Holiday Budget

Your mission is to splurge $643. But just how many of these holiday-related items can you purchase? We did the research, so you don’t have to. (Illustrations by Sam Island)

Holiday | Personal Finance

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

What can you buy if you have, on average, $643 to spend on gifts this year? From wrapping paper to leg lamps, here’s a look at what you can get with that money.

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Canadians plan to spend, on average, $643 while playing Santa this year, according to the CPA Canada Holiday Spending Study. With our love of numbers and all things finance, here’s a light-hearted look at what you can buy with that money.

Holiday Budget Wrapping paper

13,260-sq.-ft. of wrapping paper

(roughly 85 eight-packs of 30-sq.-ft. rolls at $7.48 each)

Count that as 663 feet long, or roughly the length of three hockey rinks.

But be careful: if you spend all your money on wrapping paper, you won’t have any money left for actual gifts! 

Holiday Budget accountant gifts

10 holiday gifts for accountants


That’s just two shy of the 12 items featured in our gift guides: last-minute ideas and presents accountants will love. The remaining $20.84 can be your bonus for making budget-friendly choices.

Holiday Budget house lights

2,820 lights

(roughly 40 boxes, 70 lights in each at $15.99)

That’s plenty of sparkle to make the Griswolds’ house in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation look amateur. Just make sure you know where the master switch is.

Holiday Budget leg lamp

2 1/3 leg lamps

($279.99 x2 = $559.98)

Bring home two—unbroken—50-inch leg lamps just like the dad in A Christmas Story to add some brightness to your holiday celebrations. It will feel like a major award.

Holiday Budget monopoly boards

11 editions of Monopoly


Keep all guests enthused with your expansive Monopoly collection, featuring a medley of editions from classic to Game of Thrones, Star Wars and even Super Mario.

Holiday Budget twelve days of Christmas

Budget buster: 1 partridge in a pear tree, 2 turtledoves

($786.70, converted from US$595.13)

The 12 Days of Christmas is just a line-up of expensive, high-maintenance presents. If you bought the entire list, you would need US$170,609.46 for all 364 gifts in the song (which works out to almost $225,528.65 Canadian)!

(Priced on PNC Christmas Index and Bank of Canada)

All product prices are MSRP before taxes and may be subject to change.