You Shouldn’t Have! A Study on Americans’ Gifting Habits for Christmas 2023


As the holiday season approaches, now is the time to start planning the magical moments that will create memories to last a lifetime. Whether it’s how we’ll spend our time, who we’ll be spending it with, or the gifts we plan to give, we surveyed 2,000 people to take a deep dive into exactly how people in the US spend their holiday season.

How do the results of our survey compare to your holiday habits? Keep reading to find out more.

Gifting Chocolate Is a Popular Option for Most, Especially Millennials 

Chocolate is a widely received gift, especially around Christmas time (more than 1 in 2 said they tend to purchase more chocolate than usual around the holiday season). It lines up perfectly with the mentality of those surveyed wanting time to relax – because everyone deserves a moment to themselves and time to enjoy pure holiday bliss. 

58% of respondents expressed a general love for chocolate, and the majority of those surveyed (67%) consider chocolate as a gift, with 77% of millennials most likely to gift a delicious chocolatey treat to a loved one. 

Quality is a heavy consideration when it comes to purchasing chocolate gifts, with 62% considering paying more for higher-quality chocolate. 68% of millennials said they would pay for their favorite chocolate brand even when it’s not on sale. 

A Nation of Chocolate Lovers 

According to those surveyed, people in the US consider chocolate a regular part of their lives, with 45% stating that they always have chocolate on hand. Temptation surrounding chocolate cannot be underestimated, with 68% saying chocolate doesn’t last long in their household. The survey results show that the consumption of chocolate can be linked to stress relief for many participants (57%), with very few (24%) associating this with a feeling of guilt. 

Some participants (31%) surveyed showed such intense feelings for chocolate that they stated they loved chocolate more than some people in their lives, proving that the desire for a moment of self-indulgence is a high priority for many. 

The Majority of People Like To Plan Ahead for Christmas – With Some Even Planning From January

When it comes to holiday preparation, the majority (60%) like to plan a few months before Christmas to shop for gifts to beat the crowds and have a stress-free holiday season. 8% of those people even start planning from as early as January. 

This early preparation may be essential for many, as 59% of participants surveyed stated that they would be buying gifts for five or more people. Women are more likely to have a longer gift-giving list than men, with 64% buying for five or more people and 17% buying for ten or more. This compares to 47% of men who buy for five or more people, while only 7% buy for more than ten. 

People Aren’t Buying Gifts for Their In-Laws 

Looking into who exactly is on people’s gift-giving lists this year, the results show a very family-orientated mindset, with respondents stating they are most likely to buy gifts for children (59%), partners/spouses (50%), their mom (41%), siblings (41%), and dad (28%). 

If you’re feeling guilty about not buying a gift for your mother-in-law, don’t worry. As it happens, not many people buy gifts for their in-laws. 12% buy a gift for their mother-in-law, 8% give a present to their father-in-law, 11% to their daughter-in-law and just 10% buy a Christmas gift for their son-in-law. 

More People Like to Set a Budget When Buying Gifts 

When you are buying gifts for multiple people (maybe even the in-laws), it’s no surprise that some of us like to set a budget. Over half of people (59%) spend less than $50, compared to 33% who spend more than this on gifts for their loved ones. With so many varieties available (from chocolate bars to decadent chocolate gift boxes), chocolate is the perfect gift for any budget. 

Majority of People Associate Gift Giving With Love 

The overwhelming theme in gift giving and receiving is the idea of showing and feeling love from others, with 72% feeling that giving gifts is a great way to show love and 57% feeling loved when they receive a gift. 

But some boomers (45%) think gift-giving can be too commercial. If a lack of originality when it comes to gifting is a concern for you, you can always look into personalization options to add a unique touch to any gift. Lindt’s personalization options make a delightful gift for any chocolate lover.

People Strive To Find That Perfect Gift for the People They Love 

From browsing to purchasing and parceling, the vast majority enjoy the process of gift-giving. But it can be easy to put pressure on ourselves when we don’t find the perfect gift right away (because we want to show we care!). 

Some people are harder on themselves than others - 40% feel pressure giving gifts in general, while 60% of millennials struggle with the expectation of finding the perfect gift, with 53% of Americans agreeing. 48% also feel the pressure when giving a gift to someone they don’t know very well. This can make gift-giving traditions in specific environments more challenging for some, with 34% stating they don’t enjoy participating in a Secret Santa at work.  

While many think gift-giving is an enjoyable experience, 36% of respondents feel that gift-giving is a little overrated. But as a nation of chocolate lovers, finding a gift for your loved ones or Secret Santa can be simple and very effective, especially when you can Pick & Mix LINDOR Truffles to customize your gift!


A Country of Gift Givers: More People Prefer Giving Gifts Than Receiving Them 

The holiday season is known for being a time of relaxation, fun and magical moments. Our results show that Americans become fully immersed in the enchanting atmosphere that this time of year creates, with 85% looking forward to enjoying the general festive spirit of the season. 

A combination of relaxation and partaking in classic holiday traditions are among the top priorities for respondents, with the majority looking forward to decompressing from the daily stresses of work and school (61%), indulging in food and drink (91%), and attending holiday events (74%). Some also choose to take advantage of the free time the season usually brings to focus on neglected activities – 72% of Gen Z want to focus on their hobbies. 

Gift-giving nears the top of the list of what Americans look forward to the most around the holiday season (85%). Only 37% of respondents look forward to receiving gifts for Christmas. Clearly, the US is a country of generous gifters!

Family remains a priority for this time of year, with 93% looking forward to spending time with relatives, which would explain why less than a third of respondents would travel abroad for the holidays. But bonding with loved ones, in general, is still incredibly important to respondents, with 68% spending time with a partner and 77% making time for friends.

Over a Third of People Are Worried About the Cost of Christmas and Not Spending Enough Time With Family 

While there are many aspects of this time of year that we are excited about, there are still some concerns playing on people's minds. 

The cost of Christmas is understandably a worry for many. 38% are worried about the cost of hosting, and 54% about buying gifts. However, the results show a great level of resilience not to let these concerns spoil their festive fun.

With being surrounded by loved ones clearly a priority for many, just over a third of participants worry they will not spend enough time with family during the holidays, and 23% are worried about missing out on precious time with friends. 

On the other hand, 31% of Gen Zs are worried they will spend too much time with family and not enough time to themselves. In fact, 46% of both millennials and Gen Z are worried about not being able to relax over the holidays, and 40% of these groups worry about not having their own time.  

Sustainable Gifting and Giving Back Is Widely Considered During The Holidays 

Sustainability and eco-friendly practices have crossed over into the world of gifting, with 30% of those surveyed aware of the impact that gifting can have on the environment and 40% of millennials (compared to 25% of boomers) keeping eco-friendly options in mind when considering gifts. 

Although not everyone feels charitable during the holidays (8% to be exact), the overwhelming majority of those surveyed choose to partake in charitable actions, including supporting a charity of their choice (51%), donation of possessions (42%), donation of gifts (29%), and volunteering (14%). 


Whether you’re shopping for gifts for everyone you know, looking for the best way to give the gift of time to loved ones, or giving your own time back to your community, these statistics give us a great indication of how Americans experience Christmas. 

Looking for the Perfect Gift This Holiday Season? 

If you’re looking for the perfect indulgent treat for the holiday season, you can browse our range of Christmas chocolate and chocolate gift options catering to a range of budgets and tastes guaranteed to bring joy to any recipient. 



Survey conducted by Censuswide in November 2023, 2,000 respondents in the US, nationally representative.