12 Days of Christmas: By the Numbers


It cannot be overstated how much we at Abraham Thinkin’ love Christmas. Truly, any superlative to describe a person’s enthusiasm is applicable to our Christmas Spirit, and it probably still falls short of effectively capturing the level of our Holiday Cheer. As we all know by now, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is to sing loud for all to hear. Fortunately for you all, we cannot sing Christmas Carols to you through the computer, so instead, we are going to do what we think is the next best thing. Every day between now and Christmas Day, we will post something related to Christmas, including Christmas Traditions, Stories of Christmas Lore; some of Abe’s Christmas Faves, and much much more.

To the Western world, Christmas would not be complete without giving. Whether you are into giving, receiving, or both, the tradition of Christmas shopping has become and essential – and sometimes stressful – ritual. This is the time of year when that elective-spending part of your budget balloons as you purchase gifts for friends and family. So how much does the world spend on Christmas, and how much does it change the economy? We try to answer these questions on this, the Tenth Day of Christmas.

The Christmas Economy

When you take time to think about it, the amount of economic activity that can be related to Christmas could be staggering: auto, air, and rail transportation for Christmas travel; food, beverage, and catering services for holiday parties; television, radio, and internet advertising revenue from special programs; and of course, gifts that come from every major economic sector there is. Unfortunately, we will never have a solid of idea of just how much of this is related to the holidays, simply because there will never be a December without holiday-related spending that we could compare it to. That being said, there are still plenty of studies that have tried to put a number on the seasonal trends that emerge from the economy of Christmas.

In November, the American Research Group published a study detailing planned Christmas spending among American adults. Here are a couple of the results:

  • The average planned spending on all Christmas related activities was an average of $854, an increase of over 30% from 2011.
  • Around 45% of participants said they planned on shopping on the internet, the largest percentage in the 10 years that the ARG has conducted the study.
  • Of those who would shop on the internet, average planned spending was $1,245, almost twice as much as in 2011.
  • Over 50% of participants said that they would wait for a sale on a product rather than pay full price; however, those participants also planned on having a budget about half the size of those who would pay full price.

Where Does the Money Go?

To answer these questions, I found a couple of great infographics courtesy of Trendhunter.com:

The Christmas Price Index

Lastly, I’d like to share a pretty clever economic indicator named the Christmas Price Index – basically, it is how much it would cost to buy all of the things mentioned in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. For a refresher, here is the song:

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
12 Drummers Drumming
11 Pipers Piping
10 Lords-a-Leaping
9 Ladies Dancing
8 Maids-a-Milking
7 Swans-a-Swimming
6 Geese-a-Laying
5 Gold Rings
4 Colly Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Anyways, as you can see, Christmas has become increasingly more expensive over the years, even when adjusted for inflation.

Spend wisely! Where did the majority of your Christmas budget go this year? Let us know below.

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One thought on “12 Days of Christmas: By the Numbers

  1. Pingback: Because it’s Christmas – The Tenth Holiday Mental Moment | Running Naked With Scissors

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