Survey reveals the weirdest and wildest holiday gifts Americans have received

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New research conducted by OnePoll commissioned by Mixbook reveal the strange gifts Americans have received. (Photo by on Unsplash)

A didgeridoo, an enormous rubber duck, a lump of coal and a paperclip necklace ‒ these have all been named the worst gifts ever.

New research revealed a wild list of items people were not keen on receiving again, including aluminium flip-flops, a peacock shirt and a box of corks.

The survey of 2,000 Americans asked for the worst gifts respondents have ever received and found those to be at the top of the list.

While those are shining examples of bad gift giving, the survey also examined the best gift-giving habits — and found sentiment (68 percent), usefulness (63 percent) and a personalized touch (47 percent) were the keys to making the present receiver feel warm and fuzzy.

When asked about the best gifts, respondents listed heart-warming items like personalized collages, diamond necklaces, photo books, dream vacations and handmade art from children.

Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Mixbook, the survey did reveal that if people don’t like a gift, they’ll pull out an Oscar-worthy performance to protect a gift-giver’s feelings.

Eighty-seven percent admitted to pretending to like a present to avoid hurting the giver’s feelings and seven in 10 will flat-out lie and tell them they love it.

There are some tall-tale signs that someone might be fibbing about their love for a present. If they say things like “Aww!” (33 percent), “I love it!” (31 percent) or “you’re sweet” (23 percent), there’s a strong chance your gift was a dud.

Those phrases are likely to come in handy around certain people, since nearly one in four (24 percent) know a notoriously bad gift giver in their family or social circle.

Among the worst givers were co-workers (19 percent), in-laws (14 percent) and friends (11 percent).

Forgetting to buy a present for someone can make bad gift givers of anyone — and three in 10 have straight up forgotten to buy a gift for someone.

With that tragic error, respondents quickly resorted to giving gifts they’ve previously received, but never used.

Forty-nine percent confessed to regifting and over half of respondents (52 percent) have suspected they’ve been the victim of a regifting.

People are most likely to regift to their friends (33 percent) and co-workers (17 percent).

“Regifting becomes a thing of the past when it comes to personalized photo goods. The perfect gift is all about sentiment and nothing evokes the feeling of nostalgia like photos,” said Leslie Albertson, Director of Marketing at Mixbook. “Being able to capture those personal moments in time and relive them in a photo book will bring an authentic ‘Aww!’ or ‘I love it!’ when they receive their gift.”

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be the struggle many make it out to be, since seven in 10 said they favor something sentimental over a pricey present.

That’s probably why respondents adore personalized gifts from their partners (47 percent), children (42 percent) or mom (25 percent).

“Giving the perfect gift doesn’t have to break the bank. You can create a gift that’s both personalized and sentimental for around $100,” said Albertson from Mixbook. “Creating a custom photo book or photo calendar for someone you love shows thought, care and the time you spent to create something that’s truly one-of-a-kind, and you can’t put a price on that.”


  1. No such thing as a bad gift 30%
  2. Shower gel 23%
  3. Popcorn 23%
  4. Socks 22%
  5. Lotion basket 20%
  6. Mug 19%
  7. Hard liquor 19%
  8. Tea 18%
  9. Candle 15%
  10. Photo calendar 15%
  11. Coffee 13%
  12. Wine 13%
  13. Photo books 12%
  14. Kitchen supplies 12%
  15. Photo prints 11%
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  1. Thank you 81%
  2. Awww! 33%
  3. I love it 31%
  4. Wow 25%
  5. You’re sweet 23%
  6. That’s interesting 11%
  7. What made you think of this? 10%
  8. I’ve always wanted this 9%
  9. Repeat name of the gift 9%
  10. Gasp 5%
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  1. Partner/spouse/significant other 47%
  2. Children 42%
  3. Mom 25%
  4. Siblings 16%
  5. Friends 15%

>> 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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