BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — It’s officially December! Are you excited about the holiday season? Even if you are, is the entire state of North Dakota just as eager to celebrate?

Although there have been many holiday events already here in ND, a recent analysis shows that we might not have as much Christmas spirit as you may think.

A study performed by GetCenturyLink.com aimed to discover which states have the most Christmas spirit — and to do so, they compiled 10 data metrics into two main categories: Christmas-themed online activities within the last 12 months and Christmas-related cultural markers. Cross-referencing this information with percentages allowed the group to assign final, definitive ratings to each state…. with a few unexpected results and changes shaking up how we see ND’s seasonal excitement.

As buried in snow and festivities as we are during the holiday season, it turns out that North Dakota isn’t one of the states with the most Christmas spirit — in fact, we haven’t even made the top 10. This hasn’t always been the case, though — back in 2020, ND actually did make the top ten, fitting in at number 8, before shooting down to 30th place in 2021 and rising to 15th this year. What was the cause of the huge decline? Surprisingly, that’s one of the easier questions to answer: the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced a significant drop from 2020-2021.

In addition to state spirit rankings, the survey also tallied the country’s thoughts on Christmas traditions and feelings, showing us a few surprising or even heartwarming results. The following is a summary of some of the major points uncovered by GetCenturyLink’s research.

  • 77% of surveyed Americans state they agreed with their state’s position in the ranking of the states with the most Christmas spirit. Among those who disagreed with the placement, another 77% stated that it was due to the idea that everyone around them seems festive to begin with, and 23% said they don’t believe people seem to care about the season anymore.
  • Happiness is the strongest emotion that people feel about Christmas, and spending time with the ones you love is a key factor in this. 57% of survey participants said Christmas is the one time of year they get to see loved ones.
  • Make sure your kids don’t see this bullet point. Most respondents say that they stopped believing in Santa Claus between the ages of five and nine.
  • Across all age groups, the highest share of respondents (37%) plan to go on vacation this year. In addition, 31% of Gen Z and 33% of Millennials plan to host family at their homes, and 37% of Gen X and 47% of Baby Boomers plan to stay home without visitors.
  • 43% of survey participants haven’t changed the way they spend Christmas since the COVID-19 pandemic, while 30% have made a bigger effort to see family members as a result.
  • Most Gen Zers, Millenials, and Gen Xers plan to keep the same traditions they always have. Conversely, 50% of Boomers keep fewer traditions than they used to.
  • Across generations, Christmas spending has changed significantly — with younger generations spending more this season. 33% of Gen Z and 30% of Millennials are spending far more than in previous years, while 41% of Gen X are spending less. And while 29% of Boomers are spending less as well, an equal amount of the population is spending more than usual.

Here are a few other interesting facts about the many ways the states show their Christmas spirit:

  • For the second year in a row, New Hampshire has been ranked as the #1 state with the most Christmas spirit.
  • Washington DC ranked in last place for the third year in a row.
  • Vermont has the most Christmas tree farms per capita in the United States and has held the title for four years.
  • Vermont ranks first for the number of tweets made in the state around Christmas, while Delaware ranks second.
  • According to the IRS, Californians gave the most tax-deductible charitable contributions than any other state, with Texas and New York placing second and third.

Looking at the statistics from the past few years, it’s clear to see that around the time of the pandemic, our Christmas spirit here in North Dakota has hit a low — but recently, it’s starting to climb back up. The more time we spend out with our friends and family during the holiday season, the higher our number climbs — and we’re sure that soon enough, all will be just as merry and bright as it was before, and we’ll regain our top ten spot.

The full study and methodology, as well as the list of every state’s level of Christmas spirit, can be found here.