NEW YORK — If you’re looking to throw someone a big surprise party this summer, you may want to rethink that. According to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, when it comes to surprises, 52 percent believe the best kinds of surprises are small gestures.
It seems most folks are simply happier getting a thoughtful gift or treat, whereas bigger surprises are less welcome.
The results reveal that this negative sentiment is even more relevant during the summer. The survey finds 59 percent agree that the best memories they have of summer often feature small, surprising moments, as opposed to big, shocking ones.
Conducted on behalf of Bubbies Ice Cream by OnePoll, researchers asked Americans what surprises they’re looking forward to this summer. One in three (34%) think a surprise “sweet treat in the afternoon” would be enough to brighten their day.
When it comes to surprise summer treats, ice cream tops the list as the nation’s favorite summertime treat (75%). Those who like surprises were slightly more likely to choose ice cream (78% vs. 71%) — and they were also more likely to say ice cream makes them happy (81% vs. 69%).
“Ice cream is essential for any hot day — whether that’s in the form of a cone or something perfectly portioned and a little less messy like mochi ice cream,” says Katie Cline, Vice President of Marketing at Bubbies Ice Cream, in a statement. “Many of our favorite summer memories are spent on the beach or by a lake with friends, eating ice cream with our loved ones, or enjoying other treats to sweeten up our life.”
Best summer surprises
Beyond a treat in the afternoon, respondents add they would look forward to other surprises during the summer, including a vacation (50%), taking a trip to the beach (41%), and having “a quiet afternoon to myself” (40%).
Those who do like surprises are more likely to look forward to a vacation, while those who dislike surprises say a quiet afternoon is the top surprise they’d like over the summer. Perhaps that’s not surprising, as the survey also examined the personality differences between those who like surprises and those who don’t. Results reveal those who enjoy surprises are more likely to be outgoing people.
The survey also finds those who like surprises are more adventurous (41% vs. 22%) and more spontaneous (27% vs. 16%). On the other hand, those who aren’t fans of being surprised are slightly more likely to identify as sarcastic (38% vs. 35%) or anxious (38% vs. 34%).
Regardless of Americans’ feelings toward surprises, researchers discovered something else interesting. It turns out both groups would rather plan the surprise than be the one getting surprised.
“During the summer, why not surprise a loved one with something small — maybe you take a trip to one of their favorite places or bring them their favorite dessert,” says Cline. “It’s clear that for most people, small surprises, like a thoughtful gift or sweet treat, are the most meaningful. And this summer, that’s especially true as we are more able to appreciate the small things that many of us may have missed over the past year.”