Have Americans finished their holiday gift shopping?

Jamie BallardFreelance Data Journalist
December 18, 2021, 12:27 AM GMT+0

The countdown to Christmas is on. Since the start of November, YouGov has run weekly surveys asking Americans about their holiday shopping. The most recent survey finds that most Americans who celebrate a winter holiday have made headway on their shopping lists, but a sizable group has yet to start.

As of December 12, 22% of Americans who celebrate a winter holiday reported they had already bought all of their holiday gifts. About one-quarter (26%) had purchased most of them, while the same percentage reported purchasing some of them. With just a couple of weeks left until Christmas, 14% of Americans who plan to celebrate the holidays said they had not bought any of their holiday gifts. 

About one in 13 Americans (8%) who celebrate a winter holiday don’t intend to buy any gifts this year. 

This year’s figures are similar to last year’s Christmas shopping data. A survey conducted on December 10, 2020, found that 20% of Americans had done all of their Christmas shopping at this point. About one-quarter (26%) had bought most of their gifts, 21% had bought some of them, and 14% hadn’t started their Christmas shopping. 

Most Americans who celebrate a winter holiday said they would be doing their gift shopping no earlier or later (56%) than they did last year. But 23% said they would be shopping earlier than usual this year, while 13% said they would be doing their gift shopping later than usual.

Some gift buyers shopping earlier this year may be concerned about gift shortages or shipping delays due to global supply chain issues.

As of mid-December, 29% of Americans who celebrate a winter holiday said they were at least somewhat worried about the gifts they want to give not being available because of supply chain shortages. About one-third (31%) said they were not very worried about this and 32% said they were not at all worried. 

Related: Christmas 2021: How will Americans celebrate?

Methodology: The U.S. News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 6,000 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between November 3, 2021 and December 12, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the 2018 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non-votes). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. citizens. 

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