Here’s another argument for having everybody pick out presents via gift registry, or perhaps just cutting to the chase and buying gifts for yourself. According to a new survey, there’s a 20% chance you’ll get a crummy present during the holidays.
The odds of getting a so-so or sorta-alright gift are significantly higher, it’s safe to assume.
Based on a Consumer Reports poll, some 49 million Americans will soon be presented with an awful gift. In the survey, 20% of respondents said they’ve received lousy gifts. Most likely, the in-laws are responsible: Mother- and father-in-laws were cited most often (11%) as the parties who gave the worst gifts.
In another holiday shopping survey, conducted by TD Bank, respondents pointed to a family member other than a parent, spouse, or sibling (read: mother-in-law) as the person who handed over the worst gift they’ve ever received. In-laws get the blame according to a survey from Wyndham, the hotel company, as well, with 17% of participants saying their worst gifts came from mother- or father-in-laws.
What happens to all of these unwanted gifts? In the CR survey, 18% say they’ve been known to donate them, while 15% will pass along the misery by regifting, and 11% will just toss the present into the trash.
A larger portion (39%) will take the passive-aggressive approach by storing the lousy gift “somewhere out of view.”
One more option: In Wyndham’s “My Horrible Holiday Gift” contest, participants get to trade in their lousing presents—unloading it may seem like a victory in itself—with a chance to win Wyndham gift cards and other prizes. To enter, you must post a photo of the gift online, which is pretty much the opposite of “out of view.”
Cut to the chase: Get busy rehearsing your best fake “Thanks! I love it!” reaction. Chances are, you’re going to need it.