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What do people really want for Christmas?


With Christmas hurtling towards us at increasing speed, we’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about wish lists—other people’s wish lists.

We wanted to know—what do people really want this Christmas? And what don’t they want? And will the knowledge make gift-giving any easier? We tried to find out.

Of the 100 people surveyed, 37% were male and 63% were female. Fifteen percent were 20 years old or younger, 36% were 21 to 29 years old, 38% were 30 to 39, 9% were 40 to 49 and 2% were 50 or older.

We asked them two open-ended questions, encouraging them to be as specific as they could be—what five things do they want to receive this Christmas and what five things don’t they want to receive this Christmas? We did not make suggestions, we wanted all the answers to come from them. And while some results were expected, some answers might surprise you.

Hot commodity

Predictably, gadgets are a hot commodity this Christmas. Seventy-six percent of people surveyed have them on their wish lists. Apple products top the charts—40% of the respondents are lusting over the brand’s numerous devices. Nineteen percent want an iPhone, 14% want an iPad or an iPad Mini, 8% want one of the iPod’s many incarnations (the fifth generation iPod Touch is a favorite) and 6% want a Macbook Air.

Samsung is a favorite too—16% of people surveyed want different models of the Samsung Galaxy.

Cameras are also a hot item—17% want a new one. Some are hoping to get new DSLRs from Nikon or Canon while others want Fujifilm XE1, the Digital Harinezumi or the Fuji Instax 210. Other gadgets on people’s list are laptops (8%), gaming consoles (3%) and Kindle (2%).

Four percent of the people surveyed are also hoping Santa will give them free Internet connection.

Surprisingly, after gadgets, the most desired gifts are shoes. Thirty-four percent of men and women surveyed want footwear for Christmas. And they all want different kinds—flats, heels, boots, sneakers, Adidas, Cole Haan, Doc Martens, Christian Louboutin… (the list goes on and on).

Clothes are also on people’s lists (30%). They want shirts (8%), dresses (4%), jackets (4%), jeans (4%) and even swimsuits (3%).

Trips and books

Trips or vacations also rank high on people’s wish lists. Twenty-six percent of people surveyed want trips either for themselves or their whole family. The dream destinations vary—from Boracay and Batanes to Europe, South America, New Zealand and the Maldives.

We were happy to see that books made it to people’s lists. Twenty-two percent want something new to read this Christmas and 4% want Grace Coddington’s memoir.

Sixteen percent of the respondents want bags, 15% want watches, 15% want cosmetics, perfumes and bath products, 3% want cars. Ten percent want jewelry, including a woman who is hoping for an engagement ring (we do hope her boyfriend has something planned).

Only 13% of respondents wished for intangible things—5% want to be able to celebrate Christmas with their family, 2% want good health, 4% want world peace.

Seven percent want money, 6% want new jobs while 6% want a boyfriend or girlfriend (one was very specific—she wants Alexander Skarsgård tied with a ribbon).

Five percent wished for things that weren’t for themselves—donations to charity, gifts for their families. One person wanted treats for her dog.

Two percent want sex and not just any kind—it has to be “good” or “wild.” Well, we did tell them to be specific.


No to fruitcake

Oddly, while 30% of people want clothes for Christmas, 38% were vehemently against getting clothes as presents. T-shirts received the brunt of the hate—14% do not want them. Oversized shirts, baby tees, logo tees—they all got flak. “Stop already!” one respondent even wrote. They are saying no to ugly sweaters (1%), underwear (6%), shorts (4%) and socks (6%). No “clothes that don’t fit my style” (1%), “clothes that I don’t like” (1%) and “clothes that are too small (1%). Got it.

Another surprise: 36% of people do not want food for Christmas. We’re not surprised that fruitcake is on top of people’s dread list (17% don’t like it and we get it—we don’t like it either) but they also don’t want chocolates (6%), food for the gods (4%), cupcakes (1%) and sweets (1%). One respondent said she doesn’t want “pastries that do not taste good” while another doesn’t want “anything that can be eaten.”

Twenty-six percent of people do not want bath products or toiletries. Ten percent are not fans of lotion, 10% do not want colognes or perfumes, 6% do not want soap or bath gel.

Put away the picture frames and photo albums—24% do not want them. Mugs also didn’t get a lot of love. Twenty percent do not want them, with one respondent saying, “What is the point of this? I only have one mouth. I don’t need lots of mugs.”

Only 8% said there wasn’t anything they didn’t want.

Nine percent expressed disdain for corporate giveaways, 8% do not want towels, another 8% do not want tumblers, 6% do not want bags, 6% said no to figurines, 6% do not want anything generic, 4% don’t want umbrellas, 4% do not want calendars, 4% don’t want wall clocks.

And now we’re just as confused as ever. Some people want clothes, some people hate clothes. Some people want bath products, others detest them. The results of our survey confirm what we’ve always known—gift-giving is an exercise that requires a lot of thought. There is no single formula and there are no shortcuts, not even this survey.


Gadgets – 76%

Shoes – 34%

Clothes – 30%

Trips – 26%

Books – 22%

Jewelry – 10%

Money – 7%

Sex – 2%



Clothes – 38%

Food – 36%

Toiletries – 26%

Picture frames – 24%

Mugs – 20%

Corporate giveaways – 9%

Towels – 8%

Calendars – 4%

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Tags: Christmas , Lifestyle , Super , Surveys

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