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5 major trends we’ll see in 2020 fall and winter holidays

As we look ahead to the rest of the year, uncertainty looms overhead. Yet – if the holidays we’ve experienced thus far in this “new normal” are any indication, people are feeling over-the-top about celebrations this year. In fact, Pinterest...

By Marie King

As we look ahead to the rest of the year, uncertainty looms overhead. Yet – if the holidays we’ve experienced thus far in this “new normal” are any indication, people are feeling over-the-top about celebrations this year. In fact, Pinterest reported that in comparison to the usual time for people to start making holiday plans – normally in September – this year, they saw their users searching and saving for the holidays starting all the way back in April!1 This anticipation is driven by the eagerness to return to normal, the desire for distraction, and the very real need (in this chaotic economy) to plan a budget through the rest of the year.

Today, we’re digging into some early trends that publishers can usee to jumpstart their planning for a successful Q4. As things are likely to change as we move further along in the year, we’ll continue to share updates and insights here on the blog. 

1. Feeling celebratory

People are more excited about the holidays than ever before. Looking forward to a season of celebration is a welcome relief from quarantine and the uncertainty around the pandemic.Many have more time on their hands since they’re not going out or traveling as much, and they’re putting it into celebrations and planning! 

  • More ambitious and creative recipes
  • The baking craze (holiday cookies, desserts, festive breads, etc.)
  • DIY decorations and crafts for kids and adults 
  • Fun games to play at home and pass the time
  • Labor Day celebration and road trip ideas 
  • Smaller day-to-day celebration ideas (like National Pancake Day!)

2. Nostalgia continues for fall and winter

Celebrate old favorites and put new twists on the past. QVC, the shopping network channel, is reporting an increase in demand for nostalgia in its 2020 holiday trends

  • Revitalizing traditions
  • Reusing and upcycling
  • Thrifting costumes and decor
  • Freshening up old decorations and giving them a modern twist
  • Making traditional and “like grandma made” recipes

3. People are on the prowl for hot deals

Many are facing tough economic times right now and finding ways to be more frugal. Some are trying to get ahead of the holiday expenses by planning early, budgeting ahead, and keeping their eyes peeled for deals. One study found that 47% of Americans think they need to start saving earlier this year for Christmas presents, and 16% said that they are already saving up for the holidays.3 

  • Consumers are scouring for great deals. Amazon Prime Day has been put on pause, pushed out to later in the year. Some think it could get canceled altogether, and if that happens, we may see even more people participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales than usual. People are anticipating huge turnout for these online sales days!4 
  • Some stores may opt out of participating in certain holidays this year. Walmart, for example, announced that they will be closed on Thanksgiving this year to thank their staff for all the extra hard work they’ve endured as a result of COVID. Other retail establishments could follow suit.
  • In addition to deal seeking, people are also seeking out affordable luxuries. Finding ways to indulge in small things, such as purchasing at-home spa treatments, making themselves a fancy steak dinner, or buying new power tools to tackle their home improvement projects, is helping people cope right now.  

4. Fostering togetherness 

2 in 3 people say the extended lockdowns have brought them closer to their families.3 Families are spending more time together — eating together, watching TV together, celebrating together. In fact, 41% said they have been eating more family meals together since the onset of the pandemic.3

Those who can’t spend time with their loved ones in person are still looking for ways to stay connected. Many families will be physically apart this year for the holidays. According to one study, 51% of Americans don’t expect to spend Christmas with family.4 

In addition to celebrating with friends and family, this is a time to help people come together as a community. Publishers should continue to share ideas and opportunities to support the Black Lives Matter movement and help elevate Black voices and initiatives. Additionally, publishers may share volunteer opportunities such as grocery shopping for at-risk individuals, donating food for families struggling in these economic conditions, etc.

5. Celebration with a side of safety

People are looking to make sure their celebrations are safe. Whether that’s figuring out how to incorporate social distancing, making their masks more festive, or figuring out fun ways to celebrate virtually, people want to protect themselves and their loved ones. 

  • Halloween costumes that incorporate masks
  • No-contact trick-or-treating alternatives such as trunk-or-treating or virtual ideas
  • Virtual Friendsgivings
  • In-person gift exchanges and Secret Santa alternatives like a return to snail mail

These are just a few early trends in anticipation of what’s ahead. We’ll continue to share more specific holiday information as additional research emerges. 


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Sources: 

  1. Pinterest, Earlier than ever: Holiday Trends, 2020
  2. QVC, Holiday Trends, 2020 
  3. OnePoll and Juice Plus+, Quarantine Quality Time, 2020
  4. Christmas, Christmas Lockdown, 2020
  5. The Drum, Christmas trends on social as mentions top half a million in the UK in new report, 2020
  6. IAAPA, Formulating Fear: Designing Halloween Around the Coronavirus, 2020

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