Christmas Spending Statistics and Trends in Australia


January 9, 2024

Sleep Society is reader-supported, that means if you buy something via a link on this page, we might earn a commission. Thank you kindly.

T'is the season of merriment, laughter, joy, and, of course, Christmas! 

The favourite time of the year is here with the promise of street parties, outdoor picnics, and the classic boxing day shenanigans. This also means that there's considerable gift exchanging among everyone, enough to be statistically quantified. If you are confused about what you should buy for your loved ones, we have got a list of trending options for you. 

Moreover, when you are worried about the mounting expenses this holiday season, check out this list of shopping statistics that will make you feel better about all that extra spending. Read on for all of this and more! 

Quick and Simple Gifting Guide

Even after the early rush this year for holiday shopping, if you are still looking for gift inspirations for your loved ones, let us help you out. Here's our quick and easy gifting guide for a jolly Australian Christmas, featuring the trendiest gifting choices in 2023:

1. Alcohol 

“We have too much alcohol,” said no one on Boxing Day ever. If you have no time to think, go for the obvious because there is nothing more sought-after during the December festivities than alcohol.

2. Books 

For many, vacation time is a time to relax and rejuvenate the mind. What better way to help them be happy after a long day of festivities than presenting them with a book? If you have someone specific in mind, you can get a book that suits their personal interests or opt for contemporary releases to stack up on extra presents for emergencies.

3. Skincare 

Men, women and kids, everyone wants glowing and healthy skin. With several skincare products on the market, you can choose from a range of premium or cost-effective options for the perfect gift, depending on your budget.

4. Plants 

A plant can be a very thoughtful and precious gift to show your affection for your loved ones. Pair your choice of plant with a cute planter, and you are good to go!

5. Miscellaneous

Other cool items that you can consider are novelty stationery products, cutlery sets, quirky mugs, lighting fixtures, etc. 

2022 Holiday Season Market Predictions

Are you thinking about gifts you should be getting friends and family this season and the considerable expense that this buying spree is going to cost you? Well, gifts are expensive, that is true, but fortunately, you aren't alone in feeling this way. 

To prove our point, let's see the Christmas spending trends in Australia for this holiday season. This season, Australia might spend close to a staggering $63.9 billion Australian Dollars, as per the Australian Retailers Association, during the pre-Christmas sales in the retail market. 

Salesforce's holiday report also showed that the 2022 holiday market kickstarted even before the last week of November began. Even the classic Myers Christmas Windows opened on 6th November, a whole week earlier than last year.

A 1.9% increase in the Commbank Household Spending Intentions Index (HSI) for the month of November showed higher spending rates in transport and retail. Moreover, even though Black Friday and pre-Christmas sales have grown in popularity, Boxing Day remains the most important event in the retail calendar. 37% of shoppers are still opting for Boxing Day sales over everything else.

Travelling seems to be the most sought-after activity apart from gifting expenses in the 2022 holidays. The hospitality sector has seen a whopping 16.3% growth since last year, with vacationers uncompromisingly booking the best stays and hotels.

Department stores will experience the second-highest yearly growth right after hospitality this year, with a 5.9% increase from last season.

Shopping Trends

Smart shopping is the driving force this season, according to the season's shopping analysis, with shoppers no longer waiting for the Christmas week to begin shopping. Last year the early start was attributed to postal and delivery considerations, but this year shopping has begun early due to pre-season offers and Black Friday Sales. 

Some more reasons could be:

  • Sustainable brands that offer ethical choices.
  • Better offers over brand loyalty.
  • Support for local brands and local artisans.
  • A hybrid shopping method with online research on products and offers

Valuable Demographics

Women are predictably the higher spenders with an average of $1,580, while the men would be spending around $1,123. 

There's a noticeable difference among the gifting trends between generations this season:

  • GenZ will be the biggest spenders this year ($1,550) on travel ($652) and alcohol.
  • Millennials would be spending the most out of all on gifting - $484.
  • Boomers plan to spend the least, around $921 in total.

The Online Market

With more shoppers looking for online options, the online market has seen significant growth. As a matter of fact, Dec 1-Dec 8 week of 2020, was the greatest week in the Australian e-commerce industry, with the highest growth recorded ever. These online trends have continued since, and a survey has reported that 32% of Australians would shop online for holiday gifts this year. 

Here is a list of the most favoured gifting options by online shoppers this season-

  • Around 44% of women and 47% of men opt for gift cards and vouchers. 
  • 40% of Australians choose toys as holiday gifts.
  • 31% of Australians prefer clothes and apparel for their gifting requirements.
  • 21% of shoppers choose souvenirs as a great gifting option.
  • 20% have opted for cash instead of the hassle of purchasing presents.

61% of GenZ is also opting to mostly fund their expenses with savings. But 24% of Australians would be going into debt in order to fund the festivities, including 13% who are putting the expenses on their credit cards.

Challenges To The Retail Industry

The world has shifted more to online platforms than ever before. But the retail industry is gaining some of its life back, despite facing strong competition from more affordable and easily browsable online options.

However, the words of Roy Morgan, CEO of Michelle Levine, give much hope. In his opinion, the retail industry has proved its resilience over time despite various pressures. This season the biggest threat to the retail market is the increased interest rates, which are the highest since 1994. 

The retail industry may suffer some setbacks, but growing customer sentiment around purchasing local products and supporting local brands is proving helpful.

Increased Interest Rates And A Divided Holiday Market

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has increased interest rates by 300 bp in 2022. Effects of this would continue to be felt even through the Boxing Day celebrations and last-minute New Year shopping trends as well. 

Additionally, with a price hike in necessities such as petrol, groceries, electricity bills, and rent, the spending margin among shoppers will be significant. We believe that higher Income bracket families can afford to spend much more than the ones in the lower income brackets.

Cost Management Amidst Festivities

According to the Commbank HSI reports, households are feeling the impact of interest rate hikes and rising prices. This year's Black Friday Sales figures clearly show that shoppers are opting to buy holiday essentials and gifts earlier than before to make the most of the sales and offers. Some other ways in which shoppers manage their funds are-

  • 19% of shoppers choose the buy now pay later option while shopping for the holidays. 
  • 5% are choosing to skip loan and bill payments for holiday shopping. 
  • For millennials, the above figure rises to 8%. 

Other than that, 13% have opened a holiday season savings account where they gradually set aside funds for this time of the year. 25% have also chosen to implement pricing limits on gifts in mutual agreement with loved ones so that no one has to suffer in order to save face. 

Commbank's latest consumer research report shows that 61% of Australians plan to spend less this season as compared to last year, with 73% sacrificing on buying wish-fulfilment items for themselves. So even though the projected total expenditure has increased by 3%, lower and middle-class income groups are working on reducing their Christmas time expenditure. 

What Can You Do

Lower-income groups face serious problems with the added pressure of gifting culture while they contemplate if they can even afford a festive meal for one Christmas lunch. But there are several NGOs that aim to bring Christmas joy to these groups. You can also join them or become a donor to be Santa's minion, bringing merriment to someone in need.


Holiday festivities never feel complete unless everyone around is also enjoying themselves. 

Christmas is just as much a time for merriment as it is the time of gifting. Times are indeed changing, and every season brings with it new challenges, but this year is more about spending time with dear ones. And many would agree that it is the greatest gift of all.

We hope this guide has offered insight into what spending will be like during the 2022 Christmas season. But the happiness that is felt while spreading the Christmas cheer is what the Christmas spirit is truly about!

Check out these 2023 Black Friday mattress deals in Australia.