16 Holiday Gift Trivia Facts to Get You Questioning Your Choices

(Last Updated On: December 27, 2022)

If you’re reading this post when it’s first uploaded, then the Christmas season has ended and you’re now decompressing from having to find all those trinkets you got for everyone. Alternatively, you stumbled upon this post right before you had to get gifts for people—be it a birthday or the holidays—hoping for a nice guide or a set of ideas to get the brain turning at the last minute. Unfortunately, this is not that guide. But it is a bunch of gift trivia to get you questioning all the trinkets you buy.

Further Reading: The Gift Guide to End All Gift Guides

16 Gifting Trivia Facts

1. Americans are more likely to get gifts for their pets than their own in-laws. Honestly, valid. 

2. Chimpanzees give each other gifts as a show of trust and as a means to form bonds.

3. If you have a cat, you also know cats like to bring gifts home. Your cat is probably trying to teach you how to hunt.

4. There are a lot of rules to Chinese gift-giving etiquette, mostly surrounding the perceived or real monetary value of the gift. A more obscure rule is to never give someone a pear, since the word for pear (梨) sounds similar to a word associated with ending relationships. Not sure why you’d give anyone a pear just generally, though.

5. It is common etiquette for both the Japanese and Irish to politely refuse gifts before accepting them.

6. It’s not just mammals that give gifts, even scorpion flies give gifts to each other during courtship! Normally it’s just another dead bug, though.

7. Penguin gift-etiquette is fun, they give each other the smoothest pebbles they can find for their nests.

Witness me!

8. The joy of giving gifts lasts longer than the joy of receiving one. It’s a well-documented phenomenon, so if you’ve ever felt that way, you’re not crazy. 

9. By 24, Americans generally start preferring practical gifts. That’s where your “getting socks as a kid” and “getting socks as an adult” meme probably came from.

10. Adults getting gifts for themselves right now is one of the toy industry’s largest growth vectors

11. People seem to like giving gifts more when the recipient isn’t expecting it. A lot of people also value being in the room with the recipient when they open the gift.

12. The average shopper gets gifts for about eight different people over the holiday season.

13. Gift-givers tend to prefer giving gifts that will make for a nice moment when the gift is opened. But recipients tend to value something that will still be great down the line

14. Everyone wants to give a valuable gift, and many will agree that a thoughtful gift is generally considered more valuable because it’s personal. However, there is often a disconnect between the perceived value of a gift between givers and receivers. You can thank our inability to put ourselves into the shoes of gift-recipients

15. In 2021, 52% of surveyed Americans said gift-wrapping was the worst part of Christmas. Gift bags, anyone?

16. Apparently that’s fine though, since people seem to prefer poorly-wrapped gifts

Crumpled striped gift wrap paper on wooden table.

Gift cards are fun gifts, so see if you know who has which gift card here.

About the Author:

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Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.