LendingTree conducted a survey of 1,040 people who are hosting Thanksgiving dinner in 2018 to gauge the emotional and financial toll involved in doing so and how hosts plan to manage Thanksgiving expenses.

Courtesy Ketra

According to LendingTree's 2018 Thanksgiving Survey, Americans will host an average of 11 dinner guests, spend an average of $251.11 on the meal itself, and buy an average of $83.23 worth of housewares like dishes, serving ware and decorations. On top of that, the survey found that Americans will take an average of 1.8 days off work to host Thanksgiving, resulting in an average of $587.62 in lost wages.

Although hosting Thanksgiving dinner means extra responsibilities, the survey found only 18 percent of hosts are very stressed about it; meanwhile, nearly half of respondents (46%) showed no signs of being stressed at all. And despite the stress and financial strain, 76 percent say they love to host Thanksgiving dinner.

Key takeaways

  • With an average of 11 dinner guests, Americans will spend on average of $334 to host Thanksgiving, or about $31 per guest.
  • More than one in four hosts (28%) say this Thanksgiving will be a financial strain.
  • 42% will take time off of work to prepare; of those taking time off, 56% will give up an average of $588 in pay to do so.
  • 28% will charge credit cards or borrow money to pay for Thanksgiving, and over one third don't expect to pay it off right away.
  • One in four hosts wish they had more help around the holiday, while one in ten wishes someone else was hosting the dinner altogether. Over one-half say they have stress around the holiday.
  • Despite the stress and financial strain, 76% say they love to host Thanksgiving dinner.