Here’s How Much Americans Are Spending This Holiday

Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
December 10, 2020
2 min read

Is that sleigh bells we hear, or is it cash registers ringing?

Giving gifts is one of the most cherished holiday traditions, but it can cost a pretty penny. We were curious about how much money Americans planned to spend on gifts this year. We also wanted to see what they were spending on. So we broke out the eggnog, wrote up a survey, and checked our results twice.

Holiday spending breakdown

According to our data, shoppers plan to spend $1,865 this holiday season. Here’s the cost breakdown by gift category.

Americans Are Spending $1,865 on Gifts This Year
Holiday spending breakdown
Spending categories
Planned spending cost

Large electronics


Personal electronics


Digital gifts


Gift cards




Toys and games


Home security






Interesting findings

The following data points stood out to us:

  • 1 in 5 shoppers say over half the gifts they buy this year will be digital vs. physical. Think e-gift cards, streaming service subscriptions, and video game redemptions.
  • 1 in 5 shoppers say they're making all their holiday gift purchases online. That’s a sharp contrast to last year, when only 5% of shoppers bought all their gifts online. Given how 2020 turned out, the rise in online shopping doesn’t surprise us.
  • Shoppers plan to spend over 50% more money on large electronics (like TVs and sound systems) than on personal electronics (like smartphones and tablets).
  • While home security is the lowest-spend category, it’s still netting 5% of shopping dollars this year. If you bought a new security system or doorbell camera for a loved one, you’re in good company.

Every state’s most popular holiday toy

As you can see in our data, just under 10% of holiday money goes towards toys and games. But what you’re spending that toy money on may vary based on the state you’re living in.

Spoiler alert: the PlayStation 5 is the top pick for almost half the states. Santa’s elves better get busy, because they’ve got a lot to make.

We also noticed that classic toys, like Hot Wheels and Nerf guns, made the list in a few different states.

The Most Popular Toys and Games in Every State


Here's how we created this report.

Methodology surveyed Americans 18+ to find out how they plan to shop for the holidays this year and how much they have budgeted for various gift categories. We then analyzed the survey responses to determine how much Americans are planning to spend on average in each category.

The survey has a sample error of ± 4.5% and a 95% level of confidence.

To create the map with each state’s most popular holiday toy, we extrapolated the data from Google Trends for the past 90 days. Using Google Trends, we determined the most-searched toys in every state leading up to the holidays.

What we google speaks volumes about what we want to buy. Some might say Santa uses the same data to inform his gift-giving.


Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining, she wrote safety and security content for Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on, Social Catfish, and Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at

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