Home for the holidays: How Americans are preparing for the season.


The holidays are a time to celebrate traditions and gather with family and friends. Yet, those same traditions are often coupled with a dose of stress and an abundance of planning and preparation. We know that hosting for the holidays requires a lot of time and effort, and here at Thumbtack, we wanted to know exactly what projects are on the to-do list for hosts, and how our pros can help bring more service and less struggle to this year’s festivities.

In our annual Holiday Hosting Report*, we surveyed over 1,000 Americans to find out how they’re preparing for the holiday season, what they’re most looking forward to, and what challenges they’re facing in preparation. Here’s what we found.

Holiday etiquette: When to decorate for the holidays.

christmas tree by the fireHoliday lights and decorations seem to spring up earlier and earlier each year – and while most decorate their home for the holidays the weekend after Thanksgiving, 21% of Americans are eager to kick off the festivities before – some even decorating as early as Halloween! The decoration they’re most eager to get out for the holidays? The tree! 50% reported their favorite decoration is their Christmas tree, followed by string lights (16%), menorahs/candles in the windows (8%) and wreaths/garlands (8%).

Cities like Austin, Dallas and Seattle are leaning into their holiday decor and leading the charge – ranking among the most festive cities in the U.S. What’s more, 23% of homeowners said they plan to leave their holiday decorations up longer this year compared to last yearBut watch out. There are still some grinches among us: 41% of homeowners said they think their neighbors leave their holiday decorations up too long.

The holidays should be a time for enjoying traditions with friends and family, yet nearly 40% of homeowners say they or a family member has been injured putting up or taking down their holiday decorations — and 11% said it was a serious injury. Hanging holiday lights costs $200 on average across the country** – a small price to pay to avoid getting hurt and spoiling the holidays! Call in the pros so that you can spend time with your family and friends worry-free.

What’s holding people back from hosting during the holidays?

holiday meal on tableAccording to findings from our Holiday Hosting Report*, Americans are most hesitant to host during the holidays due to fear that hosting will be too expensive (36%). Between the cost of food, alcohol, and decorations – hosting can set you back anywhere around $600+ depending on the number of guests, occasion and event type (i.e. is it just dinner, drinks or a large holiday party). For homeowners specifically though, cleaning up after hosting (38%) is their biggest stressor and barrier to hosting – especially considering 52% of homeowners said cleaning up after hosting is the most common cause of holiday-generated conflict with their spouse and family. 

Hiring help can make hosting less intimidating, and help avoid conflict during what should be a joyous time. 32% of Americans would like to hire cleaning support for the holidays – which can cost approximately $180**, 20% would like to hire a professional chef – which can cost between $40-100 per person**, and 17% would like to hire snow removal support to keep their sidewalks and driveway safe – which is roughly $70 on average**. 

Ready for some hosting help? Find a local pro near you on Thumbtack. Download the Thumbtack app (available on iOS and Android) to get started.

*Methodology: This sample of 1000 US adults (aged 18-65) was surveyed on November 16 and 17, 2022. DKC Analytics conducted and analyzed this survey with a sample procured using the Pollfish survey delivery platform, which delivers online surveys globally through mobile apps and the mobile web along with the desktop web. No post-stratification has been applied to the results.

**A note about project costs included or linked in this article: Figures represent national average cost estimates using data provided by Thumbtack pros and additional research. These figures are provided for educational purposes only and are subject to change at any time due to various factors. Details about your specific project and local rates can impact costs.

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