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A new survey by finds that, while millennials still put family first on Thanksgiving, little else can distract them from shopping deals such as those available on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

To better understand how millennials think about spending, saving, and giving thanks during the holidays, we polled 500 18-34 year-olds in the U.S. who carry credit card debt.

Key highlights

Turkey no longer takes the cake

While family is certainly important to millennials of all stripes, Thanksgiving dinner itself is overshadowed by America’s favorite shopping day.

Our survey found that nearly 20% more millennials are looking forward to Black Friday shopping than to their Thanksgiving turkey.

Surprisingly, Cyber Monday doesn’t have a huge draw for this tech-savvy crowd, with only about one quarter as many respondents indicating Cyber Monday to be the most compelling piece of their Thanksgiving puzzle.

Nearly 20% more millennials are looking forward to Black Friday shopping than to their Thanksgiving turkey.

Further, the classic American tradition of Thanksgiving football seems to be even less appealing, with fewer than 3% of those surveyed reporting to be most exciting to watch football.

While interests can seem fragmented, however, millennials are still committed to spending time with their families over the holiday — 48.6% of survey respondents indicated most looking forward to family time this Thanksgiving.

Family first...

Supporting the finding that millennials are most looking forward to spending some time with family this Thanksgiving, more than 80% of survey respondents reported that what they were most thankful for this year was their family.

The remaining 18.6% of respondents said they were most thankful for their health, career, and finances, while only very small numbers of those surveyed were most thankful for their pets or communities.

...and shopping second


Survey respondents planning to shop on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or both

There’s no doubt that millennials are looking forward to some family time this Thanksgiving, but that’s not keeping them out of the (physical or digital) shops. More than 80% of millennials surveyed report that they plan to shop on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or both.

Despite millennials’ assumed affinity for the online world, more than twice as many respondents plan to shop during Black Friday as during Cyber Monday. Nearly a third of respondents will even shop on both days, indicating quite a penchant for holiday shopping — or for the deals themselves.

While last year saw reports of decreased interest in Black Friday, retailers might be happy to hear that fewer than one in five respondents will sit out the holiday spending frenzies entirely this year.

They may be making their purchases online, but it’s clear that millennials won’t be giving up their holiday shopping this year.

In sum

Retailers, fear not: Holiday shopping is far from dead, at least amongst millennials. In fact, it’s one of the top Thanksgiving activities for many, with Black Friday far surpassing more traditional aspects of Thanksgiving day such as dinner and watching football.

If you’re planning to shop over Thanksgiving weekend or throughout the holidays, it’s a good idea to set out a budget beforehand to avoid getting caught in great deal traps, of which there are many during the season.

Further, if you’ll be using a credit card to fund your purchases, double check that your bank balance is high enough to pay it off right away, as paying interest would be an unideal way to start the new year.


We obtained this data by surveying 500 adults ages 18 to 34 who have credit card debt, and asking them the following questions:

  • What are you most looking forward to this Thanksgiving?
  • What are you most thankful for this year?
  • Do you plan on shopping during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or both?

The survey was conducted through Pollfish on October 24, 2017 as part of a study to illustrate millennials’ attitudes towards Thanksgiving and their holiday season habits.

About the author
Credible Staff
Credible Staff

The goal of the Credible editorial writers and staff is to help our readers get up to speed on issues surrounding student loans, mortgage, and personal finance, so you can make informed decisions. We’re here to help you stay on top of the latest news, trends, concepts, and changes in policy and regulations.

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