The AtmosFX Celebration Census—Travel, Timing, and Trip-Ups: Christmastime in the U.S.

As Americans, we know that the Christmas holidays are the busiest shopping and decorating seasons of the year. And because of it, there are so many pressures and demands placed on all of us. How does it affect us and our family?

To help provide just a little insight into this, we present the Christmastime findings of the AtmosFX Celebration Census. The responses were collected via a blind online panel, distributed across gender, age, and location in the U.S.

For most, shopping is safe. Otherwise, watch your step

Nearly 90% of respondents say they survived the holiday shopping season without injury. For everyone else, a trip to the mall might be followed by a trip to the doctor. The most likely culprit? Tripping in the store or parking lot, on the escalator, or in a crowd of people. In total, these account for nearly 9.44% of the accidents. Shopping-related car crashes (2.21%) are slightly more dangerous than heavy packages landing on your foot (1.45%).

Older, wiser, safer

Of the age groups surveyed, respondents in the two oldest age groups (45-60 and 60+) said they hadn't had any accidents. However, 16.4% of the youngest age group (18-29) said they did! 

I was caught in a stampede of people


I fell on an escalator


I tripped in the store


I tripped in the parking lot


I had a car crash in the parking lot


I had a car crash on the way to or from the store


I dropped a box or gift on my foot


I didn't have any accidents




Caution! Gifts are a leading cause of holiday injuries

Chances are if you’re going to get a holiday-related injury at home this season, it is because you tangled with a gift. Nearly one half (48.31%) of all respondents were injured by presents, either in the form of a gift wrap related paper-cut (33.65%) or by tripping over a box (14.66%).

Annoying to be sure, but perilous presents beat the alternatives: Injuries from shoveling snow (14.37%) and hanging lights (7.14%) are the next likely injuries. Fires and burns related to candles (5.21%), holiday meals (5.01%) and fireplaces (1.25%) round out the list.

Injury from snow blowing or shoveling snow


Injury from hanging outdoor lights


Injury from cutting down the Christmas tree


Was burned or started a fire with candles


Started a fire while cooking a holiday meal


Started a house fire from the fireplace


Tripped on a gift that had been left out


Got a cut from wrapping presents


Witnessed or received inappropriate behavior from a mall Santa


Got in an argument with a spouse that led to divorce or separation




Christmas decorations year-round? They're coming!

For those who wish they could celebrate Christmas all year, your time is coming. Nearly two-thirds (64.51%) of the respondents said they think Christmas decorations can shine bright into January (45.61%), the spring (6.27%), the summer (0.96%) – even all year round (11.67%).

The older you are, the more you like ‘em

Of the respondents who are 60+, 39.7% said they’d be willing keep the Christmas decorations up year-round.

The day after Christmas


1 Week after Christmas


New Year’s at the latest


Sometime in January


Sometime before Spring


Sometime before Summer


It’s okay. Leave them up all year!


Humbug! I wish people wouldn’t put up Christmas decorations ever.


Christmas creep? Blame women!

Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving marks the holiday shopping season – 59.59% respondents agree. The first of December ranks second, at 19.67%. Of those who think storefronts should display Christmas displays immediately after Halloween, we learn a curious thing: 64.5% are women. That’s 2-to-1, women-to-men. And to us, that speaks to the buying power of women.

The beginning of December


Right after Thanksgiving


Right after Halloween


Right after “back to school” season


Right after the 4th of July


They should have Christmas out all year!


Never. They should never put them out.


The simple recipe for stress-free holidays: Avoid travel & shopping

Of the many perceived stressors during the holidays, it is probably no surprise what tops the list – travel. 695 of 1,000 of respondents tell us that holiday travel top-4 least favorite things. Where you rank it, however, depends on age. The two oldest groups (45-60 and 60+) put it on the top, whereas the two youngest groups (18-29 and 30-44) hated shopping the most.

Christmas is family time – assuming it’s your family.

Take heart that spending time with family ranked the lowest stressor on the list. However, the same cannot be said for spending time with your partner’s family!

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About The AtmosFX Celebration Census

The AtmosFX Celebration Census is an ongoing study into people’s spending patterns and behavior that provides insights into celebration and popular culture.

The data in this report was collected exclusively for AtmosFX by an independent survey company in November 2017. The sample size was 1,000 individual responses, via a blind online panel, distributed across gender, age, and location in the United States. Most responses are within a 3.4% confidence interval.

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