With a made-for-the-holidays name, you’d think Garland would be one of the country’s best cities for Christmas. But by one measure, that’s not so. Garland sinks to a Grinch-level No. 93 in a new ranking of the 100 largest U.S. cities for celebrating a festive and affordable Christmas.
Personal finance website WalletHub compared the 100 cities based on 33 metrics, such as Christmas events per capita, average price for a ticket to a Christmas party, and shopping centers and outlet malls per capita.
WalletHub, which released the list December 17, loaded all of that data into five carts: traditions and fun, holiday observance, generosity, shopping, and costs. In the shopping category, Garland ranks 98th out of 100. Garland’s last-place showing in one basket — gift shops per capita — drags down its shopping score.
The city performs slightly better in the traditions and fun category (No. 96), observance category (No. 84), and costs category (No. 70). Its best position comes in the generosity category (No. 46).
To be fair, Garland isn’t a bah-humbug ’burb. For instance, Garland’s Christmas on the Square makes spirits bright with more than 100,000 holiday lights (and made CultureMap's list of must-see lights in the area), while Bass Pro Shops hosts Santa’s Wonderland, and Magic 11th Street presents the Magical Christmas Candlelight Home Tour.
Here are the overall rankings for other cities in Dallas-Fort Worth:
- Dallas, No. 18
- Fort Worth, No. 49
- Plano, No. 59
- Arlington, No. 85
- Irving, No. 87
At No. 13 on the WalletHub list, Austin unwraps the gift of being the No. 1 place in Texas for celebrating Christmas. It receives a No. 8 ranking in the shopping category and a No. 16 ranking in the traditions and fun category. But it earns lower grades in the observance (No. 44) and generosity (No. 73) groupings.
Elsewhere in Texas, Houston holds the No. 23 spot overall, with San Antonio at No. 25. Among the 100 largest cities, Atlanta shines as the star atop the Christmas tree with a No. 1 ranking.