Christmas Gift Expenditures Differ Between Nations…and Generations

Christmas time is here again! As global a phenomenon as this holiday has become, it’s always interesting to see how different regions and different cultures spend differently when it comes to buying Christmas gifts for loved ones.

In nations such as the United States, the UK, France, and Canada, the Christmas holiday season is the most expensive one for the vast majority of people. Even in these Christianity-rooted nations, there are differences in how much average per capita will get spent on gifts depending on such factors as nationality, region, gender, and generation.

For instance, this year the “typical” adult American will spend 848$ on gifts.

A “typical” male will spend about $725 on gifts, while the “typical” American female adult will spend about $609. Their counterparts across the Atlantic in the UK will spend $520 and $470 respectively.

American adults in “Generation X” (people born from 1965 through 1979) will be the biggest Christmas gift spenders, averaging $782 per person. In the UK, a Gen Xer will spend, on average, $540.Next in order come the Millennials, who will spend an average of $609 on gifts per person in the US and $525 in the UK. Members of the aging Baby Boomer generation will spend the least.

In comparison, the French will spend an average of $400 USD per adult person on gift buying for Christmas. The typical French adult will buy from eight to 10 gifts, total, to give to loved ones during the holiday. The French also place a heavy emphasis on food expenditures to celebrate Christmas.

In Canada, the average gift expenditure per adult will be $570 USD. However, there is fairly wide variance from this figure in different provinces or regions of Canada. For instance, Canadians in the province of British Columbia say that they expect to spend $688 CAD per adult person on Christmas gifts this year, while those in the Atlantic Canada region expect to spend $813 CAD per person, and those in the French-culture province of Quebec expect to spend only $458 CAD per person. The vast majority of Canadians surveyed also said that they feel it is important for them to buy from Canadian retailers and merchants this holiday season.

How will the gifts be paid?

In the US, 68% of gift buyers will rely on their savings to make purchases, while 55% will rely solely or in part on credit cards. In the UK, more than 80% of Christmas shoppers will rely on their savings and about 38% will rely solely or partially on their credit cards. A very small percentage of people in both nations will make use of personal loans, payday loans, or borrowing from family and friends for Christmas gift buying.

What about Asia?

While the Christmas holiday season has reached Asia, it doesn’t have the prominence there that it does in western nations… even though China’s attraction for this holiday is growing fonder each year. Indeed, Christmas is part of the top 10 holidays celebrated in the country.

Online spendings for Christmas even exceeded spendings for traditional Chinese holidays such as the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, Chinese Valentine’s Day, Mid-Autumn Festival and the Double-Ninth Festival.

The top 10 holidays celebrated include:

  • The Spring Festival
  • Valentine’s Day
  • The Lantern Festival
  • Tomb-Sweeping Day
  • Dragon Boat Festival
  • Chinese Valentine’s Day
  • Mid-Autumn Festival
  • Double-Ninth Festival
  • Halloween
  • Christmas

Wherever you may be this Christmas season, may it be one of joy and peace for you and your loved ones.