The holidays are right around the corner, but according to new CivicScience data, more than 2-in-5 adults are looking forward to the holidays ‘less’ than they usually do. 

That’s according to a poll of 4,000, among a large series of surveys, that CivicScience studied about consumers’ holiday plans amid an unprecedented time (read: global pandemic).

Traditions and Priorities

Given that many are less excited about the holiday season, it follows suit that nearly a third of adults find gift-giving less important than usual this holiday. Most say it’s equally as important to them.

With many concerned about possibly spreading the coronavirus, priorities are shifting. Staying safe and healthy is the top priority among adults this holiday season (71%), followed by relaxing and enjoying themselves. Seeing family and friends, following traditions, and giving meaningful gifts are less of a priority this year. 

Staying safe and healthy is more likely to be a priority the older someone is, whereas seeing friends and family is more likely to be a priority the younger someone is.

Republicans swing away from the general population. Seeing friends and family and relaxation are the top priorities for the political right.

Holiday Shopping

Nearly half of U.S. adults will either be spending less or won’t be holiday shopping at all. With job loss and uncertainty about the future in general, this holiday season will be different for many Americans.

Holiday spending this season has a lot to do with how people are feeling about their personal finances. Those who expect their situations to improve say they will spend more compared to last holiday season, while those on the opposite end of the spectrum will be spending less.

Most parents and grandparents will be spending the same amount as they did last year, but there are five times as many who will spend less than more.

To no surprise, online shopping will see a huge gain this holiday season while people opt to stay at home. Fifty-eight percent of holiday shoppers plan to do more than half of their shopping online. This is one and a half times more than  last year.

Overall, Americans are less likely to participate in Cyber Monday and Black Friday than they were last year. But Cyber Monday is still the more popular post-Thanksgiving sale. 

Holiday Travel

Nearly half of U.S. adults polled expect their holiday plans and traditions to be impacted or altered ‘a lot’ due to the pandemic.

This is evident in the first round of data asking consumers how they anticipate celebrating the holidays.

For those who have their holiday plans figured out, Christmas seems to be the holiday that most people plan to spend in person with friends or family, followed by Thanksgiving. 

Overall, only 16% of people who know what their holiday plans are will travel this year.

The difference between last year and this year is even more stark, among those who usually travel for the holidays – only about a third are likely to still do so this year.

However, those who will stick to their typical travel plans are more likely younger and people who deem themselves healthier than their non-traveling counterparts. 

It’s not surprising that political affiliation gives a strong indication of whether someone will stick to their typical holiday travel plans, Republicans being the most likely to do so this year.

Most Americans are going to feel the effects of the pandemic on their holiday from how they shop to where and how they gather. It will certainly be an unprecedented season, but hopefully one that is still merry and bright for most.