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What do Americans do with their unwanted gifts?
We’re maybe able to excuse gift givers who thought they really did buy you the perfect present: 37.35% of those who disliked their gifts report they politely kept them, while only 2.56% had the audacity to give them back.
About one in four (22.89%) chose to pass along their present by regifting it to someone else. Still, another 31.48% determined to turn their lemons into lemonade by selling or exchanging their gifts.
Only 3.69% admitted they’re wasteful enough to throw those gifts away, while 2.03% reported other plans for their disliked gifts such as donating them or packing them away.
What types of gifts do people dislike receiving?
With more than half of us likely to receive an unwanted gift, perhaps knowing the forms these presents take can help avoid the awkwardness. Almost half (45.35%) of our gift receivers report their unwanted present as some form of clothing or accessories, while 18.19% said it was a household item.
Cosmetics and fragrances come in third at 13.61% of unwanted gifts received. Music appears to be the safest option, with only 2.75% of disliked gifts falling into this category. This is followed by technology at 5.15%, food or drinks at 5.99% and literature at 6.06%. Within the “other” category are decorations, gift cards and junk in general, accounting for 2.89% of all undesired presents.
Who gives the worst gifts?
Friends. If you’re thinking of gifting your friends with something this holiday season, perhaps you should give it a bit more thought. Our survey finds that nearly a quarter (23.53%) of our unwanted gift receivers say it’s friends who gave them the worst ones, followed by their parents at 16.42% and parents-in-law at 12.73%.
More than 1 in 10 people (11.06%) report their partner as the horrible-gifting culprit, followed by grandparents at 7.79%, their own children at 7.29% and their boss at 5.53%. Other categories include coworkers and such relatives as aunts, brother and sister-in-laws and siblings, with 15.66% calling them out as bad gifters.
But who do we want to avoid gifting the most?
Of those in the spirit of gifting, 13.80% say they’d most like to avoid buying gifts for their boss. This is followed by 6.65% for their mothers-in-law and 4.45% for their friends.
What do people look forward to during the holidays?
More than half (53.25%) of all respondents say they most look forward to spending time with their family during the holiday season, while 5.95% claim they’ve nothing to look forward to.
Food (12.10%) is the second thing people most look forward to during the holidays, followed by the festive atmosphere (11.80%), time off from work (9.60%) and gifts (3.25%).
Getting drunk appears to be the top holiday priority for 1.85% of people, while 2.20% say they have “other” things to look forward to — including overtime at work and donating to those in need.
Women appear to be the pickier of the sexes, with 54.90% saying they’ve received an unwanted gift, compared with 51.22% of men. The average expected value of these unwanted gifts is $50.56 each for women and $48.21 for men.
Women (26.07%) appear more likely to give their unwanted gifts to someone else, compared with 19.07% of men. When it comes to pointing out their partner’s flaws, 11.85% of women and 10.21% of men say their partners gave them the worst gifts.
Men (7.96%) are more likely to be guilty of buying gifts they know a recipient won’t like, compared with 6.08% of women.
When it comes to spending time with family over the holidays, a higher proportion of women (58.73%) than than men (47.55%) look forward to it. On the flip side, a higher proportion of men (2.65%) than women (1.08%) look forward to getting drunk during the holidays. They also anticipate taking time off work more than women: 13.06% of men compared with 6.27% of women.
Sorry, millennials: It appears that you might be the most ungrateful of the generations — or, maybe, just the hardest to buy for. More than three in five millennials (61.91%) say they’ve received gifts they don’t want. They’re followed by Gen Xers at 55.80% and baby boomers at 44.61%.
The average number of unwanted gifts reported by baby boomers is two, compared to three for both Gen Xers and millennials. And the average estimated cost of these unwanted gifts are $43.29 for baby boomers, $47.88 for Gen Xers and $58.43 for millennials.
But Gen Xers and millennials might be the more practical generations, with millennials (14.08%) most likely to sell their unwanted gifts, compared with 7.18% for Gen Xers and 2.33% for boomers.
Gen Xers are also the generation most likely to exchange their unwanted gifts (26.02%), compared with 25.32% of baby boomers and 18.78% of millennials. Whereas at 42.12%, boomers are the generation most likely to graciously keep their gifts, compared with 34.37% for Gen Xers and 36.62% for millennials.
Perhaps millennials are due for some self-reflection when it comes to holiday gifting. More than two in five say they’ve received a gift they dislike, and yet they’re also the worst for knowingly gifting someone an unlikeable present (9.57%). Baby boomers appear to put the most thought into their gifts, with only 3.86% of them buying a gift that won’t be liked, followed by Gen Xers at 8.44%. It makes sense, as 66.31% of baby boomers also report isn’t anyone out there they’d avoid buying a gift for. In contrast, only 53.96% of Gen Xers and 38.90% of millennials said the same.
Baby boomers appear to be the grinchiest of the generations, with 8.52% reporting there’s nothing they like about the holidays, compared with 5.01% of Gen Xers and 3.46% of millennials who say the same.
Those with lower household incomes of up to $25,000 appear to most appreciate their gifts, with 42.98% saying they’ve received unwanted gifts. Compare this proportion with 68.85% of those in households whose incomes fall within $100,000 to $150,000. All the more interesting when these higher-income earners report an average spend of $52.94 per unwanted gift, compared with $32.99 spent on lower-income earners. Guess the saying is true: money really doesn’t buy you happiness!