SAINT LEO, Fla., Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Saint Leo University Polling Institute conducted a national survey of 1002 adults between December 1-6 on a number of holiday questions. The poll has a margin of error of about 3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
Christmas Cards Not Yet Digital
In an era of tweets and texts, 86 percent of people surveyed said they still read thoroughly (62 percent) or skimmed (24 percent) the one or two page letters that typically accompany Christmas cards.
"People understand the world around them through stories," said Diane Monahan, a Saint Leo University communication scholar. "We still find a need for these stories even if it's only once a year."
Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) reported either sending paper stock cards (43 percent) or custom printed cards or photo cards (22 percent).
The Gifts You Give vs. The Gifts You Receive
Respondents were presented with the hypothetical example of a gift of $25 in value. When asked if they would prefer to give someone else a gift with a $25 value, a gift certificate with a $25 value, or simply $25 in cash, the responses showed 39 percent of people prefer to give a gift certificate. Another 24 percent said they prefer to select a gift, while roughly equal amount favor giving cash.
But when it comes to receiving, by nearly three to one, people would prefer receiving $25 in cash (41 percent) rather than a gift that cost $25 (14 percent). Thirty percent said they prefer a gift certificate.
John Pantzalis, associate professor of marketing at Saint Leo, explained that for someone receiving a gift, cash is desirable because it can be applied to any need or want. "Gift buying is inefficient." Gift cards and certificates are appealing to givers, he said, said because givers feel they are combining the flexibility of cash with a personal touch and are demonstrating: "I want to buy you something, and I put in a little bit of effort."
Where do we prefer to shop?
More Americans still prefer to shop in a physical store (49 percent) than shop online (38 percent). But among shoppers who are 40 and younger, 48 percent prefer to shop online. People in households with more than $70,000 in household income also have a preference for shopping online.
SOURCE Saint Leo University Polling Institute