A purple-mint gradient background with a few Christmas related icons on the right hand side

Cost of Christmas around the world

Christmas can be one of the happiest times of the year for many families, but it can also be one of the most expensive. We’ve taken a look at some of the costs of Christmas around the world to see how celebrations compare.

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Total Christmas costs per country

By clicking on the country icons, you’ll be able to see the total costs of Christmas in that country. The figure is the total cost per household, which is based on the average number of children per household.


Total cost per household ($)

World map

Cost of Christmas by category

Christmas costs have been grouped into categories, in order for us to see proportionately how expensive they are in relation to each other. We can see that the cost of gifts is proportionately the highest cost across more than half of the countries. In fact, 60% of all the countries found that the spend on gifts and food accounted for the majority of their budgets. For more information around the costs per category per country, click on the graph below.

A vector illustration of a gingerbread man, a candy cane and a hot chocolate
Christmas food
A vector illustration representing Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations
A vector illustration representing Christmas gifts
Christmas gifts

0%

25%

50%

75%

100%

The flag of Lebanon in an Octagon shape
Lebanon

41%

10%

49%

$1814

The flag of Canada in an Octagon shape
Canada

26%

28%

46%

$1689

The flag of France in an Octagon shape
France

21%

21%

58%

$1479

The flag of Mexico in an Octagon shape
Mexico

20%

36%

44%

$957

The flag of Australia in an Octagon shape
Australia

19%

32%

49%

$932

The United States flag in an Octagon shape
USA

13%

12%

75%

$859

The United Kingdom flag in an Octagon shape
UK

25%

23%

52%

$779

The Philippines flag in an Octagon shape
Philippines

45%

7%

48%

$742

The flag of Cameroon in an Octagon shape
Cameroon

10%

69%

20%

$469

The flag of Kenya in an Octagon shape
Kenya

19%

22%

59%

$307

The flag of Nigeria in an Octagon shape
Nigeria

43%

36%

21%

$294

The flag of Rwanda in an Octagon shape
Rwanda

25%

37%

38%

$236

The flag of Ghana in an Octagon shape
Ghana

60%

17%

23%

$157

The flag of India in an Octagon shape
India

62%

38%

$98

The flag of Uganda in an Octagon shape
Uganda

75%

25%

$44

Cost of Christmas in their own words


Looking at average costs of food, drink, gifts, decorations and the other components of Christmas helps us understand what the costs are around the world. However, hearing directly from the people in those countries brings the cost of Christmas to life.

“The traditional Nigerian celebration starts from the first day of December with the sounds of fireworks and last-minute shopping, which attracts an increase in the price of items from 5% to even 50% the closer it gets to the festivities. Most of the shopping is done in November, except for perishable goods, which are bought in early December. Our celebrations are different in rural areas where Christmas may be celebrated as a family of five, versus in cities where there may be a family gathering of 30 or more people.”

- Nadyi of Lagos, Nigeria

“There is a big difference amongst the income classes in Uganda - families living below the poverty line can’t afford even a little rice for Christmas. Unlike the middle class that buy items in local markets and shops where prices are moderate to cheap, the upper-class spend more than this on Christmas as they buy these items in supermarkets, where prices are always fixed high with little to no discounts. I make Christmas budgets for my entire family each year!”

- Faith of Kampala, Uganda

“In Kenyan homes owned by middle class people, we tend to have family gatherings whereby families sit together and celebrate. Foods cooked are mostly traditional, like in Central Kenya there is a delicacy named Mukimo which you'll find in many homes during holiday festivities. In Rift Valley, Ugali is a well-known dish. Other dishes include Chapatis from wheat flour and rice. Stews cooked are mainly peas, beans and French beans. Meat, especially 'Nyama Choma', as it is commonly named over here, is a roasted meat that some homes can afford. Drinks are also served but the common one is "Busaa" which is commonly served in the western region. Just like most countries, Kenyans do celebrate; It's a time when people from urban areas journey to their rural homes to enjoy traditional meals.”

- Sonnie D. of Nairobi, Kenya

Methodology


The Christmas items were selected based on desk research of typical Christmas meals, gifts, traditions, travel and decorations. We then researched the average price of each item for an average family on an average income. The prices were researched online in late October 2021 - early November 2021. Prices and breakdowns of what is appropriate for Christmas celebrations in each country was then shared with a local of that country who we hired to validate the data as correct, and where needed, made appropriate adjustments to the data.

The exchange rate from the local currency was calculated on Monday 8 November. The percentage figures are percentages of the overall budget in the local currency. The family household size was taken from the CIA World Factbook and the household income from The World Bank.

  • Food costs = Cost of the main Christmas meal (assumes meal feeds a household)
  • Gift total = Christmas presents for family and friends (assumes gifts spend covers a given household)
  • Decorations total = Money spent on Christmas trees, decorations, fairy lights, etc. (assumes decorations spend covers a given household)

The exhaustive list of sources can be found in this sources document.