By Paige Siewert
Black Friday and Christmas are fast approaching. There is one big thing that ties these things together and that is shopping. Holiday shopping is a trillion-dollar industry in the United States and as the years go by more and more money is being invested in the gift-giving traditions of late December. They say it’s better to give than to receive and the magic of Christmas formulates in the generous actions that surface during the holiday season.
According to Business Insider, this year Americans plan on spending on average of $862 on gifts for their loved ones. The graphic below explains the trends in holiday spending since 2009 and what is expected of this year. College students, on the other hand, opt for a cheaper budget of about $410 as OnCampus research says. This comes as no surprise considering the tight budget College Students are accustomed to and their ability to hit the sales rack to save money anywhere they can. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Being a college student can actually bring an advantage on expectations for Christmas. Typically, friends and family will not expect expensive gifts from their students and because they are not at home as much, a handmade gift can go a long way. If you are really hurting for extra cash, even just spending time with friends and family that miss you could be enough for them.
With big retail days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday coming up, opportunities to fill holiday shopping lists come with much more ease. Places like Target, Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy are sure to deliver on the sales front. Walmart and Target set up holiday sections that have one stop shop presents that come in nice easy-to-wrap gift boxes. Bath sets, pyjamas, toolkits, tabletop games and fuzzy socks are usually a choice you can’t go wrong with. Amazon is featuring many of their signature products like Echo Dot and Fire TV cubes and sticks for almost half the regular price for Black Friday. On top of that, they offer a reduced monthly Amazon Prime rate for students that includes free shipping and Prime streaming services.
Overall, the holidays are meant to be enjoyed. Too many people stress out over funding Christmas and getting gifts on time. Making a budget and a list can be very helpful in the gift giving process. While there may be people on your list that deserve the world for Christmas, one day a year is not worth being in debt for months afterwards. Understand what you can realistically afford in the holiday season and plan your shopping around that. Besides, you remember the memories you make on Christmas Day more than gifts you receive and who they come from.
Information for this article provided by:
OnCampus Research, Business Insider, Investopedia and Statista.
Paige Siewert is a Senior at the University of Saint Mary studying Digital Communications.