that girl’s toys were more expensive due to the pink tax.
29. People searched for “Baby Yoda” 90,000 times on Amazon, from November to December 2019.
The term “the Mandalorian” was even more popular — 126,000 Amazon searches in two months.
Even though it wasn’t available for delivery, there was an insanely big demand for it so baby Yoda was named the best-selling Amazon product in the plush toy category.
What is the most commercially successful holiday?
Winter holidays have traditionally been the most commercially successful as 90% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza during this period.
It is estimated that US citizens spend up to $682 billion over the course of these two months, which is 20% of total annual sales.
Mother’s Day has total spending of $23.6 billion, while Easter boasts total spending of $18.4 billion.
What is the most commercialized holiday?
Winter holidays are the most commercialized holidays in the US, starting with Christmas. For example, Americans spent an average of $846 on Christmas in 2019, and an estimated $852 in 2020.
Furthermore, each year, the retail industry hires 475,000–575,000 additional seasonal workers to help during the holiday season.
That said, Halloween is the second-largest commercial holiday on which Americans spend about $6 billion each year.
What does the average person spend on Christmas in the US?
On average, Americans spend about $852 on Christmas gifts. About 40% of Americans start their Christmas shopping before the end of October, whereas approximately 15% start shopping in December.
Despite the pandemic, the total holiday retail sales were expected to reach $750 billion in 2020.
Given that online purchases replaced in-store shopping, retail e-commerce sales grew by $50 billion (between 2019 and 2020). Amazon was the most popular e-commerce retailer among Americans.
What holiday brings in the most money?
The answer is Christmas. Americans spend the most money on Christmas (in 2019 alone they managed to spend more than $1 trillion) followed by Brits and Czechs.
In fact, Americans spend the majority of their money on winter holidays ($998 on average), starting with gifts ($650), food and decoration ($230), and other holiday purchases ($117).
At the same time, 22% of American, 14% of Australian, and 10% of European consumers go into debt due to Christmas expenses.
How much do couples spend on each other for Christmas?
While most Americans spend about $123 on gifts for their partners, 12.5% will spend over $300 to make their loved ones happy.
Mothers get gifts that usually cost about $62, whereas fathers get cheaper presents that cost an average of $49. Americans will spend $29 on their friends and $26 on their grandparents.
When it comes to the most desirable presents, women prefer:
- jewelry (47%),
- weekend breaks (46%), and
- gift vouchers (42%),
On the other hand, men’s preferences lie with:
- gift vouchers (32%),
- clothing (32%), and
- money (26%).
How much do parents spend on Christmas per child?
Americans spend an average of $91 on their children, although in 2020, 17% of parents were even prepared to spend $200 on their kid’s gifts.
What percentage of holiday shopping is done online?
One in four holiday shoppers, or 76% of the consumers, intended to do over half of their shopping online in 2020, while 14% hoped to conduct all of their purchases online.
For this purpose, approximately 78% of shoppers use their mobile devices. 71% use their laptops and desktop computers to shop for the holidays, but only 32% use their tablet.
We hope these holiday spending statistics made it easier for you to decide on your spending strategy for this turbulent year. Our recommendation is to be innovative and to think of a completely new approach.
Speaking of which, online shopping rates have definitely spiked. It may lack the glitz and joy of traditional holiday shopping, but it can be just as fun.
We wish you all the best (deals), loads of free shipping, and happy holidays!