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How much is Christmas?

So this is Christmas. And what have you paid?

In Germany the Christmas business represents 18% of retail industry.[1] In the course of this the role of online shopping becomes more and more important. The proportion of total sales doubled from 6% (2007) to 12% (2014*).[1] On average, 89% of us buy at least a part of our present’s online.[2] Bookshops generate 24.3% of their year’s income in November and December.

But besides the presents there are other things that we are paying for. There are for instance decorations and food which increases the “price of Christmas” to approx. 670 € per household2.

35% of all Germans buy their presents already in November and, what is surprising, only 27% just before feasts (what is the two weeks before the 24th).[1] The absolute amount of money spent by every German differs quite a lot, depending on the source you look at. The HDE (Handelsverband Deutschland) mentions approx. 445 €, 377 € is the number published on “”. The GfK (Gesellschaft f?r Konsumforschung) found out that the Germans will spend 285 € for Christmas presents and at “” you can find 219 € as statement. In these statistics different people were asked and the great deviation could be explained by regional or social differences.

Nevertheless, all sources coincide in the following trends (although the absolute numbers may differ). Considering the buying behavior, Germans can be divided into four groups. The biggest one are the so called hybrid customers: 30.9 million Germans buy their gifts both online and in “real” shops. 24.3 mio do not use the internet at all and will buy all their gifts in “normal” shops. 9.2 mio are “online-only” customers. And the last group consists from people, who will look up everything online but buy it in a “real” shop then.

13% of all Germans do not buy a single present at all, by the way.[2]

And what are we planning to spend our money on? Vouchers and gift of money are by far the most popular presents, followed by clothes and books (including e-books). Both toys and consumer electronics are on place 4, leaving the places 5-8 for sweets/groceries, jewelry and cosmetics, CDs and events like theatre or concerts. The remaining money is spent for hard- and software, journeys, sports items, furniture, health and others.[1,3]

Along these lines:

A very merry Christmas/ And a happy new year/ Let’s hope it’s a good one/ Without any fear[4]

– Katharina Stockhofe

Read more:

[1], 14.Dec.2014



[4] John Lennon, Yoko Ono: Happy Xmas (War is over), 1971