The holidays are meant to be a beautiful, joyful time when you reconnect with friends and family. In reality, they tend to be stressful, dreaded, depressing, and full of anxiety. Five of the top eleven holiday stressors involve money.
The top ten stressors are as follows (in order):
- Crowds and long lines
- gaining weight
- getting into debt
- gift shopping
- seeing certain relatives
- seasonal music
- disappointing gifts
- feeling pressured to attend holiday events and parties
- having to be nice
- and holiday tipping.
It’s no wonder that about half of the things people get stressed out about during the holidays are money, as holidays are the most expensive time of the year. From traveling, gifts, decorations, and costumes, we love spending money on our friends, families, pets, and ourselves. Read on to learn about the top five most expensive holidays.
Halloween falls at the fifth most expensive holiday, although it is more expensive than any other non-gift giving holiday (unless you consider the Super Bowl a holiday). About $7-$8 billion is spent on Halloween annually, more than some European country’s gross domestic product (Montenegro, Monaco, and Lichtenstein, to name a few). It is also higher than all corporate donations for foreign aid. The average person will spend about $75 on this spooky holiday. Halloween spending is broken out in the following ways: 38% is spent on costumes, 30% on candy, 27% is spent on decorations, and 5% spent on greeting cards. Interestingly enough, not much is spent on alcohol during Halloween.
Easter is the fourth most expensive holiday, bringing in more than double the expenses of Halloween. Americans spend about 16.5 billion every year on Easter. That amounts to $140 per person. However, the average online shopper spends about $221 during Easter. Most of the spending goes towards food (32%), and it is followed by clothes (18%), gifts(14.6%), candy (13.4%), flowers, (6%), decorations (.6%), and greeting cards (.4%). 80% of the country celebrates Easter. A surprising 1.5 billion Peeps are consumed during the Easter season, and about 16 billion Jelly Beans. Many consumers use Easter as an excuse to spruce up their spring wardrobes.
- Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day comes in at the third most expensive holiday with a total spending of $18.9 billion. The average consumer will spend $142.31 celebrating the holiday, while the average online shopper will spend an average of $199. While most of this will be spent on their sweethearts, families and friends receive gifts as well. Even pets are given gifts during the Valentine’s Day season. Men spend about twice as much as women do for the holiday. The breakdown of spending is as follows: 25% will be spent on jewelry, 19% on a special night out, 11% on flowers, 11% on clothes, 9% will be spent on candy and 8% on gift cards. A lot of the Valentine’s Day spending statistics are skewed by purchases of expensive jewelry.
- Mother’s Day/Father’s Day
While Mother’s Day can stand as the second most expensive holiday on it’s own at an estimated $21.6 billion, Father’s Day technically falls between Halloween and Easter at $12.7 billion. That means that as a nation, we spend almost twice as much on our mothers than our fathers. On average, people will spend $115.57 on their dads, while they will spend $172.67 for their moms. An astounding truth about this statistic is that most of the money is spent purely on gifts. Popular gifts for mothers include: greeting cards, flowers, clothing, special brunches, personal services like spa visits, new electronics, and jewelry. Most fathers will receive: golf lessons, home improvement tools, clothing (mostly dress shirts and ties), “experience gifts” such as sports tickets or family meals, new electronics, and gift cards.
- Christmas and Other Winter Holidays
Consumers spend $630.7 billion during the winter holidays. That is nearly ten times the other five expensive holidays combined. Each individual spends about $805 on themselves, friends, and families. On average, people spend $462 on gifts for family, $78 for friends, $26 on coworkers, and $28 on babysitters and pets. Per person, about $104.75 will be spent on food, $54 on decorations, $30 on greeting cards, and $20 on flowers. About 56% of holiday shoppers will spend about $127 on gifts for themselves during the holiday season. Almost half of all winter holiday shopping (44.4%) is done online. Surveys have determined that toys featuring Star Wars, Minions, and Disney characters will be the most popular this year.
While spending on holidays can be very expensive, it is important to remember that many of these expenses are for one day out of the year. Try to be mindful of your spending, and enjoy the time spent with family and friends.