How Much You’re Really Spending on Christmas

Factor in decorations and gifts, and the cost of Christmas really adds up.

christmas-tree-topperJacob Lund/Shutterstock

When Christmas rolls around, it’s easy to get lost in trying to find the best gift and forget about the cost of everything. It’s important to also remember that Christmas expenses extend beyond just gift buying. There’s the tree, decorations and plenty of other expenses if you’re hosting a get-together.

How Much Does the Average Person Spend on Christmas?

A Gallup poll found that consumers anticipate spending $805 on holiday stuff this year — a figure that’s down from $942 in 2019. That’s even a decrease from 2018, in which consumers spent $885 per person. “With the number of new COVID-19 cases rising, the fate of a second round of stimulus checks hanging in the balance in Congress, and the presidential election around the corner, the chances are high for a shift in consumers’ spending intentions on discretionary items like holiday gifts,” the study claimed.

The study broke down anticipated spending habits in 2020’s pandemic-ridden shopping season:

  • 28 percent are expected to spend less than last year
  • 12 percent expect to spend more than last year
  • 60 percent expect to spend about the same as last year

What can you do to free up some more cash to spend on gifts? Here’s what to do to avoid an eye-popping electric bill during the holidays.

What is a Reasonable Amount of Money to Spend on Christmas?

Dave Ramsey did the math on what’s a reasonable amount of money to spend on Christmas, but didn’t come away with a clear conclusion. He did say that the average amount spent on gifts the previous year was $800, and the average household income is around $50,000. So you can use that as a baseline and increase it or decrease it proportionally based on how much you make. Not surprisingly, he suggests buying gifts only for children in the case of a budget crunch.

How Much to Spend on Christmas Gifts for Non-Immediate Family

Determining how much to spend on a Christmas gift can be tricky, especially if you do a gift exchange. Spend too much and you look like a showoff, spend too little and you look cheap. Jodi RR Smith told the Los Angeles Times that you should spend $20 and up for gifts for cousins and siblings. She said spend $25 and up for nieces and nephews, $20 and up for parents and in-laws, $15 and up for friends and $10 to $15 for coworkers.

How Much Does the Average American Spend on Christmas Decorations?

Based on a survey conducted by Statista, the average American will spend $61 on Christmas decorations. Meanwhile, an average live evergreen tree will cost $78 and artificial Christmas trees will range from $30 to $100.