Black millennial couple with Christmas gift on orange background

(© Prostock-studio -

NEW YORK — A new study finds more people want to play Santa this year than receive a gift from jolly old Saint Nick. Nearly seven in 10 Americans (68%) are more excited to give gifts than receive them this holiday season.

As families look to reconnect with their loved ones this winter, two-thirds also agree that spending quality time with family is the highlight of their holidays.

Reason for the season

seasonal joyA recent survey asked 2,005 Americans who celebrate a winter holiday to pinpoint what makes the season so joyful and found that 57 percent look forward to giving a greater number of gifts this year and have added more names than usual to their shopping lists.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Minted, explored the highlights of the holiday season and identified how people’s holiday values differ across generations. Almost half of millennial respondents (45%) say sending holiday cards is one of their favorite holiday activities, while over half (52%) of baby boomers think sharing gifts is the reason for the season.

While many Americans are looking forward to reconnecting with their loved ones, more boomers (72%) are looking forward to gathering with their friends and family than millennials (63%). During this year’s holiday downtime, nearly four in five Americans (78%) plan on breaking out the tried-and-true family traditions, while 68 percent of those respondents will be trying out brand-new traditions this year.

It’s not a celebration without decorations

seasonal joyWatching holiday movies (57%) and decorating the Christmas tree (54%) are the top two traditions people plan on partaking in this year. Roughly half of respondents picked preparing family recipes (51%) and watching holiday movies (49%) as the most beloved traditions that people have continued from their childhood into adulthood.

If you’re looking forward to trimming the tree this year, you’re not alone. Three in five respondents say putting up holiday decorations with their families is the most important part of the season, while two in three plan to “go all out” with the decorations this year.

Nearly half the poll (46%) say they also own an ornament that has been passed down in their family for generations. Vintage decorations have grown increasingly popular over the years, as more millennials (56%) are owners of decorative family heirlooms, compared to baby boomer respondents (30%).

“With a focus on quality family time and giving gifts rather than receiving, this year’s holiday season is shaping up to become a joyful return to the beloved values and traditions of years past,” says a Minted spokesperson in a statement.

How will this holiday season look different?

One in three respondents say they’ll be sending care packages to their loved ones who live far away. More than anything else, boomers are looking forward to receiving gift cards to their favorite shops in their holiday stockings this year (44%).

While 51 percent of millennial respondents are hoping to see a shiny new piece of tech under the tree, 52 percent would prefer a sentimental gift, such as a custom framed picture or a puzzle.

In fact, two-thirds of all respondents say a custom gift is the best present to give to a family member or friend. Over seven in 10 (72%) also agree that including a holiday card with a handwritten note is the perfect way to make any gift more meaningful. It’s likely that those gift recipients will appreciate the gesture for a long time, as more than half (53%) have amassed a collection of treasured holiday cards they’ve received over the years.

“We love helping customers create custom gifts for everyone on their list. Each one is designed by an independent artist around the globe. We take pride in crafting unique gifts that feature the work of emerging talent, especially because recipients will keep them as family mementos for years to come,” the Minted spokesperson adds.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink


Chris Melore


Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor