WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Antiono’s Bakery in Warwick has been taking orders for the past month in preparation for Easter Sunday.

“Easter is just as busy as Christmas,” said Antonio’s Bakery’s General Manager Ashley Disegna. “Hundred and hundreds of pies.” 

But the pies are just a small slice of easter spending.

Americans are expected to shell out $18.1 billion dollars on Easter celebrations this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Consumers who celebrate the holiday will spend an average of $151.25.

“Over 50% of them are going to buy gifts, and it’s not just gifts as in candy. That’s a whole separate category,” Kristen Regine, a marketing professor at Johnson & Wales University said.

Most consumers say they plan to attend church services, Easter egg hunts and family dinners, but Regine said there is a slight shift in the way people will celebrate this year.

“It’s really the millennials,” she said. “As these millennials are getting older, some of them are  approaching late 30s and early 40s, it’s families and really incorporating the friends and making it much more of a social gathering.”

According to the NRF, about half of people who say they aren’t celebrating Easter say they will take advantage of Easter-related sales.

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.