Many gifts, less money, students say

Iliana Terrones, reporter

Most students at East will buy at least five gifts this year — but are spending less than last year.

According to, Americans “plan to spend an average of $997.79 this year on gifts.” Usually, they spend around $650 on presents for family, friends, and coworkers. Around $230 on food, greeting cards, and decorations, and $117 on non-gift purchases. Nearly every year since 2009, the amount of holiday gifts has increased over the previous year. This year the spending amount has gone down about 5% due to the pandemic, but that’s not stopping people from purchasing holiday gifts. In a random survey of 10 random Morton East students, all 10 students reported that they have bought at least 5 gifts this year.

“Last year I spent like $200 on Christmas gifts, but this year for now about $60,” Senior Michelle Flores said.

Kent Frankfother, journalism teacher, tells us a little about his opinions on Christmas buying during the pandemic.

“I really don’t see a problem with going into stores to shop, as long as everyone is wearing a mask. At least in Chicago, people who refuse to wear masks are asked to leave the stores, so I haven’t seen anyone without them in say Walmart. And, I stay away from people, socially distant, in the checkout lines. I don’t spend an outrageous amount. My family does a $30 grab bag, so I buy for that. I stopped buying presents for friends and coworkers, and just buy them dinner later on in the year when they are least expecting it,” Morton East teacher Kent Frankfother said.

Now let’s take a look at a different perspective.

“I work at a retail store and during the past few weeks, the store has been so crowded and I used to think there wasn’t going to be a lot of people because of the pandemic but there is and some of the customers don’t put their masks on which is a hazard for the health of the employees and other customers,” Proviso East student Jennifer Esquivel said.