Most Americans see gift-giving as a friendly competition

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A new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of De Beers looks into what it takes to give the perfect gift during this holiday season. (Photo by Any Lane from Pexels)

Six in 10 Americans admit they see gift-giving as a competition — and they’re trying to “out-gift” their circle of loved ones, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 Americans revealed sibling rivalries never seem to disappear: of that 61%, the top person they’re trying to out-gift this holiday season is their sibling (39%).

In a year like this one, people are making a competitive sport of showing how much they care. And results found they’re also trying to out-gift their friends (37%) and their significant other (33%).

Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by De Beers, the survey found this competitive spirit might contribute to the stress of holiday gifting, which is likely already made worse by the overall stress of 2020.

With the ongoing pandemic, this festive season will look a little different, and 55% are stressed about gifting this year — of those, 24% are worried about being “out-gifted” by someone else.

Top gifting stressors include worries over items being sold out (29%) and the gift not being appreciated by the recipient (24%).

But the number one cause of gift-giving stress is finding the “perfect” gift (30%).

Results revealed 74% of respondents aren’t satisfied unless they’ve found the perfect gift for their loved ones — and even though the hunt can be exhaustive, 18% said they “always” find the perfect gift.

The pressure is especially high this year, too: as a result of the pandemic, 67% said it’s more important than ever to find the perfect gift for their family and friends.

And 72% said they are hoping to find more meaningful gifts for their loved ones this year.

That’s partly due to the pandemic, too — 64% said their loved ones have gone above and beyond for them throughout 2020, and they want to show their appreciation through a gift.

“This has certainly been a year to remember. It became clear to all of us in 2020 how much we depend on people we love and need and the importance of real connection,” said Sally Morrison, De Beers Group.

“Choosing gifts for loved ones this holiday, whether it’s beautiful diamond jewelry or another symbol of love, people are marking the moment with authentic gifts that will stand the test of time and show our loved ones how much they’re cared for.”

But what actually makes a gift “perfect”? Respondents said the top indicator was if it’s a gift the recipient had been asking for (46%).

That was followed by being something that shows love (40%) and something that stands the test of time (40%).

When it comes specifically to their significant other, respondents thought a “perfect” gift would be luxury items (38%), clothing (36%) or technology (33%).

That was in addition to fine jewelry (32%) — results revealed 67% of respondents believed a gift of jewelry would be a great way to show appreciation for their loved ones this holiday season.

And if money was no object, respondents believe the most meaningful jewelry to gift their loved ones is gold jewelry (46%), diamond jewelry (36%) and other gemstone or pearl jewelry (35%).

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When it comes to holiday gift gifting, 84% said it’s the thought that counts — and 82% said they put a lot of thought into the gifts they give during the holidays.

“We all want to find the perfect gifts for the special people in our life and the notion of ‘it’s the thought that counts’ has taken on a new meaning this holiday,” said Sally Morrison, De Beers Group.

“This is the year to check those diamond studs off her wish list or surprise and delight him with the hand-tooled leather wallet he’s been eyeing. Putting a little extra thought into our choices this year will make those gifts even more meaningful.”

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WHAT WOULD MAKE A GIFT “PERFECT”?

It’s something they’ve been asking for 46%
It shows love 40%
It stands the test of time 40%
It makes the recipient laugh 38%
It can be used for years 37%

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WHAT CAUSES STRESS WHEN SHOPPING FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS?

Finding the perfect gift 30%
Items being sold out 29%
The gift won’t be appreciated/liked 24%
The recipient will never use the gift 24%
Buying something the recipient already has 24%
Being “out-gifted” by someone else 24%
It won’t show my loved one how much they mean to me 20%
Bad weather/driving conditions 20%
Leaving my home for extended periods 18%
Gifts/packages being stolen 13%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

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