DrawNames Survey Reveals the Covid-19 Impact on Americans’ 2020 Holiday Season Plans

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The Virus is Forcing Mostly Hopeful Americans to Change Their Holiday Plans, Travel, Spending and More as Survey Shows

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...the biggest consequence of Covid-19 on the holidays is the inability to meet fewer or not see family members and friends at all. Sixteen percent of people said they are feeling sad about the holidays and spending them alone or unable to see family

As Americans rethink their holiday traditions this year to practice social distancing, protecting themselves and loved ones, a DrawNames survey gives insight into just how many Americans are feeling about the holidays, how they intend to spend them as well as how their spending habits may change. The survey was conducted with a random group of 1000 participants from 49 states and the District of Columbia. Roughly 57% of participants were women and 49% men predominantly age 25-44.

It’s supposed to be the “happiest season of all” and yet a new wave of Covid-19 infections is making it more likely that many will spend the holidays with at least a small, select group of people, family or friends, or no one at all. So how exactly are Americans feeling about the upcoming holidays and are they keeping the holiday spirit by finding new ways to stay connected to loved ones?

Mental health awareness is always an important issue around the holidays but now the national conversation around Covid-19’s impact on people’s mental health is making the topic even more prevalent. DrawNames, which promotes the holiday spirit through its touchless gift exchange platform, conducted the survey to better understand exactly how the virus has impacted Americans this year and this holiday season, in particular.

How Americans Feel About the 2020 Holiday Season:
The survey reveals Covid-19 doesn’t appear to have altered American’s spirit, hope or desire to celebrate the holidays with 92% of those surveyed saying that they look forward to celebrating the holidays, but it may look a little different. Sixty-five percent said that Covid-19 is causing them to change their traditional holiday plans altogether this year and 72% said that if they don’t celebrate the holidays at all it will be due to the virus and safety.

A majority of participants surveyed are feeling hopeful about the holidays noting that they will be different, but technology will help them stay close to loved ones. However, the biggest consequence of Covid-19 on the holidays is the inability to meet fewer or not see family members and friends at all. Sixteen percent of people said they are feeling sad about the holidays and spending them alone or unable to see family, while others say they will miss the holiday experience in stores, on streets and activities.

On Travel and Family:
When asked how the virus has changed holiday plans nearly 40% do not plan on traveling (flying or driving) to see family. Twenty-nine percent will get together with a “safe pod” of friends or family and close to 19% plan to make new traditions at home. Meanwhile close to 11% say they will spend the holiday alone and will use video calling to connect with friends and family.

More than 55% say that they are planning to spend the holidays with family who are local and nearly 15% say they will spend just a few days with family in another city. Twenty-five percent of respondents say that they plan on having dinner or a small gathering with a good group of friends over a large holiday event. Yet, close to 49% of people report that they are still planning on getting together to unwrap gifts, while 26% say they plan to send gifts by mail.

Spending:
And when it comes to spending on holiday gifts, only 18% say that they plan to spend more on gifts in 2020 than the previous year. Roughly 44% plan on spending the same amount and 38% will spend less on holiday gifts mostly because they want to save money, while others’ spending will change due to furloughs, layoffs, pay cuts to support employers, and the fact that the household income has reduced from two to one. Those surveyed plan to spend an average of $661 on gifts this year, which comes in under the expectations of the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey, which suggests that Americans plan to spend more – an average of $998, just a 5% decrease from 2019.

While reports have suggested that consumers will be shopping earlier than previous years, the survey shows that more than 60% of people plan on purchasing gifts about the same time they did last year, while 45% saying they shop specifically for deals during sales periods.

To view the full survey and its results, including personal responses from participants, please download the presentation attached to the release.

About DrawNames
For more than 10 years, DrawNames has helped millions of people – companies, friends and families – organize their free online gift exchanges. The service allows groups to create a gift exchange for any occasion, drawing names without the hassle of a hat. The 100% touchless virtual gift exchange includes an Auto Name Generator or choice to hold a Live Name Drawing event, ability to create an online wish list, a gift finder or the ability to exchange wish lists or find the perfect gift through anonymous questions. In 2020, the company introduced the option to send gifts via mail to recipients and hold virtual “Unwrap Live” events. Millions of people rely on DrawNames to simplify their Secret Santa gift exchange whether it be for Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid al-Fitr (Secret Eid), marking the end of Ramadan, or Valentine’s Day. http://www.DrawNames.com

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Jennifer Fortney

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