A recent consumer poll in France shows that 57% of the population are already feeling the pinch of Christmas.
Economist Emmanuel Lechypre has revealed that for the sacred réveillon meal, prices of traditional faves are cheaper to buy now. Fois gras will cost 10% more, crustacés (shellfish) 20% higher and coquille Saint Jacques (scallops) 15% extra if you wait until closer to Christmas to buy.
On average, the French are expected to spend €282 on gifts this Christmas. This figure is up slightly over last year (€272) but €60 less than 2019 (€342). The average price in France for toys and games between October and Christmas varies plus or minus 10%. For example, for the week of November 15, Lego, Playmobil, Barbie dolls and video games are selling for an average of €40 less than in October and closer to Christmas.
Travelers wanting to get away this holiday should note the cheapest fares are typically available from 4am to 6am on Wednesday mornings, but destinations such as London, Amsterdam and Barcelona will still be the most expensive. Buying tickets online on the weekends can be 30% more expensive compared to a weekday.
For those sticking close to home, 45% of the French say that they will not be buying a Christmas tree this year because of increased cost of living expenses. Last year, 20% of households bought a natural tree at an average price of €29.60 (up from €22.40 in 2008). Only 2.7% of households bought an artificial tree last year.
The Nordmann remains the most popular for the French and represents 80.4% of sales at an average price of €30.10 against the cost of a spruce tree at €22.60. Also, 43% of natural trees sold are 1.50 meters or larger.
While in Quebec, producers are facing an unprecedented shortage of trees which will bump up the price this year by 15 to 25%, Vincent Houis spokesperson for the Association française du sapin de Noël naturel (French association of natural Christmas trees), says, “There will be no shortage, we had a very good year in climatic terms, the trees are of very good quality, the prices will be the same.” France does not imports trees from North America but it does get “20% of its fir trees from Belgium and Denmark.”