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Why Millennials Are Saying ‘Bah-Humbug’ This Holiday Season

Beth Braverman

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but some consumers don’t seem to be feeling the magic of the season, at least not while they’re shopping at the mall.

A survey of more than 4,000 mall shoppers from November 24 to December 7 found that nearly 60 percent had a “lot of cheer” this holiday season, while just over a quarter said that they had “little” or “no cheer,” according to ChargeItSpot, which provides public charging stations to major retailers.

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One group in particular stood out for their lack of holiday pep. Asked to rate their “holiday cheer” on a scale of one to five, shoppers age 20 to 29 gave the weakest responses. Forty-something shoppers and those under age 21 gave the most enthusiastic replies.

While the difference may simply reflect generational attitudes – those Millennials are famous for their blasé approach to life’s important questions, including what stocking stuffer to get for grandma – another factor seems to be in play: money. The study found that those who had the most cheer were most likely to be spending more money.

Shoppers planning to spend more than $1,000 were the cheeriest, while those who weren’t buying gifts had the lowest levels of holiday spirit. “Shopping isn’t as fun when spending is limited,” ChargItSpot CEO Douglas Baldasare said in a statement. Since Millennials are still at the lower-paid end of the workforce, their lack of holiday cheer may be a product of their tighter budgets.

A separate study released last month by cash-back shopping site Splender found that shopping is the biggest source of stress during the holidays for more than a quarter of Americans.

Christmas may be days away, but many Americans haven’t finished their shopping yet. More than 12 percent of consumers said that they expected to buy their last gift on Friday, and 9 percent said they would buy it on Saturday, which is Christmas Eve, according to the National Retail Federation.

Millennial Christmas

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