If It Seems Like Everyone Is Getting Engaged Lately, It’s Because They Are

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“The holidays are the biggest time of year for love,” one of my friends told me a few days ago. Significant others meet the parents for the first time, couples go on sun-soaked vacations, and tons of people get engaged. If you feel like everyone you know is swapping rings, you’re not crazy – statistically, 33 percent of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. There’s a huge jump in jewelry shopping at the end of the year, as 12.3 percent of all diamond rings are sold in December, quite a spike over the rest of the year.

The explanations for this range from the romantic to the pragmatic. Because I’m a sap, I ascribe to what the Atlantic calls the Love Actually postulate: that the actual atmosphere of the holidays, all the family togetherness and roaring fireplaces and eggnog and little cousins around makes us more, well, romantic. It’s a lot easier to imagine locking it down when you’re relaxing at home surrounded by family and friends than when you’re living your everyday life, missing the subway and forgetting your umbrella.

Less romantic explanations for the holiday engagements are that end-of-year bonuses make it easier to drop cash on an engagement ring, and that vacations give more time to plan and pull off a proposal. And even if you’re not engaged, if you’ve made it this far, Christmastime is statistically the least-likely time for you to break up. Happy Holidays indeed.