The ING International Survey on Christmas and New Year 2016 – polling nearly 15,000 people – examines how people across Europe, in the United States and Australia celebrate the festive season. In some, Christmas is a big focus; in others, different festivals may have pride of place – such as Sinterklaas in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Peace on earth and goodwill to all?
Many people hope for peaceful and happy times marking the end of one year and the start of the next, and add to their celebrations by offering gifts. Unsurprisingly, many people plan for the season in advance.
The ING report reveals that 33% of people in Europe save specially for Christmas – although just 16% choose to do so using a dedicated account. It also confirms that some people may be tempted to overstretch their budget, and 9% of people in Europe admit going into debt for Christmas last year.
Fewer people in Turkey celebrate Christmas – so related questions were only asked of a sample of 13,633 people, across 14 countries. The US and Australia were included in the report for the first time in 2015-16. Read the full ING International Survey on Christmas and New Year 2016 here.
UK gift givers
In the UK, people plan a median Christmas present spend of €420 – the largest amount of any country surveyed. Higher-income earners say they’ll spend much more, compared to the lower income brackets.2
Sinterklaas is tops for Dutch
Dutch people may spend more at Sinterklaas in early December; the Netherlands’ median Christmas present spend of €40 places it bottom of ING’s Christmas Spending League.3
Planning? Not this year
While many people earmark funds ahead of time, in Poland and Belgium 50% don’t know how much they’ll spend on presents this Christmas. Spain came next, with 46% saying they do not know their gift budget.4
Accounted for in Austria?
In Austria, only 5% of people save for Christmas using a separate account – across Europe about 16% of people choose to save this way. Only four percent of Austrians say they went into debt the previous year.5
An American dream?
Last year, 20% of people in the US went into debt to pay for Christmas. However, 27% say they’ll spend more this year, with 50% opting for a dedicated account. Median gift spend is a high €360.6
Christmas wishes for sun
Australia might be a long way from Europe, but not the Christmas spending plans of Australians. The €200 median gift budget places Australia sixth equal in the Christmas Spending League, alongside Germany, Italy and Spain.7
Cost of Christmas past
More people in Romania (16%) say they went into debt for the previous year’s Christmas than anywhere in Europe. However, 26% aim to spend more this year, and 42% are saving for this.
This article is related to the ING International Survey:
Christmas and New Year 2016
November 27, 2015
End of year celebrations at Christmas and New Year represent a time of joy and peace for many people. For others, this season can become rather stressful – not least because of the potential shock to the wallet. In...