Smiling family in Christmas fair

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NEW YORK — The hunt is on for the three in four parents who believe finding the right gift for their child during the holidays should qualify as an Olympic sport!

A survey of 2,000 parents of school-aged children examined their journey to finding the perfect gift for their kids and found that 76 percent agree that finding the perfect gift is one of the most stressful parts of the holidays. Most parents agree that it doesn’t feel like the holidays until their kids rip open their presents (83%). With that in mind, four in five would feel guilty if they got their child a gift they didn’t like.

Generally, parents feel confident enough in their gift-giving skills (86%), with most citing that they always inform their child’s grandparents of what gifts they want for the holidays (81%) or request that others buy their children a specific gift they know they want (74%). Still, many worry about finding that perfect gift — especially since 43 percent have had experiences where their child cried or was disappointed after not getting something on their wish list.

Getting the inside scoop before shopping

The Right GiftConducted by OnePoll and commissioned by children’s entertainment company Spin Master, the survey also looked at ways parents conduct their gift search. It turns out 84 percent like to keep up with the latest trends so they know what to purchase when the holidays roll around.

More than half of parents directly ask their kids what they want for the holidays (56%), since most say that their children have no problem being honest and communicating what they want (83%). Other parents try slicker ways to get intel, like bringing up the holidays discreetly (51%) or asking their child’s friends (50%). Those who start up conversations about the holidays with their children try to get them in a talkative mood by watching holiday movies (62%) or having them help decorate the home (61%).

Gift-giving should bring joy to both the child and the gift giver, especially during the holiday season which can already be a stressful time for some people,” says Spin Master’s President of Toys and Chief Commercial Officer, Chris Beardall, in a statement. “Paying attention to their interests, whether they are a fashion-loving tween or a PAW Patrol loving preschooler, is a quick point of reference that will help direct parents to the winning gift.”

Finding that ‘perfect’ gift

The Right GiftOn average, parents spend five hours researching the perfect gift for their kids. The majority of the poll consult parenting blogs (82%), online reviews (79%), or advertisements on TV or online (75%) during their search. Some respondents have a good idea of what to look for, saying their kids would love “video games,” “toys,” or a “superhero costume.” It’s a big departure from when parents were kids, as respondents say their most memorable gifts included a “big teddy bear,” a “beautiful doll,” or a “bike.”

More than half of parents today focus their attention on educational gifts (56%) and a similar number look for gifts that help inspire their child’s creativity (52%). Kids might have different preferences, though, as half the poll says their children would prefer something trendy. Above all, 81 percent would rather get them something they would love. Four in five agree that their children would love to get a toy with a connection to their favorite character or show, looking for familiar brands they already know when shopping for toys during the holidays (84%).

“When we create any toy, we’re always thinking about how a child will respond when they open and play with it,” Beardall says. “Seeing the excitement on a child’s face when opening a gift is one of the best feelings a parent can experience during the holidays. It’s a fantastic return on investment for the thought and time the parent or grandparent has put into finding the perfect gift.”

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.

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