The economics of Christmas
is significant because Christmas
is typically a peak selling season for retailers in many nations around the world. Sales increase dramatically as people purchase gifts
, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In the U.S., the "Christmas shopping season" starts as early as October. In Canada, merchants begin advertising campaigns just before Halloween
(31 October), and step up their marketing following Remembrance Day on 11 November. In the UK and Ireland, the Christmas shopping season starts from mid November, around the time when high street Christmas lights
are turned on. In the United States, it has been calculated that a quarter of all personal spending takes place during the Christmas/holiday shopping season. Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau
reveal that expenditure in department stores nationwide rose from $20.8 billion in November 2004 to $31.9 billion in December 2004, an increase of 54 percent. In other sectors, the pre-Christmas increase in spending was even greater, there being a November–December buying surge of 100 percent in bookstores and 170 percent in jewelry stores. In the same year employment in American retail stores rose from 1.6 million to 1.8 million in the two months leading up to Christmas.
Industries completely dependent on Christmas include Christmas cards
, of which 1.9 billion are sent in the United States each year, and live Christmas Trees, of which 20.8 million were cut in the U.S. in 2002. In most Western nations, Christmas Day is the least active day of the year for business and commerce; almost all retail, commercial and institutional businesses are closed, and almost all industries cease activity (more than any other day of the year), whether laws require such or not. In England and Wales
, the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004
prevents all large shops from trading on Christmas Day. Film studios
release many high-budget movies during the holiday season, including Christmas films, fantasy
movies or high-tone dramas with high production values to hopes of maximizing the chance of nominations for the Academy Awards
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