Americans are really competitive about the holidays

Americans are really competitive about the holidays

By Marie Haaland, SWNS


One in five Americans are going to extreme lengths to outdo their neighbors for the holiday festivities this year.

From showering their homes in Christmas lights or creating attention-grabbing lawn displays to going all out to host the most outrageous seasonal parties — sometimes the holiday spirit draws out some healthy competition.

The survey showed men to be more than twice as competitive as women, with 34 percent of men reporting being in a decoration competition with their neighbors, compared to just 14 percent of women.

The study of 2,000 Americans, commissioned by, found even those who are not competing with their neighbors are working to make their house look better than last year. Sixty-nine percent of people are raising their game this year for the holidays.

Almost a third of those polled (32 percent,) are planning to put up more lights than last year, 17 percent has vowed to get a bigger tree and 43 percent are planning to purchase new decorations.

On average, people estimate their collection of holiday decorations is worth a sizable $358 overall.

A quarter (25 percent) have spent over $500 amassing decorations for their home.

The most common holiday decorations are a Christmas tree (89 percent) and indoor tree lights (73 percent.) Wreaths (69 percent,) tree ornaments (65 percent) and house lights (60 percent) are popular with most Americans.

But whatever your decoration choice, it’s easy to miss the mark — twenty-two percent of Americans think their neighbor’s decorations are too tacky, while 27 percent believe their neighbor has gone overboard with too many decorations.

Grant Simmons, a spokesperson from, said, “We know that holiday lights and lawn decorations are a great way to make your home look more welcoming for the holidays, but like most exterior features, they can sometimes annoy neighbors or go a little too far.”

Whether the look of a place meets the neighbors’ approval or not, thankfully only 9 percent of those polled have ever argued with their neighbors over holiday decorations.

The holiday competition extends past decorations — of the 56 percent of Americans who host parties at home, a third have tried to make their holiday event better than a neighbor’s shindig.

Again, men are more competitive: 47 percent of men work to make their party the best in the area, compared to 25 percent of women.

And what makes a great party? According to the survey, the most important part of a good festive socializer is how warm the hosts are (50 percent,) followed by the quality of snacks (47 percent) and if the hosts are generous with the food and drink (37 percent.)

Over half of Americans (52 percent) want to be considered the best host when it comes to the holiday festivities.

Most Americans have a go-to holiday dish (59 percent) that they make every year. This includes baked macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, green bean casserole and turkey.

But, despite the competitiveness, the true meaning of Christmas isn’t totally lost. Thirty-eight percent of people would invite their “scrooge” neighbor over for holiday festivities.

And sometimes the competitiveness doesn’t Grinch the holidays — the survey shows over 60 percent of Americans prefer not to compete with their neighbors at all!

The spokesperson added:

“It’s great to see the holiday spirit alive and well both inside and outside America homes. Competition is part of the American culture too, so it’s a win-win when a party host tries to make their holiday party the best it can be and holiday decorations make a neighborhood feel wonderfully warm and welcoming.”

Modal TriggeriStockphoto

Most common decorations

  1. Tree
  2. Tree lights (indoor)
  3. Wreath
  4. Tree ornaments
  5. House lights
  6. Stockings
  7. Scented candles
  8. Garland
  9. Holiday-themed plates/bowls
  10. Tree lights (outdoors)