Americans are into pretty quirky holiday traditions

From dressing their cat up in a holiday costume to must-win games of Mario Kart on Christmas morning, a new study reveals some of Americans’ more quirky festive traditions.

Whether exchanging ugly ornaments, camping in the living room or opening all presents on Christmas Eve, the holidays are all about honoring family traditions and some are more unique than others.

Results revealed that 52 percent of Americans work to replicate holidays from their childhood, as they continue to celebrate the majority of traditions they had while growing up.

Additionally, half of respondents report celebrating traditions that have been passed down in their family for generations.

A third (32 percent) are continuing traditions from their grandparents and 27 percent carry on traditions from their great-grandparents or before.

Commissioned by Kohl’s and conducted by OnePoll, the study of 2,000 Americans looked at our holiday traditions and holiday gifting.

Almost a fifth of respondents report having a quirky tradition – these include making ornaments with their dog’s paw print, watching horror movies on Christmas day and sending holiday cards to people they don’t know.

Other unique traditions include hiding Christmas presents for the younger kids, making snow angels and wearing silly Christmas pajamas.

For many, gift giving is an important part of the holiday season and almost half of respondents (48 percent) have a gift that they give and/or receive every year.

Top gifts to give and/or receive every year are ornaments (42 percent), pajamas (35 percent) and blankets (28 percent).

“For many families, holiday shopping is as much a part of the celebration as gathering around a turkey,” said Joe Bagby, vice president, customer insights and strategy at Kohl’s. “We love seeing the same families walk through the doors of our Kohl’s stores each year to kick off the holiday season.”

Thirty-two percent partake in an annual Black Friday shopping trip, but respondents report other shopping traditions as well.

These include the whole family getting new cozy pajamas and slippers, gifting fuzzy socks for the holiday and shopping on Christmas Eve, because “it’s exhilarating.”

Sixteen percent of Americans grew up with the tradition of wearing matching pajamas with someone else in their family on the morning of the holiday.

With the stress of the season, it can be important to relax. To help them feel at ease, people report spending time with their family (58 percent), staying home in comfy clothes (51 percent) and eating holiday food and treats (48 percent).

The study also examined the most common holiday traditions, which were found to be decorating a Christmas tree (57 percent), decorating the house (54 percent) and watching holiday movies (50 percent).

Playing holiday music (48 percent) and sending out holiday cards (40 percent) rounded out the top five most common traditions.

Seventy-three percent of respondents agree that holiday traditions are important to them.

When thinking of the traditions they celebrate, 53 percent report feeling excited for the holiday season, 52 percent feel joyful and 45 percent are nostalgic.

“The holiday season is one of those special times when doing the same thing year after year never loses its luster. Wearing matching pajamas can be a fun way to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy the comfort of a tradition passed down through the years,” said Joe Bagby, vice president, customer insights and strategy at Kohl’s.

Along with holiday traditions, respondents look forward to spending time with their loved ones (73 percent), eating holiday food (66 percent) and giving gifts (61 percent) during the holiday season.

Top 20 most popular American holiday traditions

Quirky holiday traditions

  • Dressing their cat up in a holiday costume
  • Playing Mario Kart games on Christmas morning
  • Exchanging ugly ornaments
  • Camping in the living room on the night of Christmas Eve
  • Opening all their presents on Christmas Eve
  • Making ornaments with their dog’s paw print
  • Watching horror movies on Christmas day
  • Sending holiday cards to people they don’t know
  • Hiding Christmas presents for the younger kids
  • Making snow angels
  • Wearing silly Christmas pajamas

Top things people look forward to during the holiday season

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