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Worst Part of Holidays for 52% of U.S. Consumers Is Wrapping Gifts

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Among a litany of annoyances and “things we would rather avoid,” nothing warrants a holiday groan more than wrapping gifts.

According to a recent survey from Los Angeles-based online deals platform Slickdeals, 52% of U.S. consumers believe wrapping gifts is the most dreaded part of the holiday season. In fact, more than half (51%) say they try to avoid gift wrapping at all costs, preferring to pay a professional.

U.S. consumers prefer easy-to-wrap gifts

Gift wrapping is such a loathed task this holiday season that half of Slickdeals respondents say they’ll go out of their way to buy easy-to-wrap gifts. The hardest presents to wrap, according to respondents, are:

  • Bicycles (55%)
  • Gym equipment (46%)
  • Sporting balls (45%)
  • Guitars (45%)
  • Candles (22%)

Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) U.S. consumers say they can tell what something is — and who it’s from — based on how it’s wrapped. Respondents report spending an average of $56 on gift wrap during the holidays, so many appear to focus on their guessing rather than their wrapping.

Americans expect to spend an average of over $250 this holiday season

Gift-wrapping woes aside, Americans intend to spend well more than $250, on average, this holiday season — minus travel costs. (The Slickdeals survey didn’t specify the exact amount beyond “well over $250.”) Consumers also plan to dole out an average of $61 on holiday-edition exclusives — think seasonal foods, festive attire and new beauty products.
Respondents with kids expect the average cost of gifts for children this season will be $89, on average. And 68% of parents say their kids have a long holiday wish list this season.

Not just looking at kids’ lists, what do people hope to receive this year? The most anticipated gifts this year include:

  • New smartphones, laptops and TVs (43%)
  • Experiential gifts (42%)
  • Popular toys (38%)
  • Video game consoles (36%)
  • Clothing (32%)
  • Board games (31%)
  • Kitchen appliances (28%)
  • Furniture (26%)
  • Fitness equipment (22%)
  • Self-care products (19%)

While there’s a lot to get excited about, U.S. consumers are afraid Santa might not make a proper — and timely — drop-off this year. More than half of respondents have concerns about shipping delays (56%), the rising costs of goods (56%) and inventory shortages (51%).

So what about Secret Santa gifts?

More than 1 in 3 (37%) respondents plan to participate in a Secret Santa exchange this holiday season. And while they can be fun, Secret Santa exchanges can be quite unpopular.

Among respondents, 79% say they hate getting reeled into a Secret Santa exchange because they don’t know what to buy. Further, 87% admit they regift things they’ve received from past Secret Santa exchanges.

Despite Secret Santa exchanges not being everyone’s favorite holiday activity, respondents say they spend an average of $85 on them. More than 8 in 10 (86%) of these exchanges have spending limits, while more than 9 in 10 (93%) consumers look for sales to help them save.

To make Secret Santa exchanges more enjoyable and prevent regifting, have participants send a wish list beforehand. And to avoid holiday debt hangover this year, set spending limits on your credit cards and make the most of cashback credit card rewards.

Methodology: Slickdeals commissioned OnePoll to survey 2,000 U.S. consumers from Oct. 7-12, 2021.