Survey: Nearly Half of Adults who Receive Holiday Gifts Return Them

2015 World Vision Gift Catalog "Cover Girl"
World Vision's Holiday Giving Survey shows nearly half of adults who receive holiday gifts return them. Why not beat the odds with a gift that keeps on giving from World Vision's Gift Catalog?

SEATTLE (December 10, 2015) Spending on holiday gifts is expected to go up this year to nearly $900 per person. However, many of these gifts will likely make their way back to retailers, according to World Vision’s annual Holiday Giving Survey of more than 2,000 American adults, conducted online by Harris Poll in October 2015. The poll found that 46 percent of U.S. adults who receive gifts during the holidays will return at least one of those presents.

In its seventh year, World Vision’s Holiday Giving Survey aims to study the state of holiday giving and prompt the public to meet the substantive needs of others.

Generation Grinch?

While older adults are often characterized as the “tough to buy for” crowd, it’s actually Millennials who could be nicknamed “Generation Grinch” according to the survey. At 59 percent, Millennials (ages 18 – 34 years old) who receive gifts during the holidays are the most likely to return gifts while Gen Xers (35 – 44 years old) come in a close second at 56 percent.

The survey also found that adults with higher annual household incomes (more than $100,000) were more likely to return their holiday gifts than those earning less than $75,000 (52 percent vs. 42 percent, respectively).

So what should you buy for the Millennials in your life this holiday season?

Beat the odds and buy a gift that matters

Nielsen’s recent marketing data on Millennials found that they are willing to spend money on things that matter to them. Gifts that give back are a great approach for the Millennials in your life this year, and World Vision’s Gift Catalog features over 100 life-changing gifts that can be donated in a loved one’s name. Shoppers can also choose to send a personalized card describing the gift and its impact.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to help a family

Gifts in the catalog range from $16 (the average price of a t-shirt) to $39,000. In FY 2015, generous donors in the United States helped more than 650,000 people around the world through the World Vision Gift Catalog. To find out more, visit or call 1-855-WV-GIFTS (1-855-984-4387). Want to see where the dollars go? Watch how the Gift Catalog works through this video.

About the World Vision Holiday Giving Survey
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of World Vision from October 22 – 26, 2015 among 2,052 adults ages 18 and older, of whom, 1,702 receive gifts during the holidays. These online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, or to receive a copy of the full survey, please contact Christine Connolly Bell.

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.


·         Millennials most likely to send their gifts back to Santa

·         46 percent of U.S. adults who receive gifts will return at least one of them