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Consumer Reports Poll: Americans will spend almost two days on Holiday Activities

Holiday shopping, wrapping, partying, and more prove to be time-consuming for most

Consumer ReportsYonkers, NY – Ever wonder how much time we devote to celebrating the winter holidays? A recent Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll found that the average American expects to spend about 42 hours buying, wrapping, and returning gifts, as well as partying and traveling to visit family and friends.

The full results of this latest poll are available at www.ConsumerReports.org.

“When you break down the numbers you really get and idea of how much so many of us have invested in the holidays,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. “And it’s nice to see that it’s not all about shopping, but it’s also about coming together.”

Here’s a look at how Americans will be spending their time this holiday season:

On Gifts

  • Consumers will spend lots of time gift-shopping, 15 hours on average.  Women plan to spend twice as long as their male counterparts, 20 hours versus 10 hours respectively.
  • Shoppers estimate that they will wait on check out lines in stores for about three and a half  hours, on average; one in four expect to stand in line four hours or more.
  • Once they get home, Americans plan to spend about three hours, on average, wrapping gifts; one in four expect to spend four or more hours doing so.
    • Americans anticipate that they will devote about an hour, on average, to returning holiday gifts; half say they won’t spend any time making returns.


  • About 15 hours, on average, will be spent attending holiday parties, gatherings or events with friends or family; a quarter (24%) of Americans plan to will spend twenty hours or more.

To and Fro

  • Americans estimate that they will spend 7.4 hours, on average, traveling to or from their holiday destinations; a quarter (24%) said they will spend 10 hours or more.

Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll Methodology

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. Another 1,015 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+ between November 4th– 7th, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 3% points at a 95% confidence level.


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