Usually, the festive season during Christmas and New Year is a period of celebrations which comes with higher than normal spending. As times have changed and these holidays are more commercialized, spending is definitely bound to be high. People spend this money on a number of things such as gifts, food, vacations, and outings. Data shows that Romanians spend the biggest share of their income (32%) towards Christmas celebrations. The Czech Republic is second with 25% while the United Kingdom and the United States are both third with 15%. Italians and the Spanish close the top five with 12% of their incomes directed towards Christmas spending.
Countries that spend the most for Christmas
Romania is a country full of interesting cultures and traditions that place the country at the top of this list. For Romanians, Christmas celebrations begin earlier than in other countries. The Christmas season in the country starts on November 30 (St. Andrew’s Day) and lasts until Christmas day (December 25) and New Years (January 1). During this season, families gather and share gifts with one another. Another reason that could explain the spending is the fact that most Romanians enjoy traveling during the festive season.
Looking at the United States, Christmas spending is so high because of the commercialization of the holiday. For example, in 2013, the retail industry in the country managed to generate a whopping $3 trillion during the festive season alone. In fact, some people begin Christmas shopping in earlier months to avoid the high costs of commodities.
In the United Kingdom, research shows that high spending can be attributed to children, family and relatives, and sales promotions such as Black Friday. In some cases, people have to go into debt in order to finance their holiday spending. In 2015, at least 400,000 more people got into debt during the festive season compared to the previous year.
Culture and Trends
The high spending is despite the fact that hard economic times in the world are forcing people to be more cautious in their spending habits during the festive season. Interestingly, studies are also showing that those people experiencing an upsurge in financial situations are also being more cautious in their spending. Regardless of the economic times, it is always expected that people will spend more than average for Christmas due to the culture perpetuated over the years. For some people, spending can lead to debts because they do not budget. Consequently, more people end up in debt after the season. The above data only shows the percentage of income that people use for Christmas celebrations and not the actual amount of money used. Looking at the amount that is actually spent, the UK is at the top of the list, spending about €420 per person for Christmas. The US is second with €360 per person while Luxemburg is third with around €300. Romania is actually twelfth with the spending per person being only €110.