Canadians want to give and receive fewer gifts during the holidays: poll

It’s the time of year when the shopping frenzy is at its peak with thousands of bargain-hunters braving freezing temperatures for the hottest Boxing Day deals, but a poll exclusive to Global News shows many Canadian want to give up the holiday gifting.

The poll conducted by Ipsos shows more than half of the people surveyed (52 per cent) said they would like to give and receive fewer gifts during the holidays.

READ MORE: Going gift-free can make for a stress-free Christmas, says family

Twenty-four per cent also said most of the gifts they get during the holidays are useless junk.

About one-third (31 per cent) said they feel like they have to buy holiday gifts for too many people and about one-quarter (24 per cent) said gift-giving in their family is out of control.

Kathryn Jezer-Morton is a Montreal-based author whose family has almost completely stopped gift-giving during the holidays.

“There’s the real question of accumulating more and more into your house,” said Jezer-Morton. “The idea of waste and environmental waste is really serious and I don’t want to contribute to that more than I already do.”

Meanwhile in downtown Toronto, dozens of people were found giving up their Christmas gifts for candy at the Skittles Pawn Shop after finding they have too much clutter piling up from unwanted presents.

READ MORE: How much should you spend on Christmas gifts given your income?

Some, like Jared Dickie, said they’re joining the movement of excessive gift-giving by stopping it altogether in their household.

“We figure we already have everything we need so it’s more about the experience right now than the gifting,” said Dickie.

READ MORE: You get more out of giving a gift if you don’t expect anything in return, say SFU researchers

Jezer-Morton admitted though it’s not always easy convincing friends and extended family to not buy them presents at this time of year, and trying to make them understand why she won’t be giving them a Christmas present is even harder.

“It doesn’t feel great to insist that you’re not doing any shopping for anybody, when people keep shopping for you,” said Jezer-Morton

“Until I get everyone on for no gifts, it’s hard.”

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between December 10 and 14, 2017, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 2,098 Canadians aged 18+ from Ipsos’ I-Say panel and non-panel sources. Weighting was then employed to ensure that the sample reflects that of the Canadian population by region, age and gender according to Canadian census information. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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