YONKERS, N.Y. -- Despite the shorter-than-usual holiday shopping season, 31 percent of Americans who plan on giving gifts haven't even started shopping as of early December, according to a new Consumer Reports poll. Of those who have started shopping, 49 percent were less than half way done.
The Consumer Reports poll also revealed that with regard to their holiday preparations, 64 percent of shoppers felt they have things under control and will be ready. However, 36 percent were feeling at least somewhat stressed -- including 6 percent who were so overwhelmed that they're unsure if they'll be ready in time, and 3 percent who said they almost certainly won't be ready for the holidays.
"Even though this year there's less days on the calendar to get their holiday shopping done, there are still quite a bit of procrastinators out there," said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. "The 11 percent who told us they've completely finished shopping already have certainly saved themselves the stress of frantically searching for last-minute gifts."
Additional results from the Consumer Reports poll can be found at ConsumerReports.org.
The Consumer Reports poll also revealed which methods of sending holiday greetings are least likely to be well-received. When asked to rate the tastefulness of various ways people may send holiday greetings, 67 percent of Americans said group text messages were in poor taste, 65 percent said the same about all-purpose greetings posted on social media or the like, while 57 percent said group emails were in poor taste.
When asked which holiday gift recipient is the hardest to shop for, 30 percent said it was their spouse/partner/significant other, one quarter cited a parent, while 12 percent said it was the kids.
As for whom Americans will be spending the most money on for holiday gifts, the Consumer Reports revealed the following top responses:
-- Children (39 percent)
-- Spouse/Partner/Significant Other (29 percent)
-- Parent (11 percent)
-- Sibling (5 percent)
-- Friend ( 3 percent) Most shoppers seemed to be doing a good job of controlling their holiday gift spending, according to the Consumer Reports poll. But 36 percent indeed were concerned about overspending -- including 6 percent who were very concerned.
Other holiday tidbits from the poll included:
-- 82 percent would rather receive practical gifts vs. luxury gifts (18
-- 60 percent would rather receive cash vs. gift cards (40 percent)
-- 56 percent would rather host out-of-town guests vs. being a guest at
someone else's home (44 percent)
-- 56 percent would rather have a fake Christmas tree vs. a real one (44 percent)
Consumer Reports Poll Methodology
The Consumer Reports National Research Center designed a survey to explore general sentiment and shopping behaviors for the upcoming 2013 winter holiday season. In December 2013, GfK Custom Research administered the survey online to a nationally representative sample of over 1,500 randomly selected adult U.S. residents who said they planned to shop for the holidays. The data were statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey were demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is +/- 2.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Fifty-four percent of the sample was female, and the median age was 47 years old.