Parents have a lot on their plate during the holidays…and we’re not talking about those cookies left for Santa. Moms and dads are busy planning, fulfilling gift lists, decorating, and keeping the magic of Santa alive. With so much going on—not to mention the time and costs involved—Christmas joy can sometimes get overshadowed by holiday stress.
To gain insights into how parents manage and feel about Christmas shopping and gift-giving, Little Sleepies surveyed 1,000 parents with children 10 years of age and younger. Here’s what we unwrapped:
- 76% of respondents said they feel pressure to make Christmas perfect for their kids.
- 59% of parents set a Christmas shopping budget ranging from $201 to $600.
- More than 90% of respondents spend money prepping for the big day, doing everything from baking Christmas cookies to buying holiday family matching pajamas.
- 74% of parents ask their kids directly what they want for Christmas.
- Nearly 50% badly wish there was a real Santa to do their Christmas shopping.
A Holly Jolly Budget
Most parents, 69%, make sure they have a budget for Christmas every year. The most popular budget range chosen by 32% of respondents was $401-$600. Coming in next was $201-$400, selected by more than 26% of parents.
And it appears budgets, like the hottest trending toys, change annually—and this year, it grew. More than half of respondents (58%) said they will spend more on Christmas shopping this year than last year.
Spending on Holiday Presents and Preparation
Where does that Christmas budget go? Nearly 50% of respondents say toys will be the most common type of gift this year. But presents aren’t the only thing they’re buying. Whether they're decking the halls or decking the family out in adorable holiday outfits, more than 90% of parents are spending money embracing holiday cheer and getting into the Christmas spirit.
And festivity prepping starts early, with 88% of respondents saying they begin planning their Christmas shopping one to six months in advance.
The Santa Factor
Finding out what’s on their children’s wish lists is a blend of heartwarming tradition and practicality: 85% of respondents say their kids write letters to Santa, but 73% of parents also ask their children directly what they want. And while Santa’s workshop may get most of the credit for fulfilling those lists, parents are shopping for gifts in-store (49.40%) and online (50.60%).
As for who actually delivers the gifts under the tree? Santa and parents work together to make the holidays magical. 62% of respondents say they sign their Christmas gifts from both Santa and themselves.
The Pursuit of Perfection Brings Pressure
‘Tis the season for comfort and joy, but the expectations placed on parents can be a bit of a bah humbug.
76% of respondents feel pressure to make Christmas perfect for their kids. What defines perfection wasn’t specified, but nearly 90% say they would feel guilty if they couldn’t afford the gifts their kids wanted for Christmas. Plus, 68% feel pressure to spend the same amount of money equally on all their children. With these insights in mind, it’s no wonder that 76% say they consider Christmas shopping for their kids somewhat stressful.
All They Want for Christmas Is a Personal Shopper Santa
While kids may long for the latest toys and games, what's on mom and dad's holiday wishlist? When asked to rate on a scale from 1 (least) to 10 (most), how badly they wish there was a real Santa to handle all their Christmas shopping, nearly half of the parents answered a solid 10.
Make Your Spirit Bright
Christmas isn’t about perfection; it’s a precious time to connect and bond with your children. Build a gingerbread house together, or snuggle on the couch for a Disney Christmas pajama party and holiday movie marathon. Savor those sweet moments as you make merry core memories that will last a lifetime.