The Festive Habits of Americans

Christmas is, truly, the merriest time of year. With fairy lights, reindeer, snowmen, and other decorations lighting up the streets, it’s impossible not to get into the festive spirit, especially as we countdown to the statewide launch of North Carolina sports betting. But have you ever wondered how the average American spends the Christmas period and what their festive habits are?

Well, we’ve taken a deep dive into the festive habits of Americans and the results are merry, indeed! Surveying over 3,000 Americans on their festive habits, we can now reveal exactly how they like preparing for the big day. 

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When Do Americans Put Up Their Christmas Decorations?

With Thanksgiving being in late November, you’d expect a lot of people to hold off decorating for Christmas until December rolls around – but what’s the most popular date to deck the halls?

Well, according to our survey, the most common time to start decorating is usually between December 1st and the 15th. While you do have people starting much earlier, the festivities truly begin on the first day of December. You might even hope for some snow to go with your outdoor decorations if you’re in states such as Minnesota, North Dakota, or Montana!

Interestingly, 1% of the population never take down their Christmas decorations. The study also showed that 42% of people tend to put up decorations before December 1st, but, sadly, 7% admitted that they never bother decorating at all.

While decorating is all fun and games, it’s the 45-54-year-olds who get most into the Christmas spirit. In this age bracket, 53% decorate before December. In comparison, only 40% of 22-34-year-olds decorate before December, meaning the majority keep off until the Christmas month hits. 

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When Do Americans Start Shopping for Gifts?

Perhaps you’re an early bird who prefers to shop for Christmas gifts in the fall, or maybe you’re someone who panic-buys a few days before Christmas Day. Our survey did reveal certain habits among Americans, with one being that 70% of women start their Christmas shopping before December, while only 60% of men said the same.

When it comes to the people most prepared for Christmas, nobody tops those aged 45-54 and 65+, with 69% of these ages arranging their Christmas gifts before we hit December.

On the flip side, the data revealed that 7% of women won’t start purchasing gifts until the week before Christmas, with 12% of men agreeing. It turns out 35-44-year-olds are the least prepared when it comes to gift buying, with just over half (58%) in this age bracket buying gifts in November or earlier. 

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How Much Do Americans Spend on Christmas Gifts Each Year?


When it comes to costs, Christmas is no cheap affair. In fact, the average American spends nearly $600 on Christmas gifts ($597.10). But it’s those aged 35-44 who spend the most by far, with presents totaling almost $800! The survey also revealed that it is men who tend to spend the most when it comes to gift buying, including 41% spending above $500 – compared to just a third of women (36%). 

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At What Age Do Americans Stop Believing in Santa Claus?

While everyone loves the wonders of Christmas, most adults have long-stopped believing in Santa Claus. Still, Santa is a mythical, amazing man to children, and, according to our survey, youngsters tend to believe until they’re roughly nine years of age (9 years, 1 month) - but it does differ slightly between the states.

In Texas, children stop believing in Santa Claus at the age of 10 years and five months, while in South Carolina, it’s 10 years and one month. In New York, children stop thinking Father Christmas is real after they turn 10. Meanwhile, children in California stop believing in Santa at the age of nine years and five months, almost a year ahead of children in Texas.

Split between genders, it’s boys who believe in Santa longer than girls. In fact, 31% of boys believe in him until they’re 10+, but only 27% of girls can say the same. 

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The States That Want Snow for Christmas

While Mariah Carey signs ‘All I want for Christmas is you’, a lot of Americans actually wish for a white Christmas more than anything. The states that want snow for Christmas the most are: 

  1. Kentucky – 77%
  2. New York – 75%
  3. Ohio – 71%
  4. New Hampshire – 69%
  5. Maryland – 68% 

Kentucky tops the list as the state with the most citizens wanting a white Christmas. While it is a state which might have freezing temperatures and heavy forms of rain, now and then they’ll get a bit of snow.

Hopefully, now you know a little bit more about Americans’ festive habits. Perhaps you’re one of the few who never take down your decorations, or maybe you like spending your time outside, skiing or sledging, but always remove the decoration straight after Christmas Day. 

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In total, 3,000 Americans over 21 were polled between the 31st October - 3rd November. Of those surveyed, 49% were male and 51% were female. The age breakdown of participants included in this survey was 20% in the range 21-34, 19% in the range 35-44, 19% in the range 44-54, 18% in the range 55-64, and 24% over 65+.

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