The Impact of Culture on American Holiday Celebrations: Collage Group Explains

Washington, D.C., Nov. 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

In anticipation of the coming holiday season, cultural intelligence company, Collage Group, explored how American consumers prepare for and celebrate the winter holiday season. Calling on findings from its multicultural Holidays & Occasions research, experts examined how culture impacts several end-of-the-year holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

Collage Group viewed each occasion across racial and ethnic segments, indicating how brands can use these insights to successfully engage diverse consumers through marketing.


The large majority of Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, as 93% said they recognize the occasion. Not surprisingly, the food is the star of the day as 50% say making meals from scratch is what they enjoy most. Watching football is the second favorite part of the day according to 38% of those polled, and viewing movies or TV specials, ranked number three, with 35% citing that as a part of their Thanksgiving routine.

Through the lens of race and ethnicity, watching Thanksgiving Day football is the second most enjoyed pastime for Black (43%), White (43%) and Asian (29%) consumers. Hispanic Americans named decorating their home as their second most enjoyed Thanksgiving activity.

Alternately, the “Friendsgiving” holiday get-together is prevalent among many consumers, with 30% of Americans of all racial makeups saying they celebrate the gathering.

While similarities across race and ethnicity are strong in celebrating Thanksgiving, there are differences.  Most multicultural consumers incorporate non-traditional foods into their Thanksgiving meals, including 70% of Hispanic consumers and Asian consumers.  

Senior Director of Cultural Insights Jack Mackinnon cites supermarket chain Publix as a brand that has been effective with its Thanksgiving advertising. During 2021, the brand released a creative campaign celebrating various ways to partake in and enjoy the holiday.

“Publix seamlessly included different people from a variety of different cultural backgrounds,” Mackinnon said. “The commercial also did a great job highlighting unique ways families and friends experience Thanksgiving.” 

Collage Group’s CultureRate:Ad methodology reveals that consumers respond favorably to advertisements that target specific segments in ways that appeal to the general market. Ads leveraging these “halo effects” provide a highly efficient method for increasing returns on advertising investments, now an important marketing strategy in an uncertain economy. 

When thinking through Thanksgiving campaigns, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two not-to-miss occasions for consumer brands. Collage Group’s research shows that these times are specifically popular for Black and Asian Americans as a kick-off to holiday shopping. Hispanic Americans, however, tend to skip the hoopla, citing that they shop throughout the month of December.


Like Thanksgiving, the overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, as 93% said they like to partake in the festivities.

When asked whether their Christmas celebrations go beyond typical “American” traditions, Hispanic and  Asian consumers were more likely to answer “yes.” Additionally, Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), Three Kings Day, and Las Posadas are all widely celebrated Christmas-time holidays for bicultural and unacculturated Hispanic consumers. 

Collage Group’s research revealed that although Asian Americans eagerly participate in Christmas celebrations, unfortunately they are often an underrepresented segment in terms of holiday media content. 

“Excluding Asian Americans, underrepresenting them, or failing to target the demographic in Christmas advertisement is a major oversight,” cautioned Mackinnon. “Asian consumers take part in the holiday like every other segment, with their own customs and traditions, so brands should absolutely work to make a connection.” 


While Kwanzaa – a celebration of African heritage and culture – may not be considered as mainstream as the previously mentioned holidays, it is currently observed by about one in every five Black Americans.

Thirty percent of polled Black consumers, and 17% of Hispanic consumers, said that all brands should recognize the holiday through its marketing or advertising. 

How to Authentically Connect During Winter Holidays

Mackinnon advises brands to place focus on authenticity, particularly when activating on a holiday that is celebrated by a specific racial or ethnic segment, such as Kwanzaa. Depending on the brand, this can include a simple celebratory message on a social media page, helping to educate the broader community about the holiday, or partnering with in-segment content creators to tell their personal stories related to the holiday.

Another tip Mackinnon suggests is for brands to highlight what is non-traditional about traditional American holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrated across racial and ethnic segments, but many multicultural Americans have their own traditions based on their heritage and upbringing. Showing the range of how Americans commemorate will appeal to many consumers, particularly those who are multicultural, and those who have different ways of celebrating. 

About Holidays and Occasions

Collage Group’s Holiday’s and Occasions research allows brands to explore how consumer attitudes and behaviors toward holidays and occasions are evolving across race, ethnicity, generation, sexuality and gender. The research covers: Post-COVID & General Attitudes, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Cookouts/Barbeques, Weddings, The Olympics, Birthdays, Quinceañera, Back to School Season, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Black History Month, Asian American Pacific Islander Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Cinco de Mayo, Día de los Muertos, Juneteenth, Lunar New Year and Diwali. 

About Collage Group

Collage Group is the leading source of cultural intelligence about diverse consumers to more than 250 of America’s iconic brands across 15 industries. Through our consumer insights, data, tools and best practices we work with marketing and insights professionals to help them more effectively and efficiently understand, reach and engage diverse consumers in the midst of America’s seismic cultural transformation. For more than 10 years, we have provided brands with the tools needed to build the Cultural Fluency necessary to activate consumers across race, ethnicity, generation, sexuality, gender and parent-child relationships. Learn more about why America’s iconic brands turn to Collage Group for diverse consumer insights and best practices.


Meal Preparation Celebrating Christmas