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Americans Take This Many Weeks On Average To Prepare For The Holidays

Between planning and decorating, it takes the average American six weeks to prepare for the holiday season.

Between planning and decorating, it takes the average American six weeks to prepare for the holiday season.


According to a new poll of 2,000 U.S. adults who celebrate a winter holiday, planning takes the majority of those six weeks.

Between planning and decorating, it takes the average American six weeks to prepare for the holiday season. JONATHA BORBA/PEXELS

Results found it takes the average American five weeks to plan presents, meals and the “perfect” holiday season. And respondents spend an entire week, or seven full days, simply getting decorations in place.  

And for all that goes into decking their halls, 22% of respondents admit that they spend more time planning and putting up their decorations than they do actually relaxing and enjoying them.

This six-week lead time may be why 23% received an invite to a holiday gathering in September or October, however, 9% said they’ve had to put  a seasonal gathering on their calendar as early as the summer.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Minted, the survey revealed that 9% are in “holiday season mode” as soon as the clock runs out on Halloween, kicking decorating off on Nov. 1. However, a similar number (8%) don’t shift gears until the day before Thanksgiving.

Another 49% will use the days and weeks after Thanksgiving to hang their decorations.

Americans are adorning their homes with trees (47%), lights (46%), Santas (37%), stockings (35%) and candy canes (35%). Other popular seasonal decor includes wreaths (35%), candles (33%), garlands (28%) and even holiday-themed table linens (27%).

While decorating may be the way many Americans start feeling festive (52%), others listen to holiday music or watch seasonal movies (both 34%).

More than one-third of respondents (36%) still listen to and watch the same holiday movies and music as they did when they were young. Only 16% said the holiday movies and music they consume today is totally different from their childhood.

Respondents admit that listening to holiday music (29%) and watching holiday movies (26%) ignite holiday nostalgia.

“We know how much dedication holiday lovers put into planning out their celebrations,” said Marissa Cedarleaf, Minted GM of Holiday. “Holiday planning is all about the end result of spending time together with our loved ones, which will bring a joy one remembers for seasons to come.”

Results also showed that approaches to shopping for holiday gifts vary. One in five (22%) will casually browse throughout the year, while a similar number (19%) do their shopping in early December.

Sixteen percent said they finish their shopping before the holiday season even starts and another 15% wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

But who gives the best gifts? The survey revealed that the top three gifters are their mom (29%), friends (22%) and their child (21%). Only 10% of respondents said their in-laws are good at giving holiday gifts.

With many getting their shopping out of the way early, it leaves time for Americans to work on other holiday traditions like sending holiday cards, which three in five respondents (62%) are likely to send out holiday cards.

Top holiday card images are photos taken at home (35%), with extended family (34%) and on vacation (30%).

Almost three in 10 (29%) of respondents said they would include a photo with their pets and 25% said they would feature matching outfits. Fifteen percent of respondents  said they would even include a photo of just themselves.

Between planning and decorating, it takes the average American six weeks to prepare for the holiday season. ANY LANE/PXELS

And it seems just about any season will do when it comes to taking those photos, though 35% prefer a winter backdrop.

“Holiday cards are a great way to personalize the magic of the season. Results revealed that 31% of respondents choose their card’s design to make others laugh, while 22% look to highlight life milestones. No matter the reason you’re sending cards, there are many  customizable options to help capture any milestone” said Marissa Cedarleaf, Minted GM of Holiday.


  • Spending time with loved ones – 39%
  • Decorating the tree – 38%
  • Seeing holiday lights – 30%
  • Holiday music – 29%
  • Holiday movies – 26%
  • Baking holiday cookies or snacks – 25%
  • Cooking holiday meals – 24%
  • Receiving a holiday card – 21%
  • Vintage decorations – 19%

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who celebrate a winter holiday was commissioned by Minted between Nov. 9 and Nov. 14, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).


Produced in association with SWNS Research

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