While Christmas and Thanksgiving are the top two holidays with American adults of all age groups and both genders, results of a Harris Poll released in October 2011 show notable differences in how different demographic groups rank their third- through fifth-favorite holidays. For Echo Boomers (age 18-34), Generation X (35-46) and women, Halloween comes in third.
However, Baby Boomers (47-65), Matures (66 and older) and men rank the Fourth of July third. The Fourth of July ranks fourth with Echo Boomers and Gen X, and fifth with women. Easter makes an appearance in fourth place with Matures and women and in fifth place with the two youngest demographics. Neither men nor Baby Boomers rank Easter as a top five holiday, instead preferring to celebrate New Year’s (fifth place for both groups).
Religious, Patriotic Holidays Dominate Overall Favorites
Looking at the top 10 holidays as ranked by all US adults, two of the top five: Christmas (#1) and Easter (#5) are religious in nature, Meanwhile, another two: Thanksgiving (#2) and the Fourth of July (#4) are patriotic in nature and celebrate pivotal events in the founding of America.
Sandwiched in the middle is a holiday dedicated to fright and costumes that was once considered strictly for kids: Halloween (#3).
Non-religious, Holidays Take Over Lower Half of Top 10
The second half of the top 10 holidays list is dominated by non-religious holidays, with New Year’s at number six and the bookends of summer, Memorial Day and Labor Day, at seven and eight respectively. It is also worth noting Memorial Day is another patriotic holiday set aside to honor those who gave their lives serving in the US military.
The ninth-most-popular mention when Americans were asked to name their favorite holiday is a different day for everyone, as many people responded with “my birthday.” Tied for number 10 on the list are Valentine’s Day and the Jewish celebration of Hannukah, which is the only non-Christian religious holiday to make the Top 10 list for Americans.
NPD: Consumers Plan Flat Holiday Spending
Despite the popularity of both Christmas and Hanukkah with US consumers, this year, the majority say they plan to spend the same amount of money on holiday gifts (64%, a 5% increase from 61% in 2010), according to the 2011 Holiday Retail Outlook from The NPD Group. The fewest number of respondents say they plan to spend more (9%, flat from last year).
Consumers also tell NPD they plan to begin their shopping at or about the same this year as last year. This year, almost 41% of consumers say they plan to start their holiday shopping on Thanksgiving weekend or later, compared to 40% last year.
About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the US between September 12 and 19, 2011 among 2,462 adults (aged 18 and older). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.