The Job Of Hosting Christmas – a study

If you’re one of the many people who have never had to host a Christmas, then you may wonder what the task actually entails. What preparation goes into cooking the festive feast? Who’s job is it to buy and wrap all of the gifts? How long does it take to do the Christmas food shopping?

It’s no doubt a mammoth task, especially if you’re hosting a big group, and we were concerned that the finer details and hours of work that go into playing host go unnoticed and therefore unappreciated.

So, we decided to conduct a little study (not little actually, we spoke to 1,505 members of the public!) to ascertain exactly what tasks are completed when one is hosting the festive event, and how long is spent doing each task.

This invaluable insight enabled us to calculate what the ‘wage’ of hosting Christmas would be if it were a real job. Heads up, maybe you should buy your parents, grandparents or whoever it is that typically hosts Christmas in your house an extra special gift this year!

  • Christmas hosts would earn £884.89 / $1,172 if it were a paid position
  • They will dedicate 67 hours preparing for and hosting the festive event on average
  • Hosts spend five hours cooking Christmas dinner
  • They clean for six hours
  • Spend four hours bartending
  • They wait on their guests including washing up for four hours too
  • Wrapping gifts takes them three hours
  • Hosts spend 10 hours shopping gifts
  • They grocery shop for eight hours for Christmas

In our survey, members of the public who celebrate the festivities were asked to select typical jobs they complete in preparation for, as well as during the Christmas holiday, which was identified to start on Christmas Eve and end on Boxing Day. Additionally they were asked to provide the average number of hours they spend doing each Christmas job.

We also discovered that the average host will entertain eight guests over the Christmas period, with two thirds (67%) of households providing accommodation to friends and relatives as well.

Nick Drewe, founder of WeThrift said,

“Christmas is such a popular holiday around the world, and some families really go all out when they celebrate it. I think it’s safe to say that the whole of December is dominated by the event, with people prepping, shopping and cooking for weeks beforehand. However, one thing that is rarely considered is how much work the host has to put in, because inevitably it falls on one or two people to do the heavy lifting!

“We wanted to investigate this further, and highlight how many hard hours of work go into the festive holiday, so that when the 25th comes around, we can really appreciate the effort our hosts have put in, maybe even let them sit down for a few hours and buy them an extra special thank you gift! If you’re the host then give yourself a big pat on the back, Christmas is certainly no small feat!”


Average wage data from Indeed jobs for positions relevant or similar to the ‘Christmas jobs’ identified in the survey were used to calculate the average Christmas host wage.