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Where Parents Hid Holiday Gifts This Year … Is Exactly Where They’d Be Found

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With 2022 here, holiday gift-giving is in the rearview mirror for the 85% of Americans who celebrated Christmas in 2021. This also means that gift hiding spots have been emptied — but where exactly are these hiding spots?

According to a recent survey from Neighbor, a Utah-based self-storage marketplace, the top place to hide gifts is the bedroom closet — coincidentally, it’s also the first place people look for hidden presents.

So if the closet is your go-to spot, here’s a look at the rest of the Neighbor survey data on where presents are both hidden and sought — it could help you get creative with where you put yours.

At present, people turn to bedroom closets to hide gifts

Come holiday time, bedroom closets are used for more than just clothes — in fact, 53% of Neighbor survey respondents say they stash gifts there. That’s followed by:

  • Spare rooms: 32%
  • Coat closets: 26%
  • Underneath beds: 26%
  • Car trunks: 25%
  • Spare drawers or cabinets: 17%
  • Basements: 16%
  • Garages: 15%
  • Underneath couches: 14%
  • Other people’s homes: 14%
  • Attics: 13%
  • Desks: 11%
  • Outside: 11%
  • Kids’ rooms: 10%
  • Sheds: 10%
  • Bathrooms: 9%
  • Storage units: 9%

Whether you hide gifts in a bedroom closet or a kid’s room will also depend on who’s receiving the present — after all, parents wouldn’t put their kids’ gifts right underneath their noses. Indeed, 47% of respondents are hiding presents for children, though these children may still snoop around for their much-coveted new toys (and perhaps find it in their rooms).

That said, people are also hiding gifts from partners (46%), friends (20%), siblings (20%), parents (18%) and extended family members (17%).

IMPORTANT: A November 2021 LendingTree survey found that Americans planned to shell out $792, on average, on gifts. At the same time, 41% of Americans thought they were at least somewhat likely to go into debt because of their holiday shopping. If this happened to you, it might be worth considering a debt consolidation loan to ensure you’re on better footing this year.

Hide-and-seek: Bedroom closets aren’t an element of surprise

Hide-and-seek isn’t just for people looking for other people — around the holidays, certain people are also seeking the presents they’ll soon receive. And although more than half of Americans turn to bedroom closets to hide presents, the Neighbor survey data shows that’s actually the first place people look.

One in 4 (25%) respondents say a bedroom closet would be the first place they’d look for a hidden gift. That’s followed by:

  • Underneath a bed: 22%
  • Car trunk: 15%
  • Coat closet: 9%
  • Kid’s room: 6%
  • Spare room: 6%
  • All other responses: 17%

So it’s no surprise that 50% of respondents have had gifts found before. And while, yes, that means that half haven’t had gifts found before, that may not be an accomplishment, with more than half of respondents using the first place people search.

Among the respondents who say their presents have been found, here’s where they were located:

  • Bedroom closet: 26%
  • Car trunk: 21%
  • Spare room: 10%
  • Coat closet: 9%
  • Underneath a bed: 8%
  • Spare drawer or cabinet: 4%
  • Garage: 3%
  • Basement: 2%
  • Attic: 2%
  • All other responses: 15%

Looking at the other results, there’s definitely a pattern of where things get placed — and located.

But despite all of this, 60% of respondents say they don’t mind hiding gifts — although another 21% say it’s a little stressful, while 19% express that it’s significantly stressful.

Still, the holidays shouldn’t be a period of stress. A holiday budget can help you set boundaries — not to mention putting a limit on the number of gifts you might need to hide.

The previously mentioned LendingTree survey found that 48% of Americans were dreading the holidays because of associated costs, a number that spiked to 59% for parents with kids younger than 18. So if you find yourself crying about money, see what positive steps you can take to improve your financial situation. It may require cutting back on holiday gifts next time around, but that’s OK if it helps you regain control of your finances.

Methodology: Neighbor used Pollfish to survey 1,000 Americans ages 16 and older, fielded on Oct. 27, 2021. Of the respondents, 9% were ages 18 to 24, followed by:

  • 8% ages 35 to 44
  • 6% ages 16 to 17
  • 4% ages 45 to 54
  • 2% ages 55 and older
  • 1% ages 25 to 34

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