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2019’s Best Places for Christmas Celebrations 

Charlotte, NC makes the list!

click to enlarge freestocks-org-pwrpcm6hedy-unsplash.jpg
The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner. With Christmas being the most popular holiday in the U.S. and one of the most expensive – Americans are projected to spend up to $730 billion over the holiday season this year – the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019’s Best Places for Christmas Celebrations as well as accompanying videos.

To help Americans celebrate Christmas without breaking the bank, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest cities across 33 key metrics. The data set ranges from Christmas events per capita to the average price per Christmas party ticket to shopping centers and outlets per capita.

Charlotte, NC ranked #35 overall, just ahead of Raleigh at #28 overall.


Best Cities for Christmas Celebrations
1. Atlanta, GA 11. Washington, DC
2. Orlando, FL 12. Denver, CO
3. New York, NY 13. Austin, TX
4. Pittsburgh, PA 14. St. Louis, MO
5. Chicago, IL 15. Birmingham, AL
6. Las Vegas, NV 16. Minneapolis, MN
7. Los Angeles, CA 17. Miami, FL
8. San Francisco, CA 18. Dallas, TX
9. Seattle, WA 19. Cincinnati, OH
10. Portland, OR 20. Honolulu, HI


click to enlarge PHOTO BY BEN WHITE ON UNSPLASH
  • Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


Key Stats
  • Raleigh, North Carolina, has the lowest average price for a Christmas party ticket, $12.30, which is 4.4 times lower than in San Jose, California, the city with the highest at $54.24.

  • Minneapolis has the most Christmas events (per square root of the population), 0.036797, which is 30.4 times more than in El Paso, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.001210.

  • Miami has the most Christmas tree farms (per square root of the population), 0.023316, which is 19.3 times more than in El Paso, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.001210.

  • Orlando, Florida, has the most gift shops (per square root of the population), 0.217020, which is 53.4 times more than in Garland, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.004062.

  • Los Angeles has the most toy stores (per square root of the population), 0.124148, which is 50.9 times more than in Detroit, the city with the fewest at 0.002439.


Study Methodology

In order to determine the best places to celebrate Christmas, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated cities across five key dimensions: 1) Traditions & Fun, 2) Observance, 3) Generosity, 4) Shopping and 5) Costs.

WalletHub evaluated those dimensions using 33 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for celebrating Christmas.

Finally, they determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. In determining the sample, they considered only the city proper in each case, excluding cities in the surrounding metro area. For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), they used the square root of the population to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.

Traditions & Fun - Total Points: 20
Ranking on Top 25 Destinations for Christmas: Double Weight (~2.67 Points)
Note: This metric is based on advance hotel reservations made on priceline.com and measures the ranking of the city among the top 25 Christmas destinations.

Christmas Events per Capita*: Double Weight (~2.67 Points)
Note: “Events” include festivals, performances and galas.
Presence of SantaCon Events: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
Note: This metrics measures the presence or absence SantaCon events in a city.

Google Search Interest for ‘Christmas Celebration’: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
Note: This metric measures the real intent of the population to find information about the following search terms: “Christmas party”, “Christmas light show”, “Christmas market”, “Christmas concert”, “Christmas festival” and “Christmas dinner”. “Real intent” is measured using the average monthly search volumes for those specific terms.

Christmas Tree Farms per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
Note: "Christmas tree farms" refers to Christmas tree gardens & lots & selling points.

Traditions & Fun - Total Points: 20
  • Ranking on Top 25 Destinations for Christmas: Double Weight (~2.67 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on advance hotel reservations made on priceline.com and measures the ranking of the city among the top 25 Christmas destinations.
  • Christmas Events per Capita*: Double Weight (~2.67 Points)
    Note: “Events” include festivals, performances, and galas.
  • Presence of SantaCon Events: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the presence or absence of SantaCon events in a city.
  • Google Search Interest for ‘Christmas Celebration’: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the real intent of the population to find information about the following search terms: “Christmas party”, “Christmas light show”, “Christmas market”, “Christmas concert”, “Christmas festival” and “Christmas dinner”. “Real intent” is measured using the average monthly search volumes for those specific terms.
  • Christmas Tree Farms per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
    Note: "Christmas tree farms" refers to Christmas tree gardens & lots & selling points.
  • Bakeries per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
  • Restaurants per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
  • Diversity of Restaurants: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
  • Number of Attractions: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
  • Ice Skating Rinks per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
  • Nightlife Options per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
  • Bars per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
  • Music Venues per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.33 Points)
    Note: Many cities host Christmas concerts during the holiday season.

Observance - Total Points: 20
  • Share of Christian Population: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • Churches per Capita*: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • Generosity - Total Points: 20
  • Food Banks per Capita*: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Share of Income Donated to Charity: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Share of Population Collecting/Distributing Food & Clothes for the Needy: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Online Giving per Capita: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Christmas Spirit: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Most Caring Cities” ranking.

Shopping - Total Points: 20
  • Christmas Markets per Capita*: Double Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Gift Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Shopping Centers & Outlets per Capita*: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Toy Stores & Hobby Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Candy Stores & Chocolatiers per Capita*: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Cards & Stationery Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Holiday Decorations Shops & Holiday Decorating Services per Capita*: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)

Costs - Total Points: 20
  • Average Price per Christmas Party Ticket: Double Weight (~5.71 Points)
  • Cost of Three-Star Hotel Room: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Restaurant Meal Costs: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Number of Affordable, High-Quality Restaurants: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
    Note: “High-Quality Restaurants” include those with ratings of 4.5 stars or higher.
  • Average Beverage Price: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
    Note: “Beverage” refers to beer and wine.
  • Average Price for Two Tickets to the Theater: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
    Note: Some cities offer a wide range of Christmas-themed performances which one can enjoy with friends or family.

To view the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-places-for-christmas/41924/
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