Generation Z and Millennials are finding new ways to celebrate the holidays, especially as COVID-19 continues its rampage throughout the country. And, this includes nixing one anxiety-producing holiday tradition.
Usually, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations involve getting together with friends and family, spending time physically near one another. But, coronavirus and social distancing has flipped the way that millennials and Generation Zs are celebrating the holidays.
Giving gifts is another integral part of the holidays, including a tradition called “Secret Santa”, which is a group of people who draw random names to become that person’s “Secret Santa”. Spending limits are often set, and each participant buys a gift for the person they selected in secret.
Millennials have had enough of that tradition, reported Fox News. Millennials find the practice anxiety-inducing, and many (close to 80%) report spending over the limit because they feel compelled to not disappoint the other person or appear stingy.
Here’s how millennials are celebrating the holidays in the age of social distancing, and minus the whole “Secret Santa” tradition.
The advent of “micro-holidays”
Younger people from Generation Z, along with Millennials, are opting for “smaller, less mainstream events that lend themselves to social distancing, while still allowing for the festivity we all crave this time of year,” wrote Gen Z Insights.
Many of these smaller micro-holidays have names that you might not have heard of, like “National Kick Butt Day”, celebrated in early October.
“Just a few days later, there’s National Cheese Curd Day, followed by National Pasta Day, and National Sweetest Day, which is all perfectly fine, because October 20th is National Sloth Day,” Gen Z added.
Going all out
According to a recent study, “More than 40 percent of Gen Z, Millennials and Hispanics plan to “go all out” this season, with most of their energy focused on decorating their homes and preparing more special holiday meals.”
This means less travel and more reliance on video chatting with services like Zoom, Skype, and Apple’s Facetime. In fact, nearly 20% of Millennials and Generation Zs plan on hosting a remote holiday party this year.
In addition, half of those surveyed said that they started their holiday decorating and celebrating after Halloween. But, most said that they plan on giving fewer gifts this holiday season and instead spending more time on finding more of the perfect gifts.
These numbers match other shopping surveys that have found people intend on spending less this holiday season. According to the Associated Press, the number of shoppers who plan to cut holiday spending nearly doubled from last year (18% in 2019 to 35% in 2020).
Many said that the lack of travel will help them reduce their overall holiday spending costs. Others said that fewer holiday parties will help them to save, and most said that COVID-19 was the primary reason behind their spending reduction.
Millennials across the country have said they will be shopping much more actively in their local communities this year. “Seventy-seven percent of Gen Z and 70% of millennials said they would be shopping more frequently at small businesses this year compared to 61% of Gen X and 49% of boomers,” wrote the Associated Press.
71% of Millennials also said that they will be getting a head start on this year’s shopping season, with nearly eight in 10 using contactless forms of payment, such as a credit card, to pay for their gifts and purchases.
What are Millennials buying?
Popular gifts and holiday-related things that millennials are buying this year include laptop computers, video gaming consoles and smartphones, wrote Ypulse. They are also scooping up eggnog, alcohol, candies, and desserts like pies and cakes.
“Food/beverages/snacks were the most common response to the question, ‘What is one thing you’ll definitely be buying to celebrate the holidays this year?’”, said the report.
“In fact, half of the top ten rankings here is food/beverage related, with alcohol, candy/chocolate, cookies/cake/pie, and turkey/ham all top responses.”
A big reason why food and beverages are high on the list for most Millennials is comfort. With the reduction in travel and socially-distanced atmosphere, comfort in the form of food and drink has become an important part of how Millennials are celebrating the holidays in 2020.