According to a new study by WalletHub, Dallas is among the ‘Top 25 Best Cities for Christmas.’
“It’s a city where people have plenty of opportunities to choose from to celebrate,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst for WalletHub.
The WalletHub 2021 list of Best Cities for Christmas found that Dallas has more food banks per capita, a larger percentage of people collecting and distributing food and clothes for the needy, and more affordable high-quality restaurants where people can enjoy a Christmas dinner.
“The categories where Dallas ranked higher are traditions & fun, and shopping. Dallas’ ranking indicates a great interest from its residents for Christmas celebrations,” Gonzalez told The Dallas Express. “It also shows that the people become more generous during the holidays since Dallas has a large share of the population collecting and distributing food and clothes for the needy.”
But when it comes to “Christmas spirit,” Dallas has room to improve.
“We were surprised that Dallas ranked in the bottom 15 cities for Christmas spirit, and by the fact that it doesn’t have more churches per capita as it ranked among the bottom 25 for this metric,” Gonzalez said in an interview.
Christmas spirit is determined based on another WalletHub ranking for the Most Caring Cities, according to Gonzalez.
“The categories where Dallas ranked higher are traditions & fun, and shopping,” she said. “To celebrate Christmas while also saving money and protecting their health, Dallas residents could focus more on the meaning of the holiday and simply stay at home with their families.”
Austin outranked Dallas in several categories, including the number of Christmas tree farms and bakeries per capita, the number and diversity of restaurants, the number of attractions, ice skating rinks, nightlife options, music venues, and the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated.
“The percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated had double weight in the overall score, as we believe it’s an important factor when it comes to being able to enjoy the holidays with other people,” Gonzalez said. “Dallas ranked in the middle of the pack with 57.85 percent.”
Restaurant meals are more expensive in Dallas. The average price for a 2-person, 3-course meal in Dallas is $60 in a mid-range restaurant compared to only $50 in Austin.
“There are also more churches per capita in Austin than in Dallas,” Gonzalez said. “Austin ranked higher in terms of online giving, gift shops, shopping centers and outlets, toy stores and hobby shops, cards and stationery shops per capita, and is a more affordable city.”
Overall, Atlanta landed the top spot because it has the most Christmas events, affordable hotels and restaurants, Christmas tree farms, bakeries, restaurants, music venues per capita, and the fifth most ice-skating rinks per capita.
“Dallas would need to improve in most categories to catch up with Atlanta, including traditions and fun, observance, generosity, and shopping opportunities,” Gonzalez said.
“The five Texas cities rank in the bottom half because they have a small number of restaurants, churches, gift shops, toy stores, hobby shops, candy stores, and chocolatiers per capita,” Gonzalez added. “They also have a high average price for beverages.”
Fort Worth ranked No. 59 out of 100 cities followed, by Plano at No. 61, Arlington at No. 84, Irving at No. 93, and Garland at No. 94.