At the holidays, is it better to give or to receive? And if you’re going to receive, who do you want to receive from? To find answers to some of the most important holiday present-buying⁠—and receiving⁠—questions, discovery shopping marketplace Tophatter released its second annual gifting survey, asking 1085 US shoppers about their holiday shopping habits. Are in-laws really that hard to shop for? Are gift cards the perfect present or perfectly disappointing? Read on to see the most interesting results.

1. 29.3% of women and 14.3% of men said they prefer a great bargain to great sex.

People are feeling thrifty this year, judging by the change from last year’s responses, when just 18.8% of women and 9.7% of men said they’d prefer to save cash rather than getting lucky. But don’t worry if you’d rather hunt for smooches than bargains—alone time with your sweetie still comes out on top for 62.2% and 35.1% of women.

 

2. What’s the worst part of holiday shopping? 37.3% of shoppers say it’s crowded stores and long lines, while 31.1% say they struggle to figure out what to buy everyone in the first place.

Some things are cliches for a reason, like the fact that crowded malls are the actual worst, and you stay might not find something for everyone on your list after fighting through the masses.  Let’s just say, we’re not shocked that online shopping and gift guides become more popular every year. Cheers to browsing at home in your jammies!

3. Siblings aren’t the most skilled family “Santas.” 30.4% of people say their brothers and sisters are the worst gifters they know.

Good presents make for harmonious holidays with the fam, but practice your best fake “This is great!” face before opening something from your siblings. Actually, if you want to keep the peace, get good at that expression before you open anything from your in-laws or spouse, too. 29.1% and 25.8% of people say that’s whose present is most likely to disappoint.

4. 58.5% of men and 31.6% of women consider their significant other to be the best gifter in their lives. 

When we’re not snuggling our sweeties, most of us are paying attention to what they really want under the tree this year. In the 2018 survey, more men and women say their significant other is best at buying them gifts, up from 20.3% and 34.5% in 2018.

5. The hardest people to shop for are parents (28.2%) with significant others being nearly as tricky at 24.8%.

The results show that people think their spouses and families are pretty good at picking great gifts. But they also indicate that finding all your special someones something special in return isn’t always easy. Surprisingly, the hardest gifts to buy are for our parents. Even notoriously tricky in-laws don’t come close. Perhaps because as people age, they simply need less stuff.

6. 48.5% of people don’t use a list when they buying holiday gifts.

Shopping lists are efficient, but only 25.9% of people use them. It seems we’d rather explore, discover, and get inspired. Shopping should be fun, and checking things off a list rarely is. But you know, it’s possible a lot of us are just plain elfing too hard. Only 14.8% take the easier route and just ask recipients what they want; just 10.8% go straight to giving cash or gift cards.

7. 49.3% of us would rather have lots of little gifts instead of one big one.

The childlike joy at a mountain of presents glittering under the tree never fades, so for maximum wow factor, make sure your favorite giftees have lots of small things to open. 

8. Only 20.1% of people are confident they won’t go over their gift budgets this year.

Generosity reigns supreme, even if our wallets sting because of it come January. The biggest reason we spend more than we mean to? 29.8% say it’s because their awesome loved ones deserve it. But if you want to budget smarter this year, this expert guide will help.

9. Remember that mountain of little presents? 30.9% of people hope most of them contain cash or gift cards.

A pile of beautifully wrapped gifts may be picturesque, but at the end of Christmas day, the gift we really want is the gift of picking out our own presents with cash or gift cards. Funny, because only 10.8% of these same people surveyed said cash and cards are what they prefer to give.

Oh and guys, think twice before heading to the jewelry store this holiday season. Less than 10% of women say it’s what they most hope to receive. Instead, 21.5% would prefer something nice for their home or garden. Perhaps a romantic lawn gnome?

10. Fancy candles, books, and electronics step aside: twice as many people (19.7%) buy more toys as presents than any other physical gift category.

What are the holidays without toys? If there are kids around, it’s called a disaster, and this year’s shoppers are once again on the job. Grownups, there’s a good chance you’re getting ye olde gifte card. But here’s an idea: combine that old hard plastic cash with the desire for lots of things to open, and tuck it into a fun homemade gift basket.

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