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How Does Your Christmas Spending Stack Up?

The holidays are quite the swirl of activity with all the sales, gift wrap, parties, driving and eating. There's plenty of cheer for just about every man, woman and child, with 1.76 billion candy canes in production and 100 million Christmas trees going up. So what does this activity mean for your time and money? Here are a few facts that might surprise you.

It seems there are two kinds of people in this world: people who wrap presents early and those who grab the paper and tape with less than a week to go. In any case, the average person has 15.3 gifts to wrap each Christmas.

If you're flying home this year, you might find less crowded airports, because 60% of people who normally fly home for Christmas plan to skip it this year, citing high costs and a wish to avoid delays and crowds. But if you want to save, a Christmas Day flight will land you the cheapest seats of the season. To maintain the savings, see if you can delay your return flight until early January.

In all, people plan to spend less this year than they did in 2015, but this should still shape up to be the second-highest holiday spending season ever. The average household will spend $935.58 this year on gifts as well as flowers, décor, cards, and food.

While shopping, did you find something that you yourself needed? 60% of Americans surveyed said they expected to fit in some personal shopping, spending $139 on average. And hey, with all those sales, why not snag a deal on something you need, like a new coat or your favorite perfume? Just make sure it fits in your budget.

Have kids? With parents spending more than $250 per child, 62% admit overspending on their kids, with nearly half saying they were willing to take on credit card debt to make their children's holiday wishes come true.

Speaking of plastic, credit card use is starting to show signs of creeping back into our spending habits, with one in four Americans planning to use their credit cards this year to help them cover the costs of holiday spending.

As you can see, keeping costs under control at this time of year is tough for many Americans. To make the most of the season, stick to your budget and remember to take time for the little things so you can enjoy some of that holiday magic.

Tags: Holiday Smarts