‘Tis the season for gift-giving. Here are three Holiday gifting trends slightly off the beaten path, tracked by the CivicScience InsightStore™:

Giving Yourself a Gift

“Self-gifting” is a trend that fits in with other post-pandemic wellness and self-care trends seen in 2023. Many Americans will treat themselves to a holiday gift again this year – over one-third of respondents (34%) report they will buy something for themselves, the same percentage as last holiday season (excluding those answering ‘I’m not sure’ and ‘does not apply’).

Self-gifting is biggest among adults aged 25-34, followed by Gen Z adults, whereas less than 10% of those aged 55 or older plan to buy themselves a gift. Women are also much more likely than men to purchase something for themselves.

Two additional findings from the InsightStore™ that are worth mentioning related to self-gifting:

  • Holiday stress likely plays a role in why someone might want to give themselves a gift – 57% of this year’s self-gifters say that they are more stressed during the holiday season (with 27% saying they are ‘a lot more stressed’). That’s compared to 42% of those who don’t plan to buy a gift for themselves.
  • This year’s self-gifters may turn to TikTok Shop, the social media platform’s new online marketplace, to find themselves a gift – 24% have already used TikTok Shop and 13% plan on trying it. Contrast that with just 9% and 7%, respectively, of those not planning to self-gift.

Join the Conversation: Be honest: would you rather just have gift cards this year?

Giving Subscriptions as Gifts

A significant percentage of celebrators plan to give gift cards this year, but another trend this holiday season is giving subscriptions as gifts. Sixteen percent of holiday gift-givers say they plan to give a subscription-based gift, such as to a streaming or food service, app, or publication.

Subscription gift-givers far over-index as subscribers themselves. Looking at several different subscription services tracked by the CivicScience InsightStore™, Apple News subscribers are the most likely to say they plan to give a subscription gift, followed by users of mindfulness meditation apps like Headspace and subscribers to clothing services such as Stitch Fix.

Streaming subscriptions could be on the gift list. Netflix users and those who subscribe to multiple streaming services, as well as audio streaming subscribers such as Spotify users, are much more likely than non-subscribers of those services to give subscription gifts.

Fitness classes could also be gift-worthy, considering people who take fitness classes like yoga or barre, or have gym memberships, are more likely to say they will gift someone a subscription this year.

Giving Experiences as Gifts

Experience-based gifts are big this year. When asked what gifts they hope to receive this year, nearly 1-in-5 respondents said they would prefer to receive an “experience” as a gift, such as concert or travel tickets. Gen Z adults are the most likely to want an experience-based gift (25%) while those aged 55 and older are the least likely (15%).

Recent data also show that Democrats are nearly 10 percentage points more likely than Republicans to say they would rather receive an experience-related gift than a physical gift.

Take Our Poll: When you need to buy a gift are you______________?

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