You know that Christmas is an expensive holiday to prepare for, but you’ll be surprised at what the real cost of Christmas in 2016 will be. Everything you spend money on related to the holiday gets counted in a yearly tally – your meals, presents, wrapping supplies, party supplies, decorations, a Christmas tree, etc. The cost rises a little each year due to inflation and other economic factors, but spending trends and an increased desire for the latest technology make Christmas more expensive than ever this year.
Here’s what the cost of Christmas in 2016 is expected to be – Scrooge would be pretty stressed out right about now.
The Cost of Christmas in 2016
What contributes to the cost of Christmas?
Did you know that the average American family spends $1,611.30 on Christmas each year? That cost rises annually, and this year, families may be spending around $1,779 to cover the cost of Christmas. What contributes to that rising cost?
Christmas decorations contribute to the cost of Christmas subtly – we don’t always notice how much we’re spending on decorations. If you own a business and decorate the office, you’re spending double the average amount! The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) found that the average live Christmas tree in 2015 cost $40 while the average artificial tree cost about $64 – either way, you’re forking over a nice little sum of money.
The catch is that if you go the live tree route, you’re paying that rising cost every single year in addition to investing in a tree stand (one time purchase). A good artificial tree costs more upfront, but can be reused every year to create serious Christmas savings.
But a Christmas tree is only part of the cost of Christmas decorations. Add your tree trimmings (ornaments, skirt, lights, star – already $55), interior decorations (an average of $62) and exterior decorations (an average of $67), and it’s pretty costly to make the house look nice at Christmas!
Christmas celebration supplies
You’ll be loading up on supplies for your Christmas gatherings and celebrations. That might include (if you’re not breaking out the china) disposable plates, serving dishes, bowls, cups, spoons, forks, knives, tablecloths, napkins, games for the party, and more. Expect to spend around $50 on your celebration supplies this year – that’s not including the food and beverages!
Holiday dinner and food costs
Your Christmas dinner, appetizers, desserts, and snacks you’ll serve throughout the day will end up costing around $50 this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. It’s the first time in history that the cost has exceeded $50 – it’s actually $50.11 this year – and it’s up 70 cents from the previous year. The figure reflects what the company calls an “average” holiday dinner – a large turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
Now, consider the cost of beverages, which is considerably higher if you consume alcohol at Christmas. Add in the cost for appetizers, more desserts (who makes just one pumpkin pie?), and snacks for the morning and afternoon, and you’re in about $30 more.
Gifts and presents
Last year, consumers thought they’d spend about $800 on gifts and presents for others at Christmas. This year, that number is even higher, at $846.72. Very soon, we’ll be spending $1,000 each year just on gifts and presents! The average family with two adults and two children spends about $1,611.30 on the day of Christmas in total. How much did you spend last year? Do you think you will spend more or less this year?