The 2022 Holiday Season

Marist National Poll

Americans Focus on the Fun Side of the Holidays, But Majority Have Pessimistic Outlook for 2023

Many Americans are leaving the stressful side of the holiday season behind and are focusing on the fun. In fact, more Americans, compared with 2021, consider the holiday season to be more fun than stressful. If holiday gifting is part of Americans’ seasonal traditions, a plurality of gift givers, especially men, now say they do all or most of their shopping online. With the exception of 2020 (during the pandemic), this is the largest proportion of Americans who report that the bulk of their holiday purchases are made online. Despite the holiday festivities, a majority of Americans have a pessimistic outlook toward the future in 2023.

Holiday Stress or Fun?
Overall, do you find the holiday season to be:
Source: Marist Poll National Adults. Interviews conducted December 6th through December 8th, 2022, n=1,312 MOE +/- 3.5 percentage points. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
  • 61% of Americans think the holiday season is more fun than stressful (37%). The proportion of Americans who think the holiday season is more fun is at its highest since this question was first asked in 2010 and up from 52% last year.

  • Regardless of generation, Americans are focusing on the fun side of the holiday season, especially members of GenZ and Millennials (66%).

  • There has been a marked increase in the proportion of men who think the holidays are more enjoyable (69%) than stressful (30%). In 2021, 57% of men thought the holidays were more fun. 39% said they were more agitating. While women divided last year, they are now more positive than negative about the holiday season. 53% think the holidays are more fun; 44% say they are more stressful.

  • 44% of Americans who spend money on holiday gifts report that they plan to shop online for most or all of their gifts. This is up from 37% last year. 37% think they will buy some of their gifts online, and 19% do not expect to buy any presents online.

  • Men (50% up from 38%) are more likely than women (39% comparable to 37% last year) to do all or most of their holiday shopping online.

"The twinkling lights of the holiday season seem to be shining a bit brighter for many Americans. After two years of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than six in ten Americans are putting the stress of the holiday season on the backburner and are focusing on the season’s festivities," says Mary Griffith, Associate Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "One holdover from COVID-19 holidays, though, may be the way Americans do their holiday shopping."

Pessimism for New Year Reaches New High

While Americans still divide, for the first time, a majority (51%) say they are more pessimistic than optimistic (48%) when thinking about the world in 2023. In 2021, Americans divided (49% more optimistic to 47% more pessimistic).