Home > American Pulse, Consumer Behavior & Trends, Holiday Shopping > Generation Gap: Who’s Excited about the Holiday Season?

Generation Gap: Who’s Excited about the Holiday Season?

With the holiday season in full swing and Christmas just days away, it’s hard not to get excited about this time of year…or is it? Findings from our American Pulse™ survey indicate that this really depends on what generation you belong to:

Silent (born 1945 or earlier)
Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
Gen X (born 1965 – 1982)
Gen Y (born 1983 – 1993)

Overall, the majority of consumers (50.5%) say they get very or somewhat excited for the holiday season this year, while one in four (24.5%) aren’t at all or aren’t very excited about the prospect of untangling lights, fighting crowds at malls, and hearing I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas on regular rotation on their favorite radio station [blech].

While no particular generation says “Bah Humbug” to the holidays, it’s evident that the older generations definitely find less to get excited about. Fewer than two in five (38.2%) of those in the Silent generation get somewhat or very excited as the holiday season rolls around, just slightly more Boomers (39.5%) say the same. The excitement level of Gen X-ers (53.4%) indexes higher than average, while nearly three in four (72.7%) Gen Y youngsters get downright twitterpated at the thought of candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup (OK, maybe that’s just Buddy the Elf).

About one in three of those in the Silent (31.2%) and Boomer (31.4%) generations say they just aren’t at all or aren’t very excited for the holiday season this year. Fewer Gen X-ers (23.5%) feel this way, while just one in ten of those in Gen Y (10.4%) say the same.

Three out of five (59.7%) holiday celebrants say they most look forward to spending time with family and friends during the season; about three in ten (29.6%) are actually dreading this time of year because money is tight. Just 10.6% is most looking forward to finding the perfect gift for everyone on their lists.*

While spending time with family and friends is the top priority for each generation, more Silents (70.4%) and – surprise! – Gen Y-ers (64.2%) are prone to indicate this. One in three of those in the Boomer (35.1%) and Gen X (32.9%) generations say aren’t looking forward to the holidays due to money concerns; Silents (24.6%) and Gen Y-ers (20.0%) are much less likely to indicate that money is putting a Grinch wrench in their holiday plans.

Finally, while I still refuse to disclose my age, I will admit that I [thankfully] do belong in a generation that tends to look forward to shopping during the holiday season. Those in the Gen X (13.4%) and Gen Y (15.8%) groups are more likely to indicate that they most look forward to finding the perfect holiday gifts, compared to Silents (5.0%) and Boomers (6.6%).

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

* For this question, consumers were asked to select one of the following phrases that best describes them: “I am looking forward to finding the perfect gifts for everyone on my list,” “I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends,” and “I am dreading the holiday season because money is tight.”

Source: American Pulse™ Survey, OCT-11 #2

© 2011, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

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