The average annual Christmas budget per person in the U.S. is $805.65, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s a whole lot of money—though it’s probably skewed by the type of people you see in commercials giving each other Lexuses on Christmas morning. But in turns out that here in Texas, we tend to be the ones to do a lot of that heavy lifting. At least that’s what we’re getting from this WalletHub report that looks at how much every city in the country (or, at least, the 563 most populous ones) spend per person over the holidays. Yes, $805.65 is the average, but in a place like Waco (#557 on the list), the budget tends to be closer to $142. That means that somebody is spending a whole bunch at the high end of that list, and many of those somebodies are right here in Texas.
The top ten places around the country with high annual Christmas budgets is basically a list of Dallas and Houston suburbs. Flower Mound, Frisco, and Allen rep the DFW Metroplex, while Sugar Land, Pearland, The Woodlands, and League City show out for Houston.
The average budget in Flower Mound is a whopping $2,624, which means that a family of five in the suburb drops an average of $13,000 on Christmas gifts. That is a very merry holiday, for sure. Frisco, which follows with $2,444, and Sugar Land at $2,422, aren’t far behind.
Things calm down a bit by the time we get to Allen, where a family of five barely drops $10,000 a year after averaging $2,186 per person, and the numbers remain bunched up for Pearland ($2,162), the Woodlands ($2,158), and League City ($2,112). But it’s not just the suburbs of our largest metropolitan regions that go hard on some extra manufactured Christmas joy.
Midland, which places twenty-first nationally, still drops an average of $1,742 per person on Christmas presents. Round Rock, just north of Austin, spends $1,304—good for sixty-eighth—and Midland’s less spendy neighbor Odessa places at 103 with an average of $1,146 per person this year. Down in South Texas, meanwhile, Corpus Christi spends the most, at $952 average.
Of the largest cities in the state, Austin proper spends more than Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, or El Paso—the average annual budget in the capital is $1,019 per person, which exceeds the national average by about 25 percent. Fort Worth takes second place on that particular list, with $927 each, and San Antonio stays just ahead of the national average with $810 per person (Houston, with $795, is just under the average—ahead of Dallas and El Paso).
It’d be easy to read all of this as “which cities in Texas have the most disposable income,” but that doesn’t bear out, either—Killeen, for example, has an average annual income of $15,323, well below the $22,445 of Arlington, but it outspends the North Texas city with an average of $947 a year, as opposed to the $921 they spend further north.
Here’s the full list, and the top ten below:
1 Palo Alto, California $2,886
2 Flower Mound, Texas $2,624
3 Frisco, Texas $2,444
4 Sugar Land, Texas $2,422
5 Carmel, Indiana $2,258
6 Ellicott City, Maryland $2,227
7 Allen, Texas $2,186
8 Pearland, Texas $2,162
9 The Woodlands, Texas $2,158
10 League City, Texas $ 2,112