Canadians love their Christmas traditions and the classic debate of when it’s appropriate to decorate can get pretty heated! Right after Halloween? After Remembrance Day? On December 1st? No matter when you decide to put up the tree, it’s hard to ignore the costs that swiftly follow!

According to PwC Canada’s Holiday Outlook report, Canadians expect to spend an average of $1,104 this year which is down nearly 31% from last year’s $1,593! The survey said 86% of Canadian consumers expect to spend the same or less this holiday season, with deep cuts in travel spending. When asked how COVID-19 will affect their personal spending capabilities for the holiday season, 57% of respondents said it’s had a negative or slightly negative impact.

In 2020, the average Canadian will spend $630 on gifts (versus $647 in 2019), $308 on travel (versus $743 in 2019), and $166 (versus $204 in 2019) on entertainment.

Among the generations, millennials are expected to spend the most. The pandemic has brought on the trend of curbside pickup with more retailers now offering this service than ever before. This retail feature is most often utilized by Gen Z and millennials, making them the least likely to have their shopping habits affected by the current situation.

COVID-19 has also brought with it a surge in gift card sales and a desire to shop local, with the vast majority of Canadians intending to support more small businesses and give more experiential gifts.

How has the pandemic affected your holiday buying/shopping behaviour?