States with the highest Christmas spirit

Coming in with the most holiday cheer this year: Utah

If you’re wanting to get into the spirit of the season, look no further than Utah. That’s because it’s the state with the highest Christmas spirit according to an analysis by Finder.com. States trailing just behind the Beehive state are West Virginia and Iowa.

At the other end of the spectrum falls North Dakota as the Scroogiest state in the union, followed by Hawaii and New York.

How did we come up with these results? We ranked charitable donations — both how much people were giving and the number of people making donations — Google trends around what people were buying, whether or not they were searching for Christmas songs and the anticipated amount the state is expected to spend on Christmas in 2020. You can read the full methodology at the end of the article.

Which states are most excited for Christmas?

If you live below the Mason-Dixon line, there’s a good chance you’re looking forward to the holiday season. Five of the states in the top 10 for most Christmas spirit are in the south, namely: West Virginia, Mississippi, Virginia, South Carolina and Maryland.

Your geography may have something to do with your being a grinch, too. Those with the least holiday spirit are scattered across the West side of the map. Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado score in the bottom five for Christmas spirit.

Here’s the complete list of all the states ranked. Use the search below to find your state.
Christmas spirit rank“Scroogiest” states rankState
150Utah
249West Virginia
348Iowa
447Connecticut
546Nebraska
645Mississippi
744Virginia
843Kansas
942South Carolina
1041Maryland
1140Alabama
1239New Jersey
1338Pennsylvania
1437Maine
1536Georgia
1635Washington
1734New Mexico
1833Alaska
1932Louisiana
(20)(31)District of Columbia
2031Montana
2130North Carolina
2229Florida
2328Ohio
2427Tenessee
2526Kentucky
2625Vermont
2724California
2823Idaho
2922Michigan
3021Minnesota
3120Massachusetts
3219Arkansas
3318Oklahoma
3417Delaware
3516South Dakota
3615Indiana
3714Wisconsin
3813New Hampshire
3912Oregon
4011Rhode Island
4110Illinois
429Texas
438Missouri
447Colorado
456Wyoming
465Arizona
474Nevada
483New York
492Hawaii
501North Dakota

Note: Ranking for the District of Columbia is shown in parenthesis to show where it would rank if it were a state.

Most charitable states

If we look at the size of those donations as a barometer for Christmas spirit, Utah comes out on top with an average donation of $12,740. Massachusetts filers give the least on average at only $4,261.

Top 5 states by the average charitable contribution size

Rank by greatest average charitable contribution sizeState% of tax-filers that donatedAverage charitable contribution size
1Utah12.85%$12,740
2Tennessee5.42%$11,318
3Arkansas5.60%$10,942
4Alabama7.28%$10,756
5Wyoming4.47%$10,747

Who else is getting in the Christmas spirit?

While West Virginia may be last in the number of people making charitable donations, it’s first in regards to the number of people searching for Christmas songs, with New Mexico at the other end of the Christmas carol list.

If you’re in Iowa, 2020 hasn’t put a damper on your holiday plans, with 77% of adults saying they would spend at least the same amount as last year. And if you’re from North Dakota, prepare for some disappointment — 77% say they plan to spend less on Christmas this year compared to last year.

Methodology

Our analysis was determined by:

  • Charitable giving (30 points total)
    • Percentage of tax filers in each state that made charitable contributions (15 points)
    • Average charitable contribution per capita (15 points)
  • Google Shopping trends for “Christmas decorations”, “Christmas gifts” and “Christmas tree” (20 points)
  • Google search trends for “Christmas songs” (10 points)
  • Anticipated Christmas spending in 2020 for each state (40 points)

Charitable giving data was sourced from Individual Income and Tax Data for 2018 by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We excluded tax filers that had an income of $500,000 or greater to avoid skewing average calculations of charitable contributions. Tax filers that had an income of less than $500,000 accounted for 98.93% of filers.

Google Shopping and search trends were for the 30 days period from November 3, 2020 to December 3, 2020.

Anticipated Christmas spending in 2020 was from our Christmas spending statistics 2020 survey. We looked at the percentage of adults in each state who said they were planning on spending the same or more on Christmas this year. For states with less than 10 respondents, we used the average national spending percentage as a substitute.

We included Washington D.C. in our ranking in parenthesis to show where it would rank if it were a state.

For media inquiries:

Allan Givens headshot

Allan Givens
Public Relations Manager
203-818-2928
allan.givens@finder.com
/in/nicole-gallina/

Nicole Gallina headshot

Nicole Gallina
Finance PR Strategist
347-677-4931
ngallina@finder.com
/in/nicole-gallina/

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