The festive season is in full swing and between dusting off our decorations and blasting Michael Bublé, many of us have seriously started the Christmas shopping spree to buy our loved ones gifts they’ll treasure.
New PayPal research released today reveals that we’re a selfless bunch when it comes to gift-giving, with almost 9 in 10 of us (87 per cent) saying giving presents is significantly more fulfilling when we know our gift will make a difference – this increases to 91 per cent for younger Aussies under 35 years of age.
On the receiving side, more than two in three Australians (69 per cent) said they love getting Christmas gifts that support a cause they care about, showing that presents with a purpose are high on the wish list this year.
In a sign of the times, rural fire services (46 per cent), Aussie businesses impacted by the drought (44 per cent), mental health (42 per cent) and medical research (38 per cent) are the top causes that Aussies want to support when purchasing gifts this Christmas.
It seems the younger generations are the most altruistic of us all, with 80 per cent of Gen Y Aussies saying they love getting gifts that support a cause they care about, compared to 67 per cent of Gen X and 60 per cent of Baby Boomers.
Our millennials are also the generation which values family time the most, with 1 in 3 (33 per cent) saying they would rather spend more quality time with their loved ones than stress about what gifts to get them, compared to just 1 in 5 (19 per cent) Baby Boomers who feel the same.
PayPal Australia’s shopping expert Danielle Grant said: “It’s clear that this holiday season, Aussies want to give better and support causes that are close to their hearts. And with our rural communities being hit so hard this year by both devastating drought and fire, it’s these causes that Aussies want to support the most this festive season.
“That’s why PayPal has partnered with #BuyFromTheBush to create a gifting portal which features a range of homegrown businesses from rural Australia which offer unique and carefully hand-made gifts. We want to help Aussies nail their gift list and support our rural communities by buying from the bush this Christmas.”
PayPal’s research found that on average, Aussies will purchase ten gifts for their loved ones, spending approximately $494 in total, which is $100 less than the average spend last year ($596).
Grant said: “This decrease in spending could be the result of a number of factors. The economic downturn has meant that Aussies are tightening spending, so this in turn has led to many of us becoming savvier shoppers, taking full advantage of big savings in the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.”
There is also a growing trend toward quality over quantity gift giving, with nearly a third of Aussies (31 per cent) saying they run a family Kris Kringle and they love it. Meanwhile, nearly two thirds of respondents said they like the idea of doing a Kris Kringle because it reduces the stress of spending a lot of money (63 per cent) and gives them more time to put thought into getting the gift right (62 per cent).
PayPal’s research found that Australians spend an average 10 hours planning and purchasing gifts each festive season, with females spending the most time, at 12 hours on average. But this year Aussies are hoping for a change, with more than a quarter (27 per cent) wishing they could spend more time with their loved ones rather than stressing about what gifts to get them.