Toilet paper for Christmas? Survey reveals Americans’ worst gifts ever

NEW YORK — If done right, giving can be just as fun as receiving. Unfortunately, a new survey finds many Americans are making some seriously questionable holiday shopping choices. An astonishing two in five people say they consider themselves among the “worst holiday gift-givers.”

Out of 2,000 respondents in the survey, 51 percent admit most of their holiday shopping is done at the last minute. Another 40 percent believe they’re flat out “bad” at buying gifts for other people and 60 percent always struggle during the holidays to find the “perfect gift.”

Meanwhile, close to a third blame their poor gift-giving performances on losing track of time.

Commission by Punchbowl, the survey reports that half of Americans have bought a gift on Christmas Eve and 39 percent have gone shopping on Christmas Day. In the past, 37 percent have even left a holiday party to pick up a quick gift because they forgot to bring one. This year however, 29 percent say they have been invited to a virtual holiday party.

Where’s the best spot for a last minute Christmas gift?

Most Americans hit the local grocery store (41%) if all else fails, followed by a pharmacy (33%), and liquor stores (30%).

The survey also asked respondents about specific last minute gifts they’ve bought in the past and the responses were interesting to say the least. From toilet paper and voodoo dolls to shampoo and matches, it seems people are willing to make a gift out of anything. Other notable last minute gifts include multivitamins, a broken watch, a Chia Pet, an ashtray, and an autographed photo of Vanna White.

Why are last minute gifts so prevalent year after year? Many Americans point to sheer holiday exhaustion. Six in 10 people say all the gifts they must purchase ends up overwhelming them. Another 59 percent consider holiday shopping a chore. Fifty-eight percent say the same about sending holiday cards. Half of all respondents always end up sending out their holiday cards too late, although 60 percent of that group say they do that on purpose so they can see who sends them a greeting card first.

Notably, 62 percent say that the COVID-19 pandemic has made holiday shopping even harder this year. While seven in 10 are doing more online shopping, 71 percent are stressing about shipping delays. Also, 68 percent believe everyone should give more online gift cards as presents. Two in three Americans don’t consider a gift card to be a thoughtless or impersonal gift at all. In fact, 70 percent say they prefer receiving gift cards over other presents.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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