It’s the thought that counts: The average adult will only use 43% of their holiday gifts

NEW YORK — Gift-giving and shopping for loved ones is undoubtedly one of the more stressful elements of the holiday season. It can be hard to predict what other people want or need, which is why many end up falling back on the same gifts year after year. Now, a revealing new survey of 2,000 adults finds that many never actually do anything with a good portion of the gifts they receive. According to the poll, the average respondent only uses 43% of the presents he or she received last year.

The survey, commissioned by Spinbrush, also found that by the age of 24, most people (81%) really just want a practical gift they’ll be able to use throughout the coming new year. For most of that group (77%), their ideal practical gift would be something health-related. Similarly, 78% said they will probably buy their loved ones more healthy gifts this year.

As mentioned earlier, the majority of respondents admitted that they either have a gift they always receive (64%) or give (61%) every single year. The top recurring gift was candy (47%), followed by gift card / money (46%), something homemade (44%), makeup (37%), and books (34%). The top 10 recurring gifts were rounded out with self-care goods (33%), a toothbrush (32%), skin products (31%), underwear (30%), and pajamas (30%).

Of course, besides the physical gifts themselves, many families share special traditions when it comes to gift-giving. When respondents were asked about their special customs, the number one response was opening one present on Christmas Eve (45%), with allowing one family member to distribute the gifts on Christmas morning (45%) following close behind. Other popular traditions include opening presents at midnight (44%), a secret Santa exchange (40%), giving gifts to family pets (36%), and writing gift hints on wrapping paper (33%).

It’s clear from the survey’s results that tradition is still an important holiday quality to many families, with 86% of respondents indicating that upholding their family’s traditions is important to them. Additionally, 84% are excited to keep their family’s traditions going this year as well.

In all, 58% said their traditions have been passed down from generation to generation, and a fifth of that group said their customs date back to their great grandparents or even earlier.

Regarding one of Christmas’ most prominent traditions, stockings, seven in 10 said they always put a few up in their home, but only 30% hang them in their classic location: above the fireplace. Others hang their stockings around the house (20%) or on stair railings (19%).

Overall, 57% said that traditions are a big part of why they get so excited for the holidays each and every year.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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John Anderer

Born blue in the face, John has been writing professionally for over a decade and covering the latest scientific research for StudyFinds since 2019. His work has been featured by Business Insider, Eat This Not That!, MSN, Ladders, and Yahoo!

Studies and abstracts can be confusing and awkwardly worded. He prides himself on making such content easy to read, understand, and apply to one’s everyday life.

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