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People buying more Christmas decorations than gifts this year

Whether you like white or multicolored lights, a real or fake tree, traditional or unique, overall, people are spending more money to decorate their safe spaces.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — This holiday season the National Retail Federation reports people are spending more on Christmas decorations and less on gifts than in years past.

But, while there are more people decking the halls this year, people still have strong opinions on what decorations look best.

For the 2020 Christmas season, there are more trinkets on trees, lights on ledges and décor on doors, but not as much wrapping paper is rolling out, according to University of Tennessee Assistant Professor of Retail and Consumer Sciences Michelle Childs.

"There is a slight increase in spending, but if you break it down it's actually more in decorations and non-gift items," Childs explained.

For some, decorating is a distraction and helps fast-forward into more festive times.

"When you think about it, less people are travelling, more people are at home, so they really wanna make that environment like festive," Childs said.

When it comes to trimming the tree, the Associated Press reports more people are opting for a real one over fake one. More people are able to stay home and water a tree and it's an opportunity to make an outside memory.

Fakes aren't forgotten, though.

"There's more people buying new artificial trees, so both kinds of trees there's gonna be more sales in, and really what that comes down to is people just want something new," Childs admitted.

The age-old decoration debates are still keeping their place.

Are you opting for white lights or multicolor?

More traditional red and green scenes or things that match your home's overall feeling?

Sales are split 50/50 this year.

While giving experiences instead of gifts won't go away in 2020, there will be less than years past, simply because of travel and event restrictions.

With more people staying safe at home, time is one of the biggest treats under the tree.