Searching for the holidays
 
Is it your first time hosting Christmas dinner? Or maybe you’re a Christmas dinner enthusiast who is looking to expand your menu? Fret not: We’ve scoured Google to find out the most popular meals, desserts and drinks this year! We took a unique view using Google Trends data to find out how your state feels about Christmas.

The Age-Old Question: Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?
 
It seems like a question as old as time itself: Is eggnog or hot chocolate the best drink for the holidays? Do you prefer the once-a-year treat or is old-faithful hot chocolate the clear winner? We analyzed Google Trends data to find out what drink recipes people were searching for in each state. Based on search volume, hot chocolate seems to be the clear winner, though there are pockets of eggnog lovers across the country. Even more interesting, these five states could not decide what drink they prefer: Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia and North Dakota.

If the eggnog vs. hot chocolate question wasn’t enough to keep the conversation going while dinner is in the oven, then the great main course debate will keep you in deep discussions until New Year’s Eve. We picked six of the most popular Christmas meals and pulled Search data via Google Trends. Below is a ranking of the top five states, based on search volume, for each delicious Christmas meal.
 
Setting the Table

While ham and turkey ranked first and second overall in the United States, other meals saw a fair amount of popularity. We ranked the top five states for each Christmas meal based on Google Search data for various recipes. If you’re interested in trying goose this Christmas, maybe spend some time with your relatives in South Carolina – the state that searched for the highest percentage of goose recipes in comparison to other traditional meals.

It comes as no surprise that Texas leads the nation in Christmas brisket, and its fellow top five states Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana and Utah tend to have some history of cowboy culture.

With the exception of Maine and Oregon, duck is mostly enjoyed in a tight grouping of three states – Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana, all of which share a border.

Now that we’ve unpacked the most popular savory feasts, it’s time to investigate some sweet treats! Let’s look at how the U.S. ranked traditional Christmas desserts.
 

Delicious desserts

If you’re anything like us, Christmas dinner is just a speed bump on the way to some of the best desserts of the year. Whether you’re a fan of the traditional fruitcake or look abroad to find a dessert like a panettone, I think we can all agree that Christmas desserts really take the cake.

Surprisingly, Alaska had the highest percentage of search volume for panettone, an Italian dessert that’s become increasingly popular over the years. Nebraska leaned towards the more traditional option, taking the top spot for fruitcake, while people in Wisconsin are more likely to turn to a delicious yule log to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Now that we’re good and full, it’s time to relax by the tree and catch up with friends and family. It’s also time to finally hash out if a real tree or an artificial one is the correct choice.
 
Real vs Fake Christmas Trees

Sorry artificial tree fans! Real Christmas trees won out across the nation, with only seven states plus the District of Columbia turning to artificial trees. Interestingly enough, five states could not make up their minds. Hawaii, North Dakota, West Virginia, Maine and Vermont were tied in search volume for real vs. artificial trees.

So if you’re allergic to Christmas trees, now may be the time to head to the Pacific Northwest, which is the region where you’re most likely to find artificial trees. If that doesn’t work, maybe drown your allergies in our next topic – Christmas cocktails!
 
Merrymaking

Once the kids are either tuckered out or in the other room playing with their toys, it’s time for the adults to put their feet up and have a Christmas cocktail or two. So what to make? We looked at the search volume for five traditional Christmas cocktails to see who plans on really enjoying themselves this Christmas.

Mulled wine, a classic drink of red wine served with various mulling spices (and sometimes raisins), did well in northern states, with Vermont picking it as its drink of choice for the holidays. Not so surprisingly, no southern states ranked in the top five for this drink that is traditionally served hot.

A similar trend appeared with hot buttered rum, which also saw states that have a white Christmas take the top five spots. The adult version of eggnog saw the highest percent of search volume in Maine, which foreign favorites Wassail (U.K.) and Gluhwein (a German twist on mulled wine using a different recipe) were most popular in Washington, D.C. Maybe visiting diplomats are looking for a taste of home?

Overall, tracking Christmas cheer via Google Trends gives us a unique view of how most of us celebrate the holidays. Now more than ever, we could use a touch of the traditional, something to remind us of Christmases past where we could spend more time with our families without worrying about the risk of succumbing to the coronavirus.

While every state has unique views on what to eat, drink and how to properly decorate your tree, we share a lot of things that make Christmas a universally loved holiday.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your friends at SEOblog!

Methodology

We pulled data from Google Trends around a variety of Christmas-themed searches. These terms included _____ recipe to determine what states are making the traditional meals, desserts, and cocktails listed in our study. The date range we pulled this data for is 12/1/2019-12/25/2019, to avoid impacting our results with year-round data (such as turkey being weighed too heavily because of Thanksgiving).

Fair use statement

You’re more than welcome to spread the Christmas cheer by using this study on your site! We do ask that you link back to our site so your readers can read through the whole study, and maybe get a few new items for their Christmas menu in the process!