PlentyOfFish Holiday Gift Survey: The Good, The Bad And The Diet Pills


When Christmas appears on the horizon each year, we’re suddenly inundated with foolproof gift guides for everyone on our lists. It’s also around this same time that stories of terrible and wildly inappropriate presents we’ve received over the years come out of the woodwork. To gain more insight into the specifics of gift giving do’s and don’ts, we collected data from over 20,000 singles from the US and Canada. Alongside uncovering the very best and worst of gifts to give and receive this year, we also asked singles about their own shopping habits: where will they be shopping this year, how much will they’ll spending, and how much of that will be spent online.

Here are the findings:

Best Gifts: An Outing or Activity for two:

With a strong 34% of men and 30% of women claiming that the best gift they’ve ever received from a significant other was an outing or activity they did together, there’s no surprises here. Everyone wants to create memories with people they care about, and it may sound corny, but experiences really do make the best gifts. Depending on specific interests, we’d suggest picking up tickets to a sports game or concert, dancing lessons, bungee jumping passes, or cooking classes at a local spot.  If you’re wanting to get a little more extravagant, 28% of women said the best gift they’d received from a significant other was a romantic getaway, so consider springing for a weekend away or a spa retreat out of town. If you’re watching your wallet, 24% of men said the best gift they’d received from a significant other was clothes or cologne – it’s basically the gold standard.

Worst Gifts: Tacky Jewellery, Sweaters and Ties

An overwhelming 55% of women said the worst gift they’ve received was tacky clothing or jewellery; while almost 30% of men hated a sweater or tie they were given. This tells us that if someone hasn’t hinted at something specific (ASK FOR THE LINK), ask their best friend or someone who knows their taste for a second opinion before buying something you’re unsure about. Also worth mentioning was the 19% of women whose worst gift ever was an APPLIANCE – guys, please just don’t. Interestingly enough, it turns out that 41% of women have admitted to buying a gift for their pet…so if you’re completely  insane out of ideas, try picking up some perfume for her dog. On the men’s side, 23% of men said the worst gift they’ve ever received was a gift certificate, so put some thought into personalizing your gifts ladies!

Honorable Mentions For Worst Gifts Received: Women

Some respondents came back to us with gifts that were so terrible we had to share them.

  • Diet pills
  • A necklace that read: “sexy bitch” in rhinestones
  • Tampons
  • A rock that was found on the road
  • An Orlando Bloom calendar and a book of insults

Honorable Mentions For Worst Gifts Received:  Men

Men have a bad rap for being the worst gift givers, but perhaps this list will have you considering the fairer sex:

  • Wrapped credit card bills
  • A card breaking up with me that read “it’s not you, its me”
  • Hair growth cream
  • Parts for the wrong car
  • A “ShamWow”

Where They’re Shopping:

Perhaps some of the more…colorful gifts we’ve mentioned have an explanation after all. While 24% of singles are doing some shopping on Amazon this holiday season, 33% admit to heading to Walmart.

Shannon Smith

Posted by Shannon Smith

Shannon has been putting the ‘elation’ in the ‘Public Relations’ team at PlentyOfFish since joining the company in early 2010. Her penchant for jokes and all things hilarious can be topped only by her fierce love of writing. She also has a weird obsession with celebrities, and this one time she rode an elevator with Sofia Vergara.

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