Study Finds 51 Percent of Americans Wait Until Christmas Eve to Buy Presents

Nearly a third of those surveyed said they often lose track of time and they feel like they never get the right gift to begin with

SWNS Christmas gifts
Photo: SWNS

Two in five Americans admit to being the worst gift-givers, according to new research.

The study asked 2,000 Americans about their gift-giving and holiday celebration habits and found 51 percent tend to wait until the last minute to do their holiday shopping.

With 46 percent of respondents feeling like they’re bad at giving gifts, it’s no surprise that 60 percent always struggle to find the perfect gift — especially during the holidays.

Nearly a third of those surveyed said they often lose track of time and they feel like they never get the right gift to begin with.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Punchbowl, the survey found that half of the respondents have purchased a gift on Christmas Eve and 39 percent have even purchased a gift on Christmas Day.

Back in the days before the pandemic, 37 percent of pollsters have even left a holiday party to purchase a gift because they forgot to bring one.

The top places to get last-minute gifts are local grocery stores (41 percent), drug stores (33 percent) – and liquor stores (30 percent).

Respondents were asked to share the worst last-minute gifts they’ve purchased, and they didn’t hold back. Answers ranged from a Chia Pet to a Voodoo doll – and even an autographed picture of Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White.

Last-minute gift buying may also just be due to sheer exhaustion brought on by the holidays.

Six in 10 respondents said they easily get overwhelmed by the volume of gifts they have to purchase.

Another 59 percent of those polled feel like shopping for the holidays has become more of a chore they have to do – and 58 percent said the same in regard to their holiday cards.

Half of respondents feel like they always send their Christmas cards too late, even though 60 percent intentionally wait to send their own cards until they receive cards from others, so they know who to send them to.

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And if holiday shopping wasn’t difficult enough already, 62 percent of respondents shared the pandemic has only made things harder for them.

Seven in 10 respondents are buying more gifts online this year as a result of the pandemic, but 71 percent are also concerned about shipping delays.

As more Americans make the shift to online gifting, 68 percent of respondents said more people should embrace giving gift cards at the holidays.

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