It's all about small and thoughtful gifts this Christmas, not splashing the cash, and its something craft-lovers have known for a long time, but new research has revealed that when it comes to gifts it really is the thought that counts, and homemade gifts are the ones that stick in people's minds as the best present they've ever received.
Research from the iconic bear brand Forever Friends shows 44 per cent of people would much rather receive something small and thoughtful than something big and flashy with no feeling behind it. In fact 38 per cent of people said they felt embarrassed when they were given an extravagant gift and one in 10 (11 per cent) have actually been offended by a flashy gift that obviously had no thought behind it. Yet it seems this message still isn't getting through, with 35 per cent of people worried about how they will afford Christmas presents this year, and a further one in four (24 per cent) worried that someone else might be getting into debt to buy them a gift.
The research from the loveable bears asked people what the most thoughtful gift was they have ever received. Respondents said:
1. A homemade gift from a child – 29% (including: decorated keepsake boxes, knitted scarves, painted plates, handmade magic wands, paintings, photo frames, poems, food, breakfast in bed, Lego, money boxes, bookmarks)
2. A gift that recalled a shared/treasured moment – 28% (including: personalised calendars, silly gifts about a shared joke, framed photos/photo montages, books or momentos about an event/place they'd been to)
3. A homemade/personalised card – 13%
4. A homemade gift from an adult – 12% (including: food and drink, homemade coasters, jewellery, teddies, hand-knitted blankets, homemade Christmas decorations, paintings, quilts)
5. Something big and flashy – 5% (including: a holiday, jewellery, car, handbag, bike and computers)
A key benefit to thoughtful, homemade presents was seen to be overcoming the age old problem of 45 per cent of us receiving gifts we don't want at Christmas, and 19 per cent of us receiving duplicate presents.
Emma Read at Forever Friends commented: “The Forever Friends bears are famous for representing friendship and love, and it's interesting that actually when we asked people, they'd rather receive something that was a thoughtful representation of their relationship with the giver – it's not about the size of the gift or the spend involved.
“It seems like people often focus more on the money and less on the time spent choosing a gift. On average our research showed people spend 48 minutes choosing a present for someone. One in three people (37 per cent) admitted they spent less than 20 minutes per person. One of the reasons homemade and those more thoughtful presents are so popular is the giver knows more effort was put into making it right for them. Maybe this Christmas we should spend a bit less cash but a bit more time on finding the perfect presents!”
Instead of a traditional Christmas present, Forever Friends asked people what they might like to receive from friends and family instead. The top 10 were revealed to be:
1. A small but thoughtful token of a friendship/relationship
2. To be taken out for a meal
3. To be cooked a lovely homemade meal
4. Something homemade
5. A card which included personal, heart-felt words
6. A big hug
7. For time to be set aside to catch up over coffee for a good old chat
8. To be run a bubble bath to relax in with a good book
9. Have someone offer to do the washing up or cleaning
10. Have a good catch up reminiscing over old photos
Forever Friends has developed a free downloadable online pledge to allow people to offer to do something for family and friends this Christmas as a gift, without having to splash the cash. To find out more, log on to www.foreverfriends.co.uk
Posted: 18 December 2013
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