More New Yorkers believe in Santa Claus.
Thirty-seven percent of New Yorkers said they believe in Santa Claus, up from 30 percent a year ago, a poll today from the Siena College Research Institute. Belief in Santa was highest among women and people over age 65, and it was higher among upstate residents and Republicans, the poll found.
The holiday cheer may also lead to longer lines at stores this year.
New Yorkers plan to increase their holiday spending and buy gifts for more people than last year, the poll found.
Thirteen percent of New Yorkers, almost double compared to last year, plan to spend more on gifts this year, the poll found. Those cutting back on gifts dropped from 21 percent to 16 percent.
“By no means are New Yorkers planning a holiday spending frenzy, but every indicator is trending upwards,” said Don Levy, the research institute’s director, in a statement. “The percentage of residents holding their holiday budget under $600 has dropped from 61 to 57 percent and those planning to exceed $1,000 in shopping cheer increased from 26 to 29 percent. The economy continues to dampen some spirits, but even that Bah Humbug has lessened.”
People are tempered in their shopping, though. A majority, 54 percent, of New Yorkers said they didn’t think stores should be open on Thanksgiving night, which is Thursday. Nineteen percent of New Yorkers said they will shop on Black Friday — a same percentage as in a Siena poll last year.
Nearly 80 percent of New Yorkers said they will make some donations to charitable groups this year, either money, food or gifts — a similar percentage as last year.
Clothing was again the top gift, with 73 percent saying they would buy clothes and 86 percent of those with children at home planning to give clothing as a gift.
Sixty-two percent said they would shop for toys; 26 percent planned to give jewelry; about 10 percent planned to shop for different types of electronics.
“Merry Christmas” is the top holiday salutation, with 55 percent of all New Yorkers indicating they would say it.
The poll was conducted Nov. 12-15 to 727 New York adults. It had a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.