Family celebrating Christmas

(© Konstantin Yuganov -

NEW YORK — Let’s face it, there’s always one gift we receive during the holidays that doesn’t quite measure up. Whether people tell the gift giver about their dissatisfaction is another story! A new survey finds three in five people (62%) have lied about how much they like and use a gift.

The fibs don’t end after the initial unwrapping though, as 55 percent confess they’ve also kept an unused gift hidden for months or even years after receiving it. Why you ask? So they can pull it out later to show the giver just how much they “like” it of course!

The OnePoll study of 2,000 Americans reveals one in two people (52%) will place the item on display in their home before the gift-giver comes to visit. Respondents are usually pulling these presents out of some tucked away place. Over a third (36%) hide undesirable presents in their closets.

The survey, commissioned of Wright® Brand Bacon, showed nearly three in ten (28%) pack awful gifts away in the basement, while one in five leave them in their attics. Still, all those unwanted gifts tend to linger around the home for a long time. The average person waits four years to dispose of a disappointing present.

When holiday gift-giving goes wrong

Half of the respondents say they’re also stuck in a terrible gifting pattern, where they keep receiving gifts they don’t like from somebody who mistakenly believes they do enjoy those items.

For those in this gift-giving cycle, the average person has been receiving this lackluster loot for seven years. Over a third of the poll (35%) have been receiving the same unwanted gifts for over 10 years!

The survey finds the most common culprits who give gifts Americans could do without are grandmothers (18%), children (17%), and grandfathers (17%). For all the hassle gift-giving may bring, over four in 10 people (43%) suspect they may be a subpar present picker themselves.

The top gifts to be avoided, according to respondents, include ugly sweaters (41%), ties (27%), mugs (26%), and scarves (26%). Americans say the number one reason presents like these fall flat is because they have nothing to do with the recipients’ interests (56%).

Many unhappy returns

Other reasons a gift loses its charm includes not fitting properly (53%) or if it was clearly purchased that same day (25%). No one wants ill-fitting or unwanted gifts cluttering their space, so it’s no surprise that many would rather swap a present for something they actually want.

“We all know it’s the thought that counts, but receiving undesirable gifts year after year often becomes a holiday letdown when we could be receiving what we really love…bacon,” Wright® Brand Bacon director of marketing Amanda Keedy says in a statement.

To Keedy’s point, three in five Americans would rather receive food as a holiday gift. Over half of respondents (52%) have secretly returned a present they didn’t like to a store.


  1. Ugly sweater 41%
  2. Tie 27%
  3. Mug 26%
  4. Scarf 26%
  5. Robe 24%
  6. Candle 22%
  7. Socks 19%
  8. Unusual jewelry 18%

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