Which traditionally dubious Christmas gifts would Britons be happy to see under their tree?

Joanna MorrisData Journalist
December 14, 2022, 10:27 AM GMT+0

Most Britons would be pleased to receive socks, underwear or deodorant this Christmas

Socks, underpants and deodorant gift sets are often maligned as Christmas gifts – and unfairly so, according to the majorities of Britons who say they would be happy to receive each of them.

YouGov asked the British public which traditionally dubious gifts they’d actually be pleased to receive under the tree this Christmas.

Topping the list were jumpers, with nearly nine in ten Britons who celebrate Christmas (88%) saying they’d be happy to receive one as a gift, including 38% who would be “very happy.”

With more than eight in ten people who celebrate pleased at the thought of warm feet this holiday season, slippers came in second – 81% would be happy with a pair, while socks were similarly popular, with 79% happy at the thought of receiving socks from Santa.

Another popular winter woolly is the humble scarf, which around three-quarters of those who celebrate Christmas (74%) would be pleased to find gift-wrapped.

As for the festively ubiquitous deodorant and shower gel gift sets so often bestowed upon the men in our lives, nearly three-quarters (73%) say they’re happy at the thought of receiving one.

And around a quarter of Britons celebrating Christmas (24%) say they would be “very happy” with such a gift set; that’s the same proportion as say they’d be unhappy (24%) though just 9% would be “very unhappy.”

Most Britons who celebrate the occasion would be unhappy to unwrap a handkerchief this Christmas

The advent of disposable tissues means fewer people these days are likely to rely on fancy cotton handkerchiefs to catch their coughs and sniffles.

Once a gift-giving staple at this time of year, the humble hanky now sits at the bottom of YouGov’s list, with 59% of Britons who celebrate Christmas saying they would be unhappy to receive one, including 31% who would be very unhappy. A third, however, would still be pleased (34%).

A juicy orange is a common addition to the Christmas stocking for some – but the British public is divided over whether receiving one as a gift would make them happy or not.

More than four in ten people who celebrate Christmas (43%) would be happy with the citrus treat as a gift, but they’re slightly outweighed by the 48% who would be unhappy.

Of all the gifts on YouGov’s list, the orange and the hanky are the only ones likely to make recipients more unhappy than happy.

Women more likely to be happy with their traditional Christmas gifts than men

Generally, women say they would be more pleased than men with the majority of gifts on YouGov’s Christmas list.

But between the genders, scented candles are most divisive – 48% of men who celebrate Christmas would be happy to unwrap one, compared to 78% of women.

The gifts men would be more thrilled with than women are multi-packs of underpants (69%-56% among people of each gender who celebrate Christmas), a handkerchief (38%-30%) and an orange (47%-42%).

Slippers beat socks as people enter middle age

The happiness a jumper can bring as a Christmas present pervades across the generations, topping the poll as the gift most likely to make recipients happy across all age groups, from 85% of those 65 and over to 89% of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Aside from the jumper, preference for either slippers or socks is next highest, depending on the age of the recipient.

Your best bet for younger people would be socks – of those who celebrate, 83% of 18 to 24-year-olds and the same proportion of 25 to 49-year-olds say they’d be happy to receive a pair.

But the appeal of comfy slippers beats socks as people become middle age, with 82% of 50 to 64-year-olds and 80% of the over-65s saying they’d be happy with slippers as a Christmas gift.

Picture: Getty

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