To a large degree, the data show that this working time is replaced by socializing, and to a lesser extent food preparation. December is second only to July in terms of the time people say they spend hanging out with friends and family, and it’s number one for time spent cooking.

Besides sleeping and working, Americans spend more time watching TV and movies throughout the year than any other activity. Screen time decreases in the warmer months, and jumps in the winter. People spend 4% more time on TV and movies than usual in December, but it’s January that’s prime time for couch potatoes, at about 13% higher than usual. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cautions that the time use data was made for analysis by quarter, not month. Still, these data are good reflections of monthly trends, if not perfect ones.

Though working time goes down in December, not every leisure activity rises. Time spent “relaxing and thinking”—which includes activities such as “daydreaming,” “sitting around” and “reflecting—is 10% lower than usual in December. Reading for fun also declines during this month. It goes to show: While people might not “work” for money as much during the holidays, they also don’t have much time for lazing around.

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