How Much Has The Cost of Christmas Changed Since 1947?


In the 70 years since Miracle on 34th Street opened, the cost of a family Christmas has gone up. Like, way up.

The Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street tells the story of an elderly man named Kris Kringle who gets hired to play Santa Claus at Macy’s flagship department store in Manhattan. (The location of the store is, you guessed it, on 34th Street.) Kringle is, hands down, the best dang mall Santa in the history of Santas.

But when starts to claim that he is Santa Claus, not just a man playing the part, some folks try to get him committed. The whole thing ends up going to court, where Kringle’s lawyer has to prove that his client is indeed Santa Claus.

The big win comes with a big assist from the U.S. postal service because that’s the sort of thing that happened in the 40’s apparently.

70 years is a long time, so we thought it would be fun to look at what has and hasn’t changed about Christmas since Miracle on 34th Street first premiered. Namely, we took a look at how some of the costs of a family Christmas have risen since then.

Spoiler alert: They’ve risen by a lot.

Let’s start with Christmas trees…

In 1947, a Christmas tree cost $8.45

In 2017, the average Christmas tree costs $51.

In 1947, a doll cost $2.59

In 2017, a doll can cost around $20

In 1947, a toy truck cost $1.59

In 2017, toy trucks can cost as much as $34.

On average, the cost of these goods has risen due to inflation by over 1,000 percent! In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one dollar in 1947 had the same buying power as $10.54 cents today. So in those terms, many Christmas costs have actually dropped.

And don’t worry, the cost of spending Christmas with your family hasn’t changed one bit. It’s still priceless.

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