Maybe you’re the type of person who has their holiday shopping done by Black Friday and sets and adheres to a budget. Maybe you’re the one who waits until Dec 23 and crosses their fingers that overnight shipping won’t let you down. Regardless, there’s one thing we can all agree on about holiday shopping: it takes time and effort to check off every person on your gift list.

We surveyed 1,019 of our members to get their thoughts on what they’d like to receive for the holidays and how they really feel when someone returns their gifts.

When it comes to setting a holiday budget, 58% attempt to send a budget each year, consisting of 36% who generally stick to their budget and 22% who often exceed their spending ceiling. Of the balance, 31% don’t track their holiday spending closely and 11% will be trying to implement a budget for the first time this year.

Nearly six-in-ten have returned holiday gifts at least occasionally (58%). If the shoe were on the other foot, a similar proportion indicates they are fine with someone returning their gifts (57%). Another 37% are “sometimes okay with it; it depends on the person or gift”. By far, the type of gift returned most frequently? Clothing.

What’s a gift that may be better received than a sweater that’s three sizes too big? The vast majority of those surveyed indicate they enjoy receiving an “experience gift” (an outing, tickets to an event, etc) at least some of the time.

Perhaps the secret to a winning present is thinking outside the (big gift) box.


Bess Devenow

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