20 Weird Financial Facts About Christmas

Which age group in America is buying the most holiday gifts for their pets? If you guessed Millennials—and of course you did—you’d be wrong!

We here at the OppLoans Financial Sense Blog have two primary objectives: providing our readers with valuable financial information and offering seasonal facts to keep the conversation going at the holiday table with your families.

Recently we gave you 10 Thanksgiving Money Facts to talk about over the turkey. Now we’re coming back at you with some Christmas money facts to talk about over the goose or ham or … whatever.

And since it’s a time for giving, which is why we’ve got twice the holiday facts for you! Yes, we’re stuffing your stockings with 20 Christmas Financial Facts! Grab some hot cocoa with extra marshmallows and enjoy!

1. Lots of people go into debt for holiday shopping.

We’re not here to tell you whether Santa is real or not. What we do know is, unfortunately some people are going into debt for their holiday shopping.

In a 2017 post he wrote about Christmas savings in 2017, Money Life Wax (@moneylifewax) founder Josh Hastings came across the following:

“One HUGE fact I found interesting was that the average consumer during Christmas time will spend close to $1,000 on gifts,” he said, adding that, “An alarming 4 in 10 will go into debt to do so.”

Not to get too self-referential, but we have some tips that might keep you from becoming more broke when you’re planning your Christmas.

2. It’s not just physical stores that benefit.

You know Christmas time means Santa is going to be downloading himself down some chimneys, but did you know a lot of apps are going to be downloaded onto devices as well?

Yes, that was a little bit of a stretch. Let’s move on.

“Christmas day sees more app downloads than any other day of the year,” Rob Mackley, owner of Red Box Web Design (@RedBoxStafford). “Santa certainly came to town bearing good wishes for app stores on Christmas day last year, where 328 million apps were downloaded to smartphones and tablets.

“Analysts are expecting the same good fortune for 2018. Smartphone and tablet devices are popular Christmas gifts, so it’s not surprising that its capabilities will be immediately tested with a few app downloads to start.”

3. ‘Tis better to give.

A recent study commissioned by TD Ameritrade (@TDAmeritrade) sought to find out how different groups spend their holiday money and who they spend it on. And then they were kind enough to share that information with us.

When it comes to giving gifts, the Ameritrade study found that most people are planning to buy presents for their kids and spouses. 59 percent of respondents said that they will be buying presents for either their kid, spouse, or both.

4. Presents for pups.

If you were concerned that only humans are getting presents for the holidays, worry no longer! The Ameritrade study found that 20 percent of people will be buying presents for their pets. And no—despite what you might assume—this isn’t just some Millennial thing.

In fact, 27 percent of Gen-X responders said they were planning to buy gifts for their pets while only 22 percent of Millennials said they’d do the same.

5. Treat yourself.

One millennial stereotype did prove truer in the study. It turns out millennials are the most likely to buy a gift for themselves, with 42 percent of millennial respondents looking to treat themselves.

The older generation may judge, but after another year of dealing with massive student loan debt, stagnant wages, and inconsistent benefits, they deserve something nice.

6. Office politics.

Planning to get some nice gifts for your coworkers? Just know it may be unrequited. At 14 percent, “coworker” was the category the fewest respondents said they were planning to buy gifts for.

7. Tis the season to be… guilty?!

The TD Ameritrade study also asked respondents whether they felt guilty about their Christmas purchases. 63 percent do not feel guilty about their Christmas purchases, but there’s a big generational split.

While 81 percent of boomers don’t feel guilty about their Christmas purchases, 62 percent of millennials do. Gen-Xers are in the middle, with 64 percent not feeling guilty.

8. Bright Christmas Lights, Big City.

A study by the Chamber of Commerce found that there’s a pretty big difference in the average price of a Christmas tree depending on what state you live in. Christmas trees are at their most expensive in New York, much like everything is more expensive in New York. On average, a Tammany Tenenbaum will set you back $90.

9. One Dakota is closer to Santa’s house.

Looking for the cheapest Christmas tree you can find in America? Then look no further than North Dakota, where Christmas trees are just $33 a pop on average. At that price, you might as well get one for your dog as well!

10. Red, white, and green.

So now you know where to get the cheapest and most expensive Christmas trees in America, but what’s the national average? It turns out it’s right about in the middle between the New York high and the South Dakota low. A good old American six-foot Christmas tree will set you back $59 on average.

11. What a card!

Christmas is still the biggest time of the year for greeting cards. 1.6 billion Christmas cards were sent in 2016. And that’s just retail cards! It doesn’t even count homemade cards or those ecards where you use photographs to make it look like your family is a bunch of singing elves.

12. Santa Claus is coming to the bank.

Santa has a big job. He has to travel around the whole world in one night. Quite frankly, it sounds exhausting. So what does a job like that pay? Well, the average hourly wage of a mall Santa is $30 an hour, but the Santa elite can earn up to $75 an hour. Hopefully, the one percent of Santas aren’t looking down on the more paycheck to paycheck Santas.

13. You’ve heard about Elf on a Shelf, but Elf 2 on a Shelf 2?

Will Ferrell took his place in the Christmas movie hall of fame when he appeared in Elf. However, he did not want to appear in a sequel. Whether it was creative differences or a lack of a script, Ferrell turned down $29 million to appear in a sequel. So if you’re really desperate for an Elf sequel, you’ll need to offer Ferrell at least $30 million.

14. All I want for Christmas is 462 … thousand dollars.

Just as Will Ferrell managed to create a modern-day entry into the Christmas pantheon, Mariah Carey may be the most recent artist to create a true, new Christmas classic song with All I Want For Christmas is You.

For that accomplishment, she receives around $462,000 in royalties each year. She could buy quite a few New York Christmas trees with that!

15. A Scrooge loose.

The most expensive Christmas movie ever made starred Jim Carrey. And no, it wasn’t The Grinch. It was the CGI version of A Christmas Carol. At $190 million, it cost more to make than the original Iron Man movie.

16. On Donner and Blitzen and … the rest …

Want to start your own Santa operation? It might not be quite as expensive as you think. You could theoretically get a reindeer for as cheap as $1,000.

11 more of those complete with feed and a place to keep them and a sleigh and flying lessons and you’ll be on your way to delivering toys to the children of the world in no time!

17. Shine bright like a fruitcake.

Everyone seems to complain about Christmas fruitcakes, but they keep being sold, so someone must be buying them. However, no one bought the world’s most expensive fruitcake.

At $1.72 million, it was created to be displayed in a Japanese department store. What makes it so expensive? A whole bunch of diamonds. So maybe don’t try to eat it.

18. Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, you are very tall.

If your Christmas tree isn’t so tall that it pops through the roof of your house and allows the snow to get in, did you really even celebrate Christmas at all?

Well no matter how tall it was, it probably wasn’t taller than the world’s tallest natural Christmas tree, which was erected in Seattle in December of 1950. It was over 221 feet tall.

19. Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, you are artificial.

If you thought that Seattle Christmas tree was tall, just wait until you hear about the world’s largest artificial Christmas tree! It was 236 feet tall and erected in Sri Lanka. So … it actually wasn’t that much taller. Huh. Good job, nature.

20. Let’s wrap.

Somehow, Americans spend $7 billion on wrapping paper each year. Why? Just use newspaper comic strips!

And there we are. Enjoy your facts, and enjoy your Christmas. From all of us to you, happy holidays! If you enjoyed this story, check out these related posts and articles from OppLoans:

What’s your favorite weird Christmas money fact? Let us know! You can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Josh Hastings is a former High School Athletic Director at the secondary level who shifted his focus in 2016 to focus more effort on his entrepreneur endeavors. In 2017 he founded Money Life Wax (@moneylifewax), a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials with student loans. With an emphasis on money and finance behavior, Josh started Money Life Wax to help millennials realize there are other ways to make money and be happy in the 21st century.
Rob Mackley is the owner of Red Box Web Design (@RedBoxStafford), a website company which has been going now for 12 years.  In 2017 Rob Created RED BOX ALL-IN™, the UK’s only All-Inclusive, Pay Monthly Web Design Service. Having worked in the industry for over 15 years, he has a lot to share so he provides customers and VIP contacts with free helpful articles, step by step marketing guides, and the latest online marketing news via email each week along with beautiful websites.
For over 40 years, TD Ameritrade (@TDAmeritrade) has been proud to help their clients pursue their financial goals while giving those clients more time to focus on what really matters in life. Everything they offer — from guidance to powerful trading tools to retirement resources — is built around one thing … you.

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