From human-sized dog beds to ‘Emotional Support Water Bottles’ and the contentious comeback of Crocs, new PayPal Research reveals the good, the bad and the downright quirky gifts on our Christmas wish lists this year
With Christmas just six weeks away, planning for the festive season is in full swing and many of us are preparing our gift lists.
To avoid getting our tinsel in a tangle, 85% of Australians will buy end-of-year gifts online this year, and about half of us (49%) think we’ll have bought the bulk of our Christmas gifts before the end of November.
All Aussies want for Christmas is…
While many ‘gifting gurus’ might diss the humble gift card as impersonal, these are topping wish list this year (63%) as the item that most of us would like to unwrap.
It’s also set to be a well-dressed Christmas, with two-in-five of us (40%) seeking jewellery, clothing and accessories, while consumable gifts, such as alcohol, tea, coffee and hampers are sitting in third place on the most wanted gift list at 39%.
While gift cards top the list for both men and women, that’s where the similarity ends. In the second spot for women is jewellery, clothing or accessories (53%) followed by experiences including restaurant vouchers, spa treatments and massages (48%). Meanwhile, for men, electronics and gadgets take second place (39%) followed by food and beverages such as alcohol, coffee and hampers at 36%.
Millennials continue to lead the charge on preferring experience gifts at 54%, compared to the national average of 38%. Surprisingly, they are also the generation most interested in receiving either digital or physical books (35% vs just 23% of Gen X).
Unlike the rest of Australia, the top gift this year for the younger people in your life (Gen Z) is clothes & accessories (51%), followed by gift cards (47%) and then skincare or makeup (40%).
For Baby Boomers and older Aussies, a gift card is the safest bet (63%) but food or beverage-based gifts (37%) or books (32%) are also a good choice. Don’t buy them either digital or old school games (4%) – our green-thumbed-inclined oldies would much prefer gardening-related gifts (30%).
Yule love this: gifts are getting quirkier, we look outside the (gift) box
While stocking stuffers might seem trite, most people (76%) don’t think they’re a waste of money – unless of course, they’re Christmas-themed, with (51%) saying they’d rather not receive anything covered in tinsel, reindeer or elves.
Indeed, gift givers are exploring beyond the low-hanging-fruitcake and shopping for more unique presents this season.
Most popular out-of-the-box gifts 2022
As the temperatures rise, women are all for unusual but practical gifts such as a skincare mini fridge (27%) and an ‘emotional support' water bottle (34%). ‘Spoil-her alert’: almost 40% of women would even like to receive a facial massage tool (vs 16% men).
It gets stranger from there, as 18% of Aussies said they’d like to receive a vegetable/fruit spiralizer (26% of Gen Y) while 1-in-5 men (21%) would be happy to get a desktop vacuum cleaner to keep their keyboard spick and span.
Meanwhile 17% of Gen Z would be happy to receive a human-sized dog bed to chillax in this Christmas, and one quarter (26%) would be happy sporting a new pair of crocs, compared to an average of just 14% across other generations.
Not all TikTok trends last forever, though, with only 1-in-10 Aussies (11%) choosing the Kath and Kim-style 80s bum bag as a gift they’d like to receive this year.
“Really, you shouldn’t have….” The importance of hint-dropping this holiday season
Aussies enjoy rockin’ around the Christmas tree.... just as long as the Christmas tree doesn’t have pesky draw-liners, designer knockoffs, and novelty items sitting under it.
Top 5 most unwanted gifts this Christmas include:
We might want books (30%) however we draw the line at the self-help variety, with over half of us (52%) saying no to these. However surprisingly, Gen Z is an exception here – only 26% stated they wouldn’t want to receive self-help books, vs 69% of Baby Boomers.
Other notable ‘not wanted gifts’ this year include Christmas-themed clothing (51%) bath salts (51%), Keychains (49%) and Slogan T-shirts (49%).
To hint or not to hint. That is the question.
Almost half of Aussies (47%) lie about liking a gift so they don’t offend the giver. Older Australians (52%) are more likely to do this, compared to tell-it-like-it-is Gen Z (37%).
One way to avoid giving or receiving an unwanted gift is dropping hints. Aussies generally like to be given hints about what to buy (45%) or casually asking other people what they think someone will like (42%). However, only about a quarter of us say that we actually drop hints (24%).
Gift-giving, especially around the holidays, can be a stressful process for both the giver and recipient. Thankfully, a third of Aussies (32%) think that re-gifting is OK – though most Gen Z’s (78%) will be offended if they discover they’ve received a recycled gift.
PayPal’s Top Gift Lists 2022
Top 10 Gifts (overall)
Top 10 Gifts (Men)
Top 10 Gifts (Women)
About the Research – PayPal 2022 Holiday Index
Overview and Consumer Sampling: This research was produced by PayPal Australia Pty Limited, based on an online study conducted by Pure Profile Research with n = 1000 consumers aged 18 - 75. The sample was weighted by age, gender, and location to ensure data was nationally representative. The research was in field from 26th October to 28th October 2022.
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