Photo courtesy of Real Christmas Tree Board

Nov 14, 2023
Survey: 20% of respondents plan to buy their first real Christmas tree this year

The Real Christmas Tree Board (RCTB) has released results of its annual survey of Americans adults ages 21 to 54 years who say they either celebrate/observe Christmas or display a Christmas tree.

“All kinds of people love and put up real Christmas trees,” said Marsha Gray, executive director of the Real Christmas Tree Board. “But the sweet spot is those in their family-raising and memory-making years. So, we surveyed a representative sample of about 1,500 American adults 21 to 54 to get a quantitative picture of those most likely to be introducing kiddos to their first Christmas traditions, as well as those with older children getting ready to leave home with those traditions and start the cycle over again.”

The survey found that 20% of respondents overall are planning to buy a real Christmas tree for the first time. Gen Z (26%) and millennials (25%) are more likely than Gen X (14%) to be first-time buyers.

Hispanic respondents are not only more likely than others (40% to 33%) to say they plan on putting up a real tree this year, but they’re also more likely than average (33% vs 20%) to say this will be their first year buying a real tree. (Note: the Hispanic population skews younger overall than the general population.)

Regardless of how you slice the data, though, it’s a good reminder that each year brings a fresh wave of family-starters looking to build memories.

In addition, for the second consecutive year, the majority of those who switched from artificial trees to real trees the prior year say they wish they’d done so sooner (84% this year, up from 78% in 2022).

Also for the second year in a row, more than 80% of survey respondents selected the phrase “worth it” to describe their thoughts on the price of real Christmas trees (83% in this year’s survey).

Most respondents said they typically buy a real tree right after Thanksgiving (33%) or the first week in December (33%). The number drops by half to 16% who buy the second week in December and then falls even more the third week of December (3%). Only 1% of respondents report they buy their tree on Christmas Eve.

Those in urban areas (20%) are more likely than those in suburban (11%) and rural (10%) areas to buy their tree before Thanksgiving.

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