Subtle season’s greetings: 1 in 5 plan to give a ‘take the hint’ holiday gift this year

Got perfume, cookbooks, or self-help books as gifts this holiday? New survey reveals that “special” someone may be trying to tell you something.

NEW YORK — You may want to think a bit harder about each gift you receive this year, as your friends or loved ones may just be trying to tell you something. A significant portion of Americans (one in five) are using the holidays this year as an opportunity to drop some hints to the people in their life, according to a new survey of 2,000 adults.

In fact, the survey, which was put together by BAKblade, actually finds that “hint” gifts have been a common practice around the holidays for years. In all, one in three respondents said they had previously given out such a gift at least once in years past.

So, who are the people in our lives most likely to hand us a gift with a hidden meaning? You probably guessed it: our significant others.

On a rather smelly note, the most frequently received hint gift among respondents was deodorant or perfume (36%). After that, cookbooks (31%) came in second, followed by self-help books (22%), exercise equipment (22%), and cleaning supplies (21%).

The top 10 hint gifts received by respondents were rounded out by alarm clocks (20%), toothbrush/toothpaste (20%), gym memberships (18%), breath mints (18%), and razors / shaving gear (17%).

Interestingly, the survey found that men are more likely to give a passive aggressive hint gift to someone than women. This year, 26% of male respondents said they’re planning on giving a hint gift out, in comparison to only 17% of female respondents.

Another fascinating statistic from the research was that many of these hint gifts may be given out of desperation more than anything else. A significant 35% said they usually wait until the last minute to shop for gifts. More over, 50% of the survey’s participants even said they had bought someone a present on their way to exchange gifts.

Despite the finding that many tend to put off holiday shopping, 56% of respondents said they usually put a great deal of pressure on themselves to find the “perfect” gifts for their loved ones. Expanding on this, one in three admitted that they typically fear whatever they buy for their significant other will actually backfire, and cause their spouse to question just how well they know them. Another 46% are usually scared their gift will be viewed as “cheap.”

When asked about receiving gifts, one theme remained clear among many respondents: buy me something I can actually use. Over half (61%) of participants said they are hoping to receive practical gifts this year.

The most popular practical gift Americans want this year were extra clothes (46%), followed by food (46%), cookware (44%), socks (42%), and towels (38%). Other popular responses included cell phone accessories (34%), beauty products (31%), toiletries (24%), a nice pen (22%), and a razor (20%).

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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About the Author

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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