WXXI AM News

Siena Poll: New Yorkers won't let the pandemic ruin their holidays

Nov 26, 2020

Credit siena.edu

A new survey shows that while some New Yorkers are less excited about the upcoming holiday season due to the pandemic, a number of them still plan to find ways to celebrate.

The Siena College Poll shows that 59% of state residents are somewhat, or every excited about the upcoming holiday season. That’s down from 71% last year, but Siena College Research Institute Director Don Levy said that a lot of New Yorkers still plan to spend a fair amount of money on presents.

Nearly half of those surveyed, about the same as last year, plan to spend under $500 on gifts this season.

Nearly a third of those Siena spoke with, up from last year, plan to spend $1,000 or more.

And Levy said that a lot of that shopping will be done online. "In terms of the percentage who say they’re going to do three-quarters to 100% of their shopping online, that number has doubled this year. So nearly 40% of us right now say that we’re going to do the vast majority, if not all of our shopping. Another 19% say we’re going to do at least half of it,” Levy noted.

Levy said that 68% of those surveyed say the holidays will be different this year, but they cannot be ruined by the virus, since the spirit of the season will triumph over the pandemic.

One tangible way the pandemic may have an impact is on charitable activities. Levy said that fewer New Yorkers expect to make cash contributions to charities this year.

"When we asked 'how about just donations,' are you going to write a check or give goods to various organizations that focus on people with needs? It’s still robust, it’s 66% of us, but we’ve been over 70 (percent) year after year on that number," Levy said.

Levy said that only 23% of New Yorkers surveyed plan to volunteer any of their time to help non-profit organizations this year, the lowest it’s been in 13 years. And he said that may reflect a number of people concerned about going out to do volunteer activities due to the pandemic.