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States That Spend the Most on Holiday Decor

A header image for a blog about how much Americans spend on holiday decor

The holiday season means a few added expenses. From gift-giving to outfit planning, many of us adjust our budgets around the most festive time of the year. And, of course, you can’t forget the holiday decor!

While adorning our homes with twinkling lights and festive ornaments is a cherished tradition, it's crucial to remember that holiday decor, though festive, can pose risks if not used properly. In fact, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve rank as the second and third most common days for house fires annually.

At Rainbow Restoration®, we understand the joy that holiday decorations bring to homes and businesses across the country when proper safety precautions are in place. That’s why we wanted to know: how much do Americans really spend on their holiday decor? We surveyed 2,100 Americans to find out.

This data is more than just numbers; it offers a glimpse into the lifestyles and safety practices of property owners across the nation. As we explore these findings, we aim to empower you with not only interesting facts but also essential safety tips. Read on to see what we found.

Key Findings

  • The average American spends about $334 extra every year on the holidays ($147 on decor and $187 on additional meal preparation). Those from Mississippi spend an extra $522 (most), and those from Delaware spend an extra $233 (least).
  • 35% of Americans buy new holiday decorations every year, either to replace old ones or to add to an existing collection. Residents from Mississippi do this most often (51%). Those from Delaware do it least often (19%).
  • 14% of Americans are at some level of concern about property damage due to unattended/malfunctioning holiday decorations. The state that is most concerned about this is Arizona (24%), the state that is least concerned is Pennsylvania (2%).
  • Only 1 in 10 Americans are concerned about property damage due to increased kitchen usage during the holiday season. 21% of New Yorkers are concerned about this (most in the study) compared to 2% of people from Michigan (least in the study).

The States That Spend the Most and Least On Holiday Decor

A comparative bar chart showing the U.S. states that spend the most and least on holiday decor

According to our research, the average American spends an estimated $147 annually on holiday decorations — but that varies substantially depending on where you are.

When it comes to holiday decor spending, certain states stand out for their extravagance. Topping the list is Maryland, where residents, on average, spend a remarkable $264 annually on holiday decorations. Following closely are New Mexico and Oklahoma, with residents spending $240 and $220 respectively. This level of expenditure reflects not just a love for the holiday season but also a commitment to creating a festive atmosphere in homes across these states.

On the other end of the spectrum, several states exhibit more modest spending habits. For instance, residents of Delaware can allocate an average of $95 annually on holiday decor. Similarly, Maine and Nebraska also show restraint in decor spending, with figures hovering around $99 and $107 respectively. This contrast in spending could be attributed to various factors ranging from economic conditions to cultural preferences or even differing interpretations of holiday traditions.

Regionally, the South is a hotbed for holiday decor spending, with states like Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas all allocating over $200 for their festive adornments every year. In fact, seven of the top 10 states with the highest holiday decor spending are in the South. Only one Southern state, North Carolina, appears in the bottom 10, highlighting the region's overall inclination towards more lavish holiday decor.

Arizona ranks eighth overall for holiday decor spending. Interestingly, residents here are most concerned about property damage due to decor, with this being at the forefront of a quarter of Arizonans’ minds. On the flip side, Pennsylvanians, who spend the fourth least, also happen to be the least concerned.

The States That Spend the Most and Least on Holiday Meals

A comparative bar chart showing the U.S. states that spend the most and least on holiday meals

Shifting gears to the all-important mealtime, a similar regional trend continues, as the South is home to six of the 10 states that spend the most on holiday grub.

At the top-end of holiday meal spending, Mississippi takes the lead with a notable annual expenditure of $321. This is followed by Alabama, where families spend an average of $287. California, often known for its diverse and rich culinary scene, also shows significant spending, averaging $282. Whether it’s a matter of necessity due to increased grocery costs or just an appreciation for good food, we respect the dedication.

Conversely, several states exhibit more conservative holiday meal spending. Florida, for example, averages a modest $130. Similarly, Arkansas and North Carolina are on the lower end of the spectrum, with spending figures at $131 and $132, respectively.

The national average for holiday meal spending stands at around $187, suggesting that while there are states that go above and beyond in their holiday meal preparations, many others maintain a more balanced approach, blending tradition with budgetary considerations.

Going Over-Budget on Holiday Spending

As we've seen, the holiday season inspires an array of spending habits across the country, with some states going all out on decor and meals. But how does this festive generosity translate when it comes to sticking to a budget?

Leading the pack in exceeding their decor budget is New Mexico, where residents go a surprising $113 over their planned spending. With an actual expenditure of $240 compared to a budget of $127, it's clear that the allure of holiday decorations is particularly strong here. Florida and Missouri follow suit, overspending by $54 and $51, respectively.

While less exaggerated than decor, some states also go over budget on holiday meals. Idaho leads in this category, spending $38 more than planned, with an actual spend of $217 compared to a budget of $179. Alabama's over-expenditure of $35 and New York's additional $26 indicate that the spirit of holiday feasting can also lead to spending (and probably eating) more than anticipated.

One thing’s for sure: people tend to go over budget on holiday decor more frequently than on holiday meals. This could be attributed to the nature of decor purchases, which are often driven by impulse buys and the desire to continuously add to the festive ambiance. After all, all it takes is one grinning Santa, and suddenly, sticking to your budget feels much less important.

Essential Holiday Safety Tips

When it comes to holiday decorations, safety should always be a top priority. Firstly, when using lights, make sure they are in good working order and that no wires are frayed or bulbs broken. It’s important to use lights that are certified for safety and appropriate for their intended use (indoor vs. outdoor). Also, be mindful of where you place decorations; keep them away from fireplaces, heaters, and candles. Turn off all lights and electronic decorations before going to bed or leaving the house to prevent any electrical hazards.

The holiday season often means a busy kitchen bustling with meal preparations. While our survey showed that only one in 10 Americans are concerned about property damage due to increased kitchen usage during the holiday season. More than three times the number of cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than the average day of the year.

Always stay in the kitchen when you're cooking on the stovetop, and keep an eye on what’s in the oven. It’s easy to get distracted, but unattended cooking is a leading cause of kitchen fires. Keep flammable items like oven mitts, wooden utensils, and food packaging away from the stovetop. Also, ensure your smoke alarms are working correctly — they can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency.

Beyond specific decor and cooking precautions, general safety practices are equally important, particularly with extra people around. Make sure your home has a functioning fire extinguisher and that everyone knows how to use it. Have an emergency plan in place and ensure all family members are familiar with it. Taking these simple steps can help ensure that your holiday season is not only festive but also safe and secure.

Closing Thoughts

As you embrace the festive spirit, we encourage you to use this time to reflect on your own holiday spending, decorating practices, and safety precautions you’ve implemented. Remember, while the sparkle and charm of holiday decorations are key to the season's magic, your safety and well-being are paramount.

Rainbow Restoration’s recovery services are here to help if your holiday season becomes a headache due to malfunctioning decorations or kitchen mishaps. Happy holidays, and remember, safety is the greatest gift you can give your family this season.


To find out how much extra Americans spend on holiday decor and meals, we surveyed over 2,100 people from 44 different U.S. states. We asked them to estimate how much they've spent on holiday decorations (trees, lights, inflatables, additional decor) over the past 5 years and how much they expect to spend this year on preparing meals for holiday gatherings.

We also gained insight into how important Americans think holiday decorations are, which type they spend the most on, and if they ever consider property damage possibilities from improperly handled decor and additional kitchen usage.

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to every situation. You are responsible for determining the proper course of action for your property. Services should be performed by licensed and experienced professionals. Rainbow Restoration is not responsible for any damages that occur as a result of this blog content or your actions. For the most accurate guidance, contact a Rainbow Restoration professional for a custom, on-site assessment.

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