Even though the past few years have been rough on the pockets of most Americans, this year the pity party seems to be drawing to a close. Despite a challenging economy and tough debt battles, many Americans are spending more on holiday decor this season that they have in several years.
The Bells And Whistles
Personal debt, bankruptcy filings and unemployment aren’t slowing people down this year. It is estimated that consumers will spend around $6 billion this year on holiday decorations alone, which doesn’t even include the money spent on holiday meals or gift purchases. This holiday season is expected to top a seven year holiday spending slump, bringing an 8 percent increase in holiday sales. While many of us should be saving, we are out bringing home the best of the best to help celebrate the holidays this year.
Why the change? Part of the reason for the spending spree has to do with personal control. The average person can only take so much of enduring tough situations and restricted conditions before they begin to look for ways to take charge of something. Unfortunately for many, spending is the worst way we could be exerting control over our lives this season. Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects is consumer confidence in the economy. Although it may not seem as though there is much about the economy worth feeling confident about, the fact remains that sometimes consumer attitudes are boosted by factors separate from the actual performance of the economy. You can view it as a “see to believe” phenomena, whereby people begin to engage in behaviors typical of better times in hopes of spurring change.