Scrooged: A Record Number of Americans Say They're Not Planning on Buying Christmas Gifts This Year

Consumers are having a hard time justifying gifts this holiday season.
Consumers are having a hard time justifying gifts this holiday season. / NYS444/iStock via Getty Images

You may have seen reports that American consumers are expected to come out in droves for holiday shopping this season, spending more than in last year’s pandemic-plagued retail environment and clearing shelves of their already-thin inventories.

While that may be true, it doesn’t necessarily mean people will be finding more gifts under the tree this year. That’s because an alarming number of people plan on skipping the whole Christmas presents thing.

According to CNBC, a recent survey indicates that 11.5 percent of respondents have no intention of gifting. The reason? The uncertain and inflated financial world. Everything from products to gas to groceries is going up. As a result, families in lower income brackets are being far more cautious about their spending than ever. And it seems like gifting is the one expense they’re opting to eliminate.

So how can overall retail spending be up by an estimated 10.5 percent over last year? The answer is found in higher income brackets, where more financially comfortable consumers plan to spend more. Lower-income participants who do gift may spend roughly $536 on gifts: Those making over $100,000 could spend an average of $2624.

The 11.5 percent of gifting-averse respondents is up from just 3 percent from 2019 and about 5 percent from 2020. The survey, by financial advisory firm Deloitte, polled 4315 consumers in September of this year.

And while respondents said they don't plan on shopping for gifts, that doesn't mean they won't give gifts. DIY presents like crafts, baked goods, or just some general good cheer can be just as meaningful as anything sold in stores, if not more.

[h/t CNBC]