1 in 10 US Families Have a No-Holiday-Gifts Policy

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About 2 million households have gone gift-free, according to a survey.

What would Christmas morning look like if there were no (or very few) gifts under the tree?

According to the Survey of Affluence and Wealth from Time Inc. and research firm YouGov, that’s the reality of Christmas for 1 in 10 U.S. families. They have instituted a no-gift holiday.

The study revealed that although per-household spending on gifts will rise 10 percent from 2013, total holiday spending will increase by just 8.7 percent, because about 2 million households have abandoned holiday gift shopping.

A Pew holiday survey last year revealed that buying gifts is less common for Americans who make less than $30,000 per year. “Roughly three-quarters of those earning less than $30,000 plan to buy gifts this year, compared with roughly 9 in 10 or more of those in higher income brackets,” the survey said.

Even with 1 in 10 families opting for a gift-free holiday, the National Retail Federation anticipates holiday sales to reach $616.9 billion. The average shopper will spend about $804.42 this holiday season, up 5 percent from last year, the NRF said.

There are five adult children in my family, five significant others, four kids and my folks. A few years ago we decided as a family to alter our traditional gift giving on Christmas because it was expensive and stressful.

Now we typically purchase presents for the kids and our parents. My folks give the adult kids gift cards. Then we each have the option to purchase a $20 (or less) gift if we want to participate in a white elephant gift exchange on Christmas night. Christmas is so much cheaper and more enjoyable for all of us now.

What do you think about a no-gift Christmas? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Now, here’s a video explaining why so many people blow holiday budgets and how to stop.

Stacy Johnson

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