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Christmas Fatigue: Is It Starting Too Early?

By Diana Howard

The holiday season is a time of the year that many Americans look forward to, being a time to send and receive gifts, connect and reconnect with friends and family, and enjoy the celebrations that those you love and care for.

Being such an important time of the year, with many buying gifts or looking to celebrate by going out with friends and family, advertisers and businesses are obviously keen to be part of the people’s holiday spending - explaining why an estimated $2.5 billion is spent on holiday season advertising by businesses.

However, with so much money spent by businesses, it often feels like Christmas is starting earlier and earlier. With this in mind, CouponBirds surveyed over 1,000 U.S. residents about whether all the advertising, music and offers leading up to Christmas leave them feeling "Christmas fatigue" by the time we reach December 25th.

Key Findings

  • Over four-fifths (82.8%) of people say they experience "Christmas fatigue" from all the adverts and sales events by the time we reach Christmas Day
  • More than four in five (82.4%) of people believe stores often put up their Christmas decorations too early, while 76.8% believe advertisers post Christmas adverts online and on social media too early
  • Three-quarters of people (75.1%) say they are usually fed up of Christmas songs by Christmas Day, with "All I Want for Christmas is You" and "Jingle Bell Rock" the most overplayed
  • Nine in ten (92.6%) people set a Christmas budget for gifts, decorations, and food, with 87.6% of people using Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday to help buy Christmas gifts

Feeling Christmas fatigue? You’re not alone!

Our survey of over 1,000 respondents found that four-fifths (82.8%) of people say they experience "Christmas fatigue" from all the adverts, sales events, decorations, and music by the time we reach Christmas.

People Who Experience Christmas Fatigue

One of the reasons that many can feel "Christmas fatigue" is the number of adverts that we are exposed to for (at least) several months each year.

As part of our survey, we asked respondents when they typically start to notice Christmas adverts (both in-store and online), when people feel that adverts should start to be published, and whether they feel like all the ads that we start simply start too soon.

More than three-quarters of people (76.8%) say that online Christmas adverts start too soon, with 76.1% believing billboards and other printed ads also appear too early in the year.

Results showed that the majority of people feel that November is when adverts, both online and in-store, should start to appear. Although December was the next most popular (20.7% overall) many people feel that the holiday spirit is being stretched out too long when appearing earlier in the year.

When should Christmas advertising start?

Month When is okay for advertisers to start advertising Christmas offers on products in-store or on printed materials When is okay for advertisers to start advertising Christmas offers online or on social media
December 21.4% 20.0%
November 45.5% 45.8%
October 20.2% 20.8%
September 10.1% 10.1%
Before September 2.8% 3.3%

All I Want for Christmas is…for it to start later

However, it’s not just adverts that can overwhelm and fatigue us when it comes to Christmas.

Over four-fifths of people (82.4%) say that stores put up their Christmas decorations too soon, with the majority (48.1%) saying that stores should only start putting up decorations in November or even December itself (21.4%).

Stores Put Up Christmas Decorations Too Soon

At home, 43.9% say that the best time to put up Christmas decorations is November, while 30.9% say December is the month when it is okay to start putting up Christmas decorations at home. This seems to reflect people’s thinking about what’s acceptable in shops too.

But it wouldn’t be Christmas without a Christmas ballard though, or would it?

According to the results of our survey, 75.0% of people are usually fed up with Christmas songs by the time we reach Christmas Day, with "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey the song most disliked by the time we reach Christmas day (30.8%).

Most disliked Christmas songs by the time we reach Christmas Day

Song Percentage of people that dislike the song by Christmas Day
All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey 30.82%
Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms 30.26%
Last Christmas - Wham! 24.95%
White Christmas - Bing Crosby 23.65%
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams 23.37%
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee 21.32%
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Michael Buble 17.60%
The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole 16.11%
Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives 14.90%
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! - Frank Sinatra 9.22%

It’s beginning to look like Christmas spending

November (35.6%) followed by December (22.3%) are the months that most people start their Christmas shopping, with a further 14.5% typically starting their shopping in October.

The most popular months for people to start their Christmas shopping

Month Percentage of people that start their shopping in each month
November 35.6%
December 22.3%
October 14.5%
September 5.0%
February 4.1%
March 3.5%
January 3.0%
August 2.3%
May 2.1%
April 2.0%
June 2.0%
Not sure 2.0%
July 1.4%

When it comes to spending on Christmas, the vast majority of people (92.6%) create or plan a budget for how much they are going to spend on gifts, food, drinks, and decorations.

Married people are the most likely to budget their Christmas spending (95.8%), while divorced people are the least likely to budget (73.3%).

Results showed that budgets towards Christmas spending can vary dramatically. However, responses also showed that 29.3% of people intend to spend over 50% of the November and December take home pay on Christmas spending.

Use Sales Events To Buy Christmas Gifts

One way that some people hope to save money on Christmas spending is to utilize the Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday sales events. According to our responses, 87.6% of people will look to use Black Friday or Cyber Monday to buy this year's Christmas gifts.

How many people use Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday to buy their Christmas gifts:

Answer Do you use Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts to buy Christmas gifts?
Yes, on both sales events 39.2%
Yes, on Black Friday 24.8%
Yes, on Cyber Monday 23.6%
No 12.4%


1. Statista, "Holiday season retail and online retail advertising spending in the United States from 2016 to 2019".

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