CivicScience unwrapped some fun holiday insights to share with you. In November and December 2014, we asked over 97,000 U.S. consumers all about the holiday season  – everything from their gift-wrapping skills to their favorite holiday work parties. We’ve hand-picked the interesting insights so that you can share them with friends and family. Check out our holiday e-card as well. Enjoy!

In-store Holiday Shopping

What do consumers dislike the most about shopping in stores around the holidays?

  1. The crowds
  2. The lines
  3. The attitudes of other shoppers

Of the 1,773 U.S. consumers 18 and older, who do at least some of their holiday shopping in stores, 38% say they dislike the crowds the most, 17% dislike the lines, and 17% dislike the attitudes of other shoppers.

Christmas Music

After asking 2,851 U.S. consumers “How soon is too soon to begin listening to Christmas music” we found some interesting results. Retailers take note. Only 23% of consumers don’t mind hearing Christmas music before Halloween, 15% of those say “It’s never too soon.” 30% believe anything before Thanksgiving is too soon, while 26% say any time before December is too soon. 20% of consumers responded “I try to avoid Christmas music all together.”

Those who try to avoid Christmas music are…

  • 21% more likely to be men.
  • 50% more likely than average to be 18-29 years old.

Gift-Wrapping Skills

37% of U.S. adults consider themselves pretty good or even an expert at gift wrapping. 13% say they are terrible, but still try while another 13% don’t even bother and instead get someone else to wrap their presents.

A few insights on the skilled wrappers:

  • 65% are women, which is 27% more likely than the general population.
  • 44% more likely to be cat people than average.
  • 48% more likely than average to enjoy going holiday shopping, but a few things annoy them.
  • 25% more likely than average to enjoy being able to see and touch the products they are buying most when holiday shopping.


Holiday Self-Gifting

Do you pick up a little something for yourself while holiday shopping for others? If you do it turns out you’re not alone! As of December 8th, 33% of U.S. adults already self-gifted and another 20% hadn’t yet but said they probably will.

Who are the self-gifters:

  • 59% women, which is 15% more than we would expect.
  • 52% are 35-64 years old.
  • 23% have a graduate degree or a PhD, which is 14% more than we would expect.
  • 49% aren’t parents, which is 23% more than we would expect.
  • 43% more likely than average to be excited about shopping for the holidays.
  • 42% will do 50%+ of their holiday shopping online, which is 35% more than we would expect.
  • 36% are spendthrifts and have a difficult time controlling their spending, which is 24% more likely than average.

Re-gifting Acceptance

Believe it or not there are actually books about re-gifting, the do’s, the don’ts and best practices. And by the look of it, re-gifting may happen more than we think. After asking 4,721 U.S. adults if they’ve ever re-gifted, we found that 34% replied “Yes, I see nothing wrong with it.” 21% answered “Yes, only in a pinch” while another 21% answered “No, but I’ve thought about it.” Only 24% of U.S. adults are against the idea and said they would never re-gift.


Who are the re-gifters:

  • 55% women, 45% men.
  • 44% are 35-54 years old.
  • 28% more likely than average to have a household income of more than $150K.
  • 41% have children but no grandchildren, which is 15% more than we would expect to see.
  • 34% also say they self-gift, which is 24% more likely than average.
  • 28% say they are very happy in their current job, which is 22% more likely than average.

Gifts at Work

When people were asked if they buy holiday gifts for their co-workers here is how U.S. adults responded (after weeding out those who don’t currently work):

  • 61% don’t give any co-workers holiday gifts.
  • 22% give a gift to select co-workers only.
  • 8% give several gifts to a variety.
  • 5% give a gift to their staff only.
  • 4% give a gift to their boss only.

Best Holiday Work Parties

After asking 24,143 U.S. adults from 11/6/2014-12/11/2014 what type of holiday celebration at work is their favorite, we found that 35% of people favor pot-luck holiday parties in the workplace, followed by 24% who prefer a traditional type of party – a dinner or reception. 14% say a team lunch, 10% vote for an ugly Christmas sweater party and 9% favor a white elephant gift exchange. Only 5% say an As Seen On TV gift exchange would be their choice, and 3% say a cookie contest.

  • Those who prefer an ugly sweater party are 128% more likely than average to hold an operations/sales job and 91% more liekly than average to hold a service job.
  • Those who said their favorite would be a pot-luck are 23% more likely than average to be retired.
  • Those who vote for a team lunch are 20% more likely to hold a professional/managerial position.

When looking at the question results by geographic region, those who favor pot-lucks are likely to be from the Midwest, followed by the South. People who favor White Elephant gift exchanges are more likely to be from the West than other regions and people who prefer traditional parties are more likely to be from the Northeast.

US regions work parties

Ugly Christmas Sweater Trend

You’re in luck if you’ve saved those old, tacky, over-the-top Christmas sweaters. The ugly Christmas sweater trend is hitting closets everywhere. We asked 12,360 U.S. consumers, 13 and older, and found that 15% of people said they own an ugly Christmas sweater, 5% said they don’t but plan to buy one this year, and 12% may be in the market for one in the future. The majority (68%) said they don’t own one and have no plans of purchasing one.

Who owns an ugly Christmas sweater?

When compared to the general population, ugly sweater owners are…

25% more likely to be women, 41% more likely to be 29 and under, 26% more likely than average to have a household income of $100K-$150K, however, the majority (71%) of owners have an income of $100K and under. Ugly sweater owners are 64% more likely to say they are fashion followers, 46% more likely to say fashion trends impact what they wear, 66% more likely to be excited about holiday shopping, and 128% more likely to love using Pinterest.

Holiday Cookie Baking

Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked cookies? Better yet, who doesn’t love to eat them? The cookie fans are in luck because many families are planning to bake this holiday. A total of 52% of families are baking for the holidays, compared to 35% who will not be doing any holiday cookie baking this year. 13% are still not sure whether or not they will be partaking in the baking.

When compared to the general population, the yearly cookie bakers are

19% more likely to be parents, 41% more likely to have school-aged children living with them, 27% more likely to say they have 4-5 people currently living in their household, 40% more likely to say they love to cook, 19% more likely to do the majority of their holiday shopping in stores rather than online, and 28% more likely to make 2-3 holiday shopping trips.

Holiday Cards

It’s a split between those planning on sending cards this year and those who aren’t planning to send anything. 45% of U.S. adults plan to send holiday cards, of which 38% do every year. 45% will not be sending holiday cards this year and another 10% have not yet decided whether or not they will send cards to friends and family.

People that send holiday cards every year are more likely to be in the Northeast. Those who never send cards are more likely to be in the West.

Sick of Winter Yet?

Of the 5,155 U.S. adults we polled, 27% are sick of winter as soon as it starts, 14% are sick of it by the end of December, 9% live somewhere that doesn’t have a winter, and 17% love winter.

Who loves winter?

  • They are more likely to be aged 18-24.
  • They are 55% male, 45% female.
  • They are nearly 2X more likely to prefer snow over rain.
  • They enjoy winter camping and snowmobiling more than others.

sick of winter

That’s all for this holiday. We hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season! Let us know what your favorite #HolidayInsights are on Twitter – @CivicScience.