SeattleChristmas is one of the most popular holidays in the United States, and it can be one of the most expensive. Decorations, food, cards, gifts, travel, and more can add up fast.

Americans are expected to spend a record amount for the holidays in 2022, between $943 billion and $960 billion, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation.

If you happen to live in a city where the costs of celebrating Christmas are relatively low or you can travel to one, it may help. Overspending is a frequent error during the holidays shopping season, and 57 percent of consumers think buying gifts will be more challenging this year due to inflation.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, considered affordability, Christmas-friendliness, shopping, dining out, and holiday events, including church services, to compared the 100 largest U.S. cities based on 32 key factors to find the best places to celebrate Christmas 2022.

Source: WalletHub
 
 

The top cities are Seattle, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Pittsburg, and Orlando. In the bottom spots are Detroit, Hialeah, Florida; Henderson, Nevada; San Bernardino, California; and North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tara Warner, professor at the College of Coastal Georgia, suggests focusing on experiences rather than things.

“Instead of putting your energy and money into buying big gifts for everyone, gather people together and tour Christmas lights, go caroling, or make a holiday meal together, perhaps with a gift exchange where everyone goes home with one small gift under a certain dollar amount.”

Alba J. Colbert, professor at Mississippi State University, recommends saving money by planning meals before heading to the store, avoiding impulse buys, buying what you need, and storing and reheating leftovers safely using food safety guidelines.

Above all, enjoy yourself. If you start getting stressed, take a moment to figure out what’s going on and use relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety. Ask for help with gift wrapping, planning, and preparing the holiday meal, and other activities.

In addition, reach out and help someone in need, if you can. The holidays are a time to be joyous and if you can. It can brighten someone’s day and lift your spirits, too.

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Rita Robison Consumer & Personal Finance Journalist

For more than two decades, Rita R. Robison has been a consumer and personal finance journalist making her living by finding the best bargains, calling out the crooks, and advocating for regular people just like you and me. In that time, Robison has talked to so many people who feel like their money just isn’t getting them what they want, where they want to be, or the life they thought it would.

The purpose of her blog is to help you get what you want from your money. Robison covers financial goals, budgets, debt reduction, saving, smart choices for buying goods and services, and retirement planning. You’ll also find articles on safety, such as avoiding scams, looking out for rip off companies, and getting informed on the latest recalls.

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