'Tis the season for gift giving?

December 24, 2013, 7:02 PM GMT+0

Christmas may be a holiday for families but most Americans are open to the idea of giving gifts to others, particularly close friends, during the holidays

All over the country people are putting the finishing touches on their preparations for Christmas Day. The most time consuming - and, for many, the most stressful - is picking out, buying and wrapping seemingly endless numbers of presents for those we love. This process of gift giving isn't just limited to family members, however, as anyone involved in an office 'secret santa' can tell you.

The latest research from YouGov shows that most Americans (64%) give gifts to people other than family during the holiday season. 34% of Americans regularly give gifts to people outside of their immediate family, while another 30% say that it depends on the circumstances. 36% say that they do not give gifts outside of their immediate family. Gift-giving outside of immediate family is more likely at Christmas than for people's birthdays, with 24% regularly giving gifts for the birthdays of non-relatives. This is 10% lower than the proportion of Americans who give gifts at Christmas to people outside of their immediate family.

Close friends are the most likely to benefit from gift giving outside of the family, with 81% of people who regularly give gifts to other people treating their closest friends to something over the holidays. 51% give gifts to extended family, while 31% also give presents to colleagues.

Asked about unrequited gift giving - when a person gives a gift to someone who did not get them a gift - most Americans say that they have been on both ends of this predicament. 71% have given a gift and not received one in return, while 51% say that they have received a gift and not returned the favor.

Republicans (62%) and people in the West (61%) and South (58%) are the most likely to have received a gift and not given one back. People in the Northeast (47%), under the age of 30 (51%) and Democrats (53%) are the least likely to have forgotten to buy a gift for someone who got them one.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty Images

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