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Gifting Goes Grinch This Holiday Season, New Survey Reports

Retailers take note: Two out of three Americans say they will buy fewer holiday gifts this year because of the economy, a new survey reports. That may mean a Lean Christmas for a lot of kids.

The survey reported that parents are more likely to rein in their holiday shopping , with nearly three-quarters (73 percent) saying that they are adjusting to the new economic realities by buying fewer holiday presents. Childless Americans said they would be slightly more generous with their gifting, with only two-thirds (65 percent) of them saying that they were going to purchase fewer gifts, according to the survey, which was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Strayer University.

If they feel compelled to go Grinch with gifts, parents are also more likely to be burdened with guilt, the survey said. Nearly half of them (46 percent) said they were worried about not being able to give gifts to family and friends, versus one-third (36 percent) of those without children. But overall, only two in five (40 percent) survey respondents said they were concerned about not being in a position to buy presents.

What goes around comes around…

One reason for this seeming lack of concern was that most family and friends don’t expect to receive as many gifts as they did in the past, the survey suggested. Fewer than two in five (38 percent) said that family and friends still expect to receive as many gifts as they did before the economy cratered, Women have more modest expectations, the survey reported, with less than a third (32 percent) if them saying that family and friends expect to receive as many gifts this holiday season as they did in the past. Less than half (44 percent) of men reported similar lowered expectations.

Though Americans may be adjusting their gift giving to harsh new economic realities, the survey reported, there is little doubt they find joy in giving presents. More than four in five Americans (82 percent) said giving good presents during the holiday season brings them happiness.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith
Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.