When you belly up to the dinner table at Thanksgiving every year, are you thinking about what you’re about to eat and drink, or are you mindful or the planning, prepwork, and financial strain that your host has gone through so that their family and friends could have a joyful holiday?
A third of Americans will host Thanksgiving this year, and it’s estimated that, on average, they’ll spend $310.17 between food and decor, according to a new survey from Lending Tree of 1,000 Americans.
Determined to put on a smile and create a good Turkey Day no matter what, just over a quarter (27%) of hosts said they’d have to go into debt for the big day. Most (64%) won’t receive any financial help from their guests to help with the costs – it’s not really done.
And so, three in 10 Americans admit that putting on Thanksgiving this year will be difficult financially. Still, it seems that most want to roll out the red carpet for their guests anyway: just 30% of hosts have a strict budget. The rest are a bit loosey-goosey with their Turkey Day cash: 45% have a “very flexible” amount they’re willing to spend, and a quarter of hosts are simply willing to spend whatever it takes.
Where the $310.17 goes
That $310.17 can be broken down into approximately $31 per guest, on average.
About $227.42 of the overall pot of money will be spent on food and drink.
The remaining $82.75 will go to housewares like dishes, furniture, linens, and decor. You know, boring but necessary things you hardly notice.
Ten is the magic number: the number of hours that go into prepping for the feast. If you add in an expected 3 or so overnight guests, that’s even more labor.
While 22% of hosts wish they had some more help, and 1 in 10 wish that someone else would just host the darn day, Americans are resolute in the face of financial strain and hours of hard work: A full seven in 10 Thanksgiving hosts say they love doing it – and many hosts (56%) are repeats, hosting every year.
As Charlie Brown said, “Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that’s what they mean by ‘Thanksgiving.'”