How much could the Grinch “steal” at Christmas in 2023?

An illustrative story about vacation spending in inflationary occasions

Whole client spending accounts for greater than two-thirds of US gross home product, so financial forecasters watch spending developments on main holidays like a hawk – and for good cause. The 2023 model of Black Friday reported a file $9.8 billion in Black Friday on-line gross sales, up 7.5% from 2022, not accounting for inflation. On Cyber Monday shoppers spent $12.4 billion, a 9.6% enhance from 2022.

If you wish to get a transparent understanding of what these huge numbers characterize, right here’s what retail gross sales can be by way of what the Grinch would possibly steal from all of us at Christmas. Think about the Grinch hauling the whole lot of Whoville’s Christmas items up Mount Crumpit.

You’ll bear in mind this story from Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and The Credit score Assessment supplies the numbers that translate the basic youngsters’s story right into a 2023 financial story that asserts that, if the Grinch stole Christmas in 2023, it could be price $14 million in Whoville items

The story

Think about the Grinch hauling the whole lot of Whoville’s Christmas items up Mount Crumpit.

Quick-forward to in the present day in 2023, with inflation, Christmas spending greater than ever, and the fast-approaching holidays, the private finance specialists at The Credit score Assessment wished to know — how a lot would the Grinch’s Christmas haul have been price in the present day? 

To determine it out, they outlined just a few key items of information:

  • The place is Whoville? Legend has it that the fictional Whoville from Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was modeled off of Easthampton, MA. In 2023, the small metropolis has a inhabitants of nearly 16,045 individuals, in response to Census information.
  • What did the Grinch steal? From the story, “All of the presents, the meals for the feast, and even the Christmas tree.”
  • How a lot? In response to a survey from the Nationwide Retail Federation, the common client plans to spend $875 on Christmas-related items in 2023 (which incorporates presents, meals, vacation decorations, and different vacation items).

Multiplying the inhabitants of our modern-day Whoville by the common core vacation spending numbers, The Credit score Assessment discovered: 

In 2023, the Grinch would steal $14,039,375 price of vacation items.

Satirically, Dr. Seuss was impressed to write down the e-book in 1957 as a result of he was irritated by the commercialization of Christmas.

It seems that commercialization has elevated considerably since then. 

The Credit score Reviewcalculated that buyers have spent an extra 3.3% yearly on vacation items since 1957 — a compounding of vacation spending on prime of inflation will increase. This calculation comes from a breakdown and deeper evaluation of information from 24/7 Wall Road’s historic spending report. 

The Credit score Assessment Workforce additionally discovered that whereas spending has elevated 3.3% yearly, per capita earnings has solely elevated 2.1% throughout the identical interval. 

Utilizing these findings, The Credit score Assessment discovered that if the Grinch had been to steal Christmas in 1957, the yr the e-book was printed, he would have stolen the equal of $1,198,854 in vacation items (in 2023 {dollars}). 

Even after adjusting for inflation, American incomes and vacation spending patterns had been a lot smaller in 1957 than in 2023. 

In 2023, People spend 8.75 occasions as a lot on core vacation items (presents, meals, vacation decorations and related) than in 1957, and that’s not even accounting for vacation journey and extra prices.

In the long run, the Grinch returned all the products, so the residents of Whoville might rejoice Christmas in any case.

However Dr. Seuss and his property by no means needed to return the hundreds of thousands they’ve comprised of his quite a few beloved best-selling books. 

Almost three many years after his dying, Dr. Seuss’s property earned an estimated $33 million earlier than taxes in 2020. This landed him at #2 on Forbes’ rating of the Highest-Paid Deceased Celebrities for 2020.

Dr. Seuss claimed the Grinch was primarily based on himself, as his spouse’s sicknesses and dismay with the commercialization of Christmas annoyed him across the time he wrote the e-book.

The Grinch could have returned the entire presents within the books and films, however Dr. Seuss and his descendants made fairly a bit more cash, cash that they’ve saved due to his basic tales and trendy streaming service royalties.


  • The Credit score Assessment used estimates from the Nationwide Retail Federation findings the common client plans to spend $875 on Christmas-related items in 2023. (It’s price noting we used this extra conservative retail estimate to deal with “client” spending reasonably than the current ballot from Gallup asking about American’s spending perceptions). 
  • Whoville is claimed to be modeled off of Easthampton, MA, which has a 2023 inhabitants of 16,045.
  • Multiplying these two numbers, The Credit score Assessment arrived at a complete of $14,039,375.
  • To regulate for 1957 information, The Credit score Assessment calculated the expansion of client spending between the years of 1957 to 2015 utilizing information from 24/7 Wall Road. They discovered that since 1957, there was a median 3.3% compound annual development fee in elevated spending yearly, on prime of inflation adjustments. This enhance in spending encompasses the whole lot of vacation spending, together with journey and different spending.


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