The top holiday gift traditions American families do every year

By the age of 24, Americans appreciate a practical gift for the holidays, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 Americans who celebrate a winter holiday by giving or receiving gifts found 81% prefer receiving gifts they’ll actually use throughout the year.

This includes “healthy” gifts — 77% said they’re more focused on health as we head into the holiday season, and many will use health and wellness for gifting inspiration.

Results showed that 78% are likely to buy a healthy gift for a loved one.

That might be a good idea, as the average respondent only uses 43% of the gifts they received last year.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Spinbrush, the survey looked not only at Americans’ thoughts on practical gifts, but also at their gifting traditions and how the two intertwine.

The majority of respondents have a traditional gift they either give (61%) or receive (64%) every year during the holidays — and many of these gifts were found to be practical.

While the top recurring gift was found to be sweets (47%), other gifts that were high on the list were self-care items (33%) and a toothbrush (32%).

Books (34%) and underwear (30%) were also in the top 10.

But there’s more to respondents’ gifting traditions — the top gifting tradition was found to be opening one present on Christmas Eve (45%).

That was followed by allowing one person to distribute the presents from underneath the tree (45%) and opening presents at midnight on Christmas.

The survey found holiday traditions are important to a whopping 86% of respondents, and 84% are excited to continue their family’s traditions.

Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed have a tradition that has been passed down for generations — with a fifth of those continuing a tradition from their great-grandparents or before.

“The joy we feel during the holidays wouldn’t be the same without celebrating traditions, including those traditions that we evolve with our friends and family,” said ARM & HAMMER Spinbrush Expert Dr. Derek Wallin, DDS. “For many of us, our health and well-being has become more important over the years and so has gifting more practical, often times healthful gifts, especially when it comes to stocking stuffer ideas.”

Seven in 10 respondents put stockings up in their house, but Santa might have to look around to find them — just 30% hang them on the fireplace or mantle.

Twenty percent hide their stockings around the house, while 19% put them on the stair railing.

From stockings and presents to baking family recipes, 57% say holiday traditions make them excited for the holiday.

“Oral care items are becoming more common to add to stockings,” said ARM & HAMMER Spinbrush Expert Dr. Derek Wallin, DDS. “As dentist, I couldn’t be happier that people are looking to give gifts that help their loved ones achieve a healthier, brighter smile.”


  1. Opening one present on Christmas Eve 45%
  2. Allowing one person to distribute gifts from the Christmas tree 45%
  3. Opening presents at midnight on Christmas 44%
  4. A White Elephant/Secret Santa exchange 40%
  5. Gifts for the pets 36%
  6. Specific order of opening gifts 35%
  7. Have to play a game before opening gifts 34%
  8. Writing little hints on the wrapping paper 33%
  9. Gifts every night of Hanukkah 32%
  10. No one can see the tree Christmas morning until everyone is up 29%


  1. Candy/chocolate 47%
  2. Something homemade 44%
  3. A gift card/money 46%
  4. Makeup products 37%
  5. Books 34%
  6. Self-care items 33%
  7. A toothbrush 32%
  8. Skin products 31%
  9. Underwear 30%
  10. Pajamas 30%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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