Study: You’re Going To Forget About Most Holiday Gifts You Get This Year


New research shows the average American will spend $185 on terrible holiday presents this year. One in six gifts won’t even be touched again after January 1st.


NEW YORK — All that thought and hard work you put into your Christmas gift selections for family and friends may be for naught. New research shows that people actually forget about most of the gifts they get for the holidays.

In fact, the study found that more than half (53 percent) of the gifts people received last year have already been completely forgotten. With Christmas just around the corner, the results may make you think twice about the items you’re about to give to your loved ones.

Researchers surveyed 2,000 American adults on behalf of online discount service Groupon and found that Americans receive an average of three forgettable gifts each holiday season. Some presents are so awful that they become an afterthought as soon as they’re unwrapped. The survey found that one in every six gifts will never be touched again after January 1st.

What’s more, the average American will spend about $185 on terrible gifts this year. Men were more likely to purchase gifts that become forgotten, outspending women by $42.

And giving someone a crappy gift doesn’t come without consequences: 35 percent of respondents admit getting a forgettable present permanently affects their opinion of the gift-giver.

“It’s incredibly stressful to find the perfect gift that our loved ones will cherish forever, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” says Aaron Cooper, President of North America, Groupon, in a statement. “We found that the gifts people remember the most are those that are given with love from someone they care about, fill a need, provide a great memory, have a sentimental meaning and result in compliments from other people.”

The study found that siblings were most likely to give the worst gifts, while spouses and significant others gave the best ones. Of course, that might be because seven in ten respondents agreed that what makes gifts memorable is loving the person who gave it to them.

For participants who were keenly aware they’ve gotten someone a forgettable gift, more than half supplied the same reason: “I needed to get them something.”

As for why people thought someone would give them a horrible present, most respondents felt the giver was simply checking a box on the gift-giving list. Other top reasons included the giver thought it was funny, they would have wanted the same item for themselves, they were sending the recipient “a message,” or they were flat-out being passive aggressive.

So what makes a gift memorable? Besides it coming from someone the recipient loves, survey respondents felt an unforgettable gift fills a need, provides a great memory in and of itself, or has sentimental value. More specifically, clothing, dinner at a local restaurant, electronics, spa treatments, or trips/getaways were among the gifts that Americans feel leave a lasting impression.

Gifts to avoid? Wrinkle cream, a scale, exercise equipment, underwear, and cleaning supplies. Wait, who gives someone else cleaning supplies? That is a terrible gift.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll in November 2018.

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