Surprising number of Americans plan to give a 'take the hint' holiday gift this year

A new study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of BAKblade delved into the gift-giving habits of Americans. (Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash)

That gift you get this holiday season just might be trying to tell you something.

According to new research, one in five Americans are planning on giving somebody a “take the hint” gift this year.

A new survey of 2,000 Americans found that “hint” gifts are a pretty common practice, with one in three respondents saying they’ve given at least one in the past.

And the person in our life most likely to give us one of these “hint” gifts? Research shows it’s our own partner.

The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of BAKblade, delved into the gift-giving habits of Americans and found that passive aggressiveness can absolutely extend into the art of giving.

The most popular “hint” gift Americans give is deodorant or perfume/cologne, with self-help books scoring high, too.

Also on the list were cookbooks, exercise equipment, razors, toothpaste, cleaning supplies and even breath mints.

Statistically, men are much more likely to go for a passive aggressive gift than women, with 26 percent of men — compared to just 17 percent of women — saying they’ll be giving a “hint gift” this year.

But “hint gifts” may come in the form of last-minute desperation. Thirty-five percent of Americans say they tend to buy a gift for somebody at the very last minute.

And we mean very last minute — half of Americans have reportedly bought somebody a gift at a store while on the way to exchange gifts.

The survey also showed, while running out of time is a problem we all face, people actually do put a lot of pressure on themselves to get their loved ones something good. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they feel the need to people the “perfect gift.”

Over one in three also fear that whatever they get their loved one will actually make them question how well they actually know them.

Forty-six percent also fear that their gift will be perceived as “cheap.”

But there does appear to be one surefire way to make sure people will actually like the gift you give them: make sure they can use it.

Nearly two in three of those surveyed (61 percent) said they wish people would get them something practical this year.

“Quite often during the holiday season we receive customer emails stating that purchasing the BAKblade is a great way to let their significant other, a brother or an uncle know in the most loving way that it’s time for them to finally manage their out-of-control back hair,” said a spokesperson for BAKblade.


  1. Deodorant/perfume 36%
  2. Cookbook 31%
  3. Self-help book 22%
  4. Exercise equipment 22%
  5. Cleaning supplies 21%
  6. Alarm clock 20%
  7. Toothbrush/toothpaste 20%
  8. Gym membership 18%
  9. Breath mints 18%
  10. Razor 17%


  1. Other clothes 46%
  2. Food 46%
  3. Cookware 44%
  4. Socks 42%
  5. Towels 38%
  6. Phone accessory 34%
  7. Makeup/beauty products 31%
  8. Toiletries 24%
  9. Nice pen 22%
  10. Razor 20%

>> 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.

SWNS is a UK and US-based news and media content agency with a proud 40-year history.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store