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Christmas Spending Statistics

More than 2 in 5 Canadians (43%) plan to spend less this holiday season. And under 1 in 10 plan to visit family and friends.

With Christmas just days away, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic ramping up and much of the country locking down, how Canadians are planning to spend the holiday is changing dramatically.

We’ll all be home for Christmas

There is no question the holiday season will be unlike any other. Global comparison site Finder.com asked Canadians two key questions:

  1. Will you be spending less money on Christmas in 2020?
  2. How exactly will you celebrate the holiday?

Turns out nearly half of all Canadians (43%) plan to cut costs this year. Canadian say they’ll spend an average $425 on Christmas this year. That’s an average $183 less than the amount they were planning to spend before pandemic — about $608 per person.

It means Canadians will spend an average 30% less this Christmas than compared to last year.

Homebound holidays

It’s no surprise that people plan to spend less when about 4 in every 10 adults (42%) across the country have no plans to celebrate Christmas at all. And in the midst of a pandemic and heavy lockdowns, just 10% of Canadians say they’ll visit the homes of family and friends for the holiday — a massive change for a typically festive party season.

Reduced spending also makes sense when you consider only about a quarter (26%) of Canadians will exchange gifts and decorate their homes. Around another quarter (24%) says they’ll cook a festive dinner or watch holiday movies (28%).

Who’s the Grinch this Christmas season: Men or women?

Men are far less likely to get into the Christmas spirit this year, with nearly half (47%) saying they won’t be celebrating with any of the typical activities compared to only 34% of women. If men are to celebrate, they’re most likely to watch holiday movies (24%), exchange gifts (23%) or prepare festive dinners (22%).

Still, while they are much less likely to celebrate the season, they’re also less trim how much they typically spend, with just 43% of men planning to cut costs as compared to 46% of women.

Women are most likely to celebrate and keep classic Christmas traditions alive by decorating the home with lights or Christmas trees (34%), watching holiday movies (32%) and exchanging gifts (30%).

Younger people most likely to visit loved ones

Finder.com’s research reveals that Canada’s youngest and oldest adults are least likely to ease up on holiday spending, with about a third of those ages 65 and older (35%) and those ages 18 to 24 (36%) planning to cut costs this Christmas. Most likely to cut costs are those ages 35 to 44 (54%), followed by those ages 45 to 54 (50%) and 55 to 64 (49%), with those ages 25 to 34 (44%) taking up the tail.

Canadians ages 18 to 24 are also most likely to say they’d visit friends and family this holiday season at 15%, followed by those ages 55 to 64 at 11%. Only 7% to 8% of each remaining age group say they’ll visit friends and family for Christmas — hardly surprising in the face of severe lockdowns sweeping the country.

Who is staying home this year?

While most of Canada hunkers down at home, Atlantic Canada has more freedom to enjoy this COVID Christmas. Accordingly, nearly a quarter (24%) of Atlantic Canadians say they’ll visit the homes of friends or family this holiday.

One in 10 — or 10% — of Ontarians say they’ll visit friends or family, followed by 9% of those in Quebec and the Prairie provinces. British Columbians are playing it the safest, with only about 4% of the province venturing out for visits.

Holiday spending across Canada

With the second highest unemployment rate in Canada, Alberta has more than half its province (55%) planning to cut costs. Also with high unemployment is Nova Scotia, which sees the second highest cut in holiday spending at (49%). Manitobans are third most likely to cut costs at 48%, followed by just under half of British Columbia (43%) and Ontario (42%) cutting costs on all things holiday.

Least likely to curtail holiday spending are Quebecers, with about a third (36%) saying they’ll spend less. Saskatchewaners too are likely to spend more this Christmas, with just 38% saying they’ll tone down holiday spending.

Image: Getty

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