The holiday season is starting to sneak up on us and after missing out on get-togethers with friends and extended family last year, it looks like many Canadians are planning to be extra generous with their spending this year to make up for it.

The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has released its annual holiday shopping survey for 2021, which includes feedback from over 2,500 Canadians about their plans this year. The respondents range from 18 to over 65 years old living in provinces across the country.

The report says that, overall, Canadians are eager to spend some extra money and get back to normal shopping behaviours this year, like hitting up the stores well before the festive decorations go up. Around 30% of people plan to start their holiday shopping in late October and 36% will start to shop in early November.

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As expected, Black Friday is expected to be one of the busiest shopping days of all, with 43% saying that they plan to score discounts on their gifts on November 26th.

With pandemic-related uncertainty being less of a concern, the RCC report says Canadians plan to get back to 2019-level spending this year. The estimated total people will spend on presents this year is $792, however, RCC predicts that the real total will end up being over $800.

Most respondents plan to allocate the bulk of their budget (16%) on clothing, followed by food and alcohol (12%), toys (10%), personal electronics (8%), and several more.

Nearly two-thirds of people planning to shop earlier and half say they will shop local this year out of concern about delays. This decision is fuelled by supply chain issues throughout North America that could lead to limited stock and shipping delays on gifts well into the holiday shopping season.

People are also much more concerned about crowded stores and overpriced items this year than they were in 2020. It looks like the holiday shopping season will be back to its usual madness this year, so if you’ve got items to cross off your list, you better plan accordingly.