Thanksgiving – What’s it all about and how much does it cost?

Thanksgiving…What’s it all about and how much does it all cost?

Thanksgiving had been celebrated on the last Thursday of the month since the time of Abraham Lincoln…but at the end of 1941, Roosevelt made the final permanent change, as he signed a bill making Thanksgiving Day fall on the fourth Thursday of November (which is sometimes the last).

The American Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the UK because no one had to be thankful for their new land and good ocean trip. However, the harvest part of it is still celebrated by many churches and most schools…and most have food bank collections and a special harvest assembly.


So, how much does it all cost?

In 2019, it’s estimated that Americans will spend approximately $968.8 million on Thanksgiving turkeys, but this is roughly $8.2 million less than last year. 88% of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey on Thanksgiving, totalling an amazing 46 million turkeys! As well as this 22 million turkeys at Christmas and 19 million turkeys at Easter – makes nearly 100 million over just three days!

A survey from LendEDU found that the average American spent a total of $165.14 on Thanksgiving purchases (in 2018) which also includes travelling expenses such as petrol and flights to spend time with friends and relatives.

Holiday shopping in the US typically peaks around Thanksgiving, but this year it seems to have shifted to slightly later. One reason may be that Thanksgiving 2019 is unusually late, placing Black Friday the day after. Nearly 70% of US consumers say that they now plan to shop in early December. *

Shoppers that tend to start early spend significantly more.  Pre-Thanksgiving shoppers plan to spend 25% more than those who start after.  While the early start certainly opens the wallet, shoppers still count on holiday deals and promotions.

*Source Deloitte 2019 Holiday Retail Survey.

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