Find out how much your fellow Americans are spending on the holidays in 2022 with these insightful Christmas gift buying statistics.
Christmas is the season to be jolly.
As it's a chance for us to relax and celebrate with our family and friends, spending quality time together that is hard to do throughout the year.
However, Christmas can also throw up some issues that can make it a stressful time of the year, with one being the buying of Christmas gifts.
Because it can be so hard to know what to buy. And how much to do you need to spend? And who do you need to buy for?
It can be a minefield.
So, this is where statistics can be your friend, as by knowing the general holiday shopping trends you can navigate and plan out your own Christmas spending.
And fortunately each year retail organisations keep track of these figures and carry out surveys on the United States population to gain an insight into people's Christmas holiday spending.
So we analysed a selection of these surveys and reports from the following companies to gain an overall picture of Christmas gift buying habits for people in the United States.
How Much Are We Spending On Christmas Gifts For 2022?
Christmas is an expensive time for many households in the United States with the total amount of holiday spending rising consistently each year for the past decade.
In fact, total retail spending during the 2022 holiday season reached a staggering $936.30 billion, which was up 5.3% on the 2021 figure of $889.30 billion and up a whopping 65% in a decade from the $567.60 billion spent in 2012 (National Retail Federation).
However, the average spending on gifts and other holiday items in 2022 was down on recent years at an estimated $832.84 being spent per consumer, although it remained close to the 10-year average of $826.12.
While the Deloitte survey estimated there would be an overall average holiday spend for 2022 of $1,455 per household.
With holiday gifts accounting for $507 of this budget, $373 being spent on non-gift holiday items and $575 on experiences such as socializing, both at home and outside.
What Are The Most Popular Christmas Gifts To Give In 2022?
One of the biggest issues when buying gifts is knowing what to get.
And when asked what kind of gifts they were planning to buy during the 2022 holiday season the top choice for Christmas shoppers was clothing and accessories with 55% of consumers saying they'd be getting this for their loved ones (National Retail Federation).
Next up was gift cards (45%) followed by toys (37%), books/other media (33%), food/candy (31%) and personal care/beauty items (26%).
Electronics was a gift choice for 24% of consumers, while home decor/furnishings appealed to 21%, jewelry to 20% and sporting goods/leisure items to 17%.
And when it came to the most popular toys to give as gifts for the children the top 5 choices for girls were Barbie, dolls, LOL surprise dolls, Lego, and makeup.
While for the young chaps the most popular choices were LEGO, Hot Wheels, cars & trucks, Playstation, and video games.
And greeting cards are also extremely popular at this time of year, with the Greeting Card Association estimating that 1.3 billion Christmas cards are sold each year in the United States.
What Do People Actually Want For Christmas Gifts In 2022?
So now we know what people are planning to buy as Christmas gifts for the 2022 holiday season, but is it what their loved ones actually want?
Well the good news is that their preferred gift choices are pretty similar to what people are hoping for.
As gift cards (54%) and clothing and accessories (49%) were also the top two Christmas gifts that people wanted (National Retail Federation).
While a gift of books/other media was desired by 30% of those surveyed, with 24% wanting electronics, 23% home decor and 21% a nice piece of jewelry.
20% of people were interested in receiving some personal care/beauty items, 18% said they wanted sporting goods, 17% wanted home improvement gifts and 7% asked for something not on the list.
Gift Cards As A Christmas Gift Option In 2022
Buying gift cards to give to your loved ones as Christmas gifts has become an extremely popular option over recent years.
And 2022 was no exception, with the Deloitte survey finding that 76% of consumers were planning to buy gift cards for the holiday season at an average spend per household of $252.
While the National Retail Federation survey estimated that an amazing $28.6 billion dollars would be spent on gift cards over this period.
With each household buying an average of 3.2 gift cards and putting $51.47 on each one.
So what are people buying?
Well, restaurant gift cards were the most popular choice with 27% of consumers choosing this as a gift, followed by 26% going for department store gift cards.
With bank-issued gift cards (25%), coffee shop gift cards (20%) and gift cards for online merchants (16%) making up the top 5.
Where Are People Buying Their Christmas Gifts From In 2022?
As people are using the internet more nowadays to research and gain inspiration for potential gifts, it's no surprise that most gifts are bought online.
This was reflected in the Deloitte survey which found that shoppers expected to spend 63% of their holiday budget online, compared to only 35% in store.
And the findings from the National Retail Federation survey agreed, with buying holiday gifts online being the most popular choice with 56% of people planning to do it this way.
Discount stores (48%) and department stores (47%) were the next best options, followed by grocery stores (45%) and clothing stores (31%).
24% of people were planning to support local small businesses by buying their holiday gifts from them.
While 20% were planning to visit an electronics store, 17% were buying a gift from a crafts store, and 12% were using other specialty stores.
In 2022 People Are Making Use Of Technology To Buy And Source Christmas Gifts
As you can see from the popularity of online shopping over the holiday season, people are embracing technology more and more during the gift buying process.
With 56% of people saying they'd use their smartphone when browsing for and buying Christmas gifts in 2022 (Deloitte).
While 34% said they'd use social media to help them make a holiday gift buying decision, which was up from 28% in 2021 and 26% in 2020.
And when it came to what they found most helpful, 43% said it was user comments and reviews of potential gifts they were thinking of buying that helped to sway their decision.
While 38% also found product reviews by bloggers helpful in the gift buying process.
People Are Starting Their 2022 Christmas Shopping Earlier This Year
While there are many of us that face a late dash to get all our Christmas gifts on time, there are also plenty of people out there that like to plan ahead.
As 38% of people surveyed by the National Retail Federation expected to start their 2022 Christmas shopping earlier than in previous years.
With the Thanksgiving weekend being a popular time to start buying holiday gifts for 49% of consumers, with 29% taking advantage of Black Friday and 30% chasing the Cyber Monday deals (National Retail Federation).
However, some are even earlier than that, with 60% beginning their holiday shopping by early November (Deloitte).
So why are people so eager to get a head start with their gift buying?
Well, 77% were worried that stocks would run low and they might not be able to get the gifts they could get, especially when these gifts were electronics (52%) or toys (40%) (Deloitte).
However, this was only an issue for 32% of consumers surveyed by the National Retail Federation.
Instead they were more concerned about avoiding stressful last-minute shopping (43%), avoiding holiday crowds (42%), and wanting to take advantage of early sales and promotions (39%).
Inflation Is Hitting Christmas Shoppers Hard In 2022
The inflation rate in the United States for 2022 was 6.5% which meant that the holiday season became a fair bit more expensive for American families (US Inflation Calculator).
And for this reason it's no surprise that 73% of consumers expected to be faced with higher prices this year (Deloitte).
While at the same time 37% of households said they were in a worse financial situation than the previous year.
Which is bad news however you look at it.
And the amount people were planning to spend over the holidays depended on how much they were earning.
With households earning under $75k per year spending less than half on average ($606) compared to households earning over $75k ($1304) (National Retail Federation).
Which suggests that people on lower incomes may be feeling the pinch this year.
Try Not To Give Unwanted Gifts This Christmas
The last thing you want to do at Christmas is to give someone a gift that they hate, right?
However, it seems this is a very common occurrence, as the Finder report found that 52% of Americans said that they typically received at least one unwanted gift over the holiday season.
With the average value of each of these unwanted gifts being $60, which works out to a ridiculous total of $8.3 billion dollars being wasted each holiday season on unwanted gifts.
And while clothing and accessories was the most popular choice of gift option for consumers in 2022, this was also by far the most likely culprit for becoming an unwanted gift.
As 49% of those surveyed had received an item of clothing as a gift that they didn't want (Finder).
So maybe we're not as good at guessing our loved ones style, taste and size as we like to think!
And while these gifts were unwanted most people just choose to keep them anyway (42%), while others plan to regift (35%), exchange (26%) or resell them (17%).
While 8% said they'd simply just throw them away!
The act of giving to a loved one by buying them a gift at Christmas time is a wonderful thing, but it can also be hard to get right.
So I hope these Christmas gift buying statistics have enlightened you and given you some guidance on how to spend your own money this holiday season.
As by following the trends you can gain some tips on how to navigate the gift buying minefield.
And take some of the stress out of the holiday season.