2 in 3 people feel more connected to their families than ever before thanks to COVID

NEW YORK — ‘Tis the season for appreciation. Three in four Americans have a newfound admiration for their loved ones this year as the pandemic reaches its two-year mark, according to a new study.

Researchers polled 2,000 Americans to analyze how they plan to connect and make memories with their loved ones this holiday season. Results show that 64 percent are now closer than ever to their families – despite the limitations of the pandemic.

More people now check in with loved ones digitally

family appreciationSeven in 10 respondents shared that they look through photos and videos to feel more connected to their loved ones.

The majority of respondents are kicking it old school — giving loved ones a phone call more often (66%) to stay in touch and share their appreciation. Over half the poll (56%) send a text to check in and 50 percent prefer spending time together in person.

A quarter of respondents have lost touch with loved ones recently, citing it would mean the world to hear from an old childhood friend (24%) or a long-lost family member (23%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Memento, the survey also reveals that 46 percent of respondents prefer connecting by sharing digital photo and video memories with loved ones. In fact, 27 percent say this makes them feel the most appreciated and loved.

Additionally, 69 percent often look at photos and videos from past years ahead of the holidays to reflect on good times.

Video calls (47%) are another popular way to check in on loved ones and just over a third (34%) think receiving video calls from their friends and family is what makes them feel most appreciated. Thirty-nine percent of respondents show they care by sending loved ones gifts and the best reaction they look for in their recipients is surprise (27%).

Other sought-after reactions include getting an “Awww!” (17%), laughter (16%), and even tears (12%).

Showing appreciation through gifts

family appreciationWhen it comes to meaningful gifts, respondents shared some of the most memorable presents they’ve received from their loved ones. They mentioned custom-made household items, personalized jewelry, big-ticket gifts like vacations and cars, and items that belonged to family members who have passed.

However, many respondents shared that time with family is the best gift they’ve ever received.

Seven in ten respondents add nothing can replace the gift of hearing someone say something heartfelt about them. Two in five respondents plan to kick things up a notch this year and give personalized gifts to show loved ones just how much they mean to them.

Who gives the best gifts?

The survey also found moms are the best gift-givers (18%), but they’re also the hardest to shop for. Dads and brothers also rank high on the list of people that are hard to find gifts for, followed by significant others.

Significant others, however, are the second-best gift-givers (12%), with sisters (10%), brothers (8%), and fathers (7%) following closely behind.

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