Of unwanted gifts and holiday spending


Posted at Dec 29 2017 09:44 AM

MANILA - A ING Bank study has confirmed what a lot of people have known all along -- on Christmas, we don't always get the gifts we want or want the gifts we get. 

An online survey by ING revealed that while 78 percent of people who got gifts during the holiday season liked what they received, 1 in 7 got something they didn’t appreciate, didn’t like or couldn’t use. 

Based on ING's 2016 survey of 13,576 people in the US, Australia and Europe, 53 percent of those who got unwanted gifts still kept them.

However, 25 percent "re-gifted" them to someone else, 14 percent sold the items, 11 percent tried to return them to the store and 9 percent gave them to charity.

Five percent returned the unwanted items to the giver while another 5 percent threw them away. 

Seventy percent of survey respondents also said that the holidays were too focused on spending. 

Many said they felt compelled to spend at Christmas with some even borrowing money to cover the cost of keeping up with the holidays.

In 2015, 10 percent of Europeans and 22 percent of Americans went into debt because of Christmas expenses, according to the survey.

The ING study quoted economist Joel Waldfogel’s argument that it would not make sense to spend much at Christmas. 

“It is more likely the gift will leave the recipient worse off than if she had made her own consumption choice with an equal amount of cash,” the study said quoting Waldfogel. 

The study however also acknowledged that "gifts go beyond the cash value of any presents people might receive." 

"It’s often the thought (and effort) that counts."