The cost of the holidays - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The cost of the holidays

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The average American will spend close to $800 on gifts alone this holiday season The average American will spend close to $800 on gifts alone this holiday season
SPOKANE, Wash. -

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend more than $600 billion on Christmas. 

Most of that money will be spent on gifts. Last year, according to CNBC, the average U.S. adult planned to spend $765 on Christmas gifts alone, which was up nearly $80 from the year before. 

The majority of gift expenditures go to family members at around $400. Next in line, Forbes.com says shoppers spend well over $100 on themselves, another $100 or so on friends, just under $50 on miscellaneous folks, and about $25 on co-workers. 

Added to the expense of presents, there are trees to buy, packages to mail, and decorations to put up. That's going to add up. 

Christmas Tree

Christmas trees began selling commercially in the United States in 1850. Today, whether you go to a cut-your-own tree farm, or buy one from a lot, it's going to run you anywhere from $40-50. Fake trees can cost a pretty penny too, but at least they are reusable. 

Cost: $42.50

Cards and Postage

Yeah, a lot of mail is handled electronically these days, but with those Christmas cards, packages of fruit cake and handwritten letters, Forbes says the average American will spend about $33 on cards and postage. 

Flowers

Valentines Day and Mother's Day still reign as king of the flower holidays, but Christmas is also a time of year for floral arrangements, specifically poinsettias. The average American will spend around $23 for holiday floral arrangements. 

Food and Candy

The best part about the holidays is the food, right? Americans will spend around $100 specifically on holiday food and candy, according to the National Retail Foundation. According to an Information Resource Inc. poll, 90% of survey respondents planned on spending no more than $200 on beer, wine and liquor. 

Decorations

I'm no exactly a fan of getting up on my roof and tempting fate, but I still do it. And so do a lot of Americans. Even with using the same lights as last year, the average American according to Forbes will spend around $50 on decorations. 

Travel

If you have to go further than over the river and through the woods, it's going to cost you. Airline tickets aren't cheap and if you're heading out of town, the average American will spend close to $1000 on holiday travel this year. 

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