‘Tis the season to be jolly, but for many consumers, the festive cheer comes with an unexpected companion—Christmastime inflation. As the holiday season approaches, the cost of celebrating continues to rise.  

The cost of everyday Christmas items has risen. Cookies for Santa witnessed a 3.7% year-over-year increase, fruit cake spiked by 3.8%, Christmas trees by 3.3%, and wrapping paper by 2.3%.

The PNC Christmas Price Index reveals a 2.7% rise in the annual cost of the 12 days of Christmas this year. The cumulative cost for a dozen gifts featured in the classic Carol’s concluding verse alone now amounts to a staggering $46,730.

A recent Bankrate survey exposed that 40% of Americans plan to scale back their holiday shopping due to inflationary concerns. Amidst the rising cost of inflation, four in five individuals are actively adopting money-saving strategies this year, including a keen eye for coupons and sales.

In light of these challenges, 84% of respondents in the Bankrate survey expressed their intention to be frugal this year.

Among survey respondents, 21% specified they would opt for gifts from more affordable brands. 

Other methods to save: 17% of participants plan to create more do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts, while 11% stated they would give pre-owned or secondhand items as presents.

Furthermore, 27% of respondents stated they intend to begin holiday shopping earlier than in previous years.

The annual increase in the PNC Christmas Price Index and the surge in prices for traditional items highlight the financial strain on consumers. 

Some studies suggest that the impact of record-high inflation might extend beyond immediate financial constraints, potentially leaving younger Americans such as Gen Z psychologically scarred

It’s worth remembering that high inflation did not emerge out of thin air. Massive, excessive federal spending—particularly in 2021 through the American Rescue Plan—at a time when the economy was reopening (along with supply-chain disruptions) sparked inflation. Washington’s reckless spending is an even bigger Grinch than inflation this Christmas.