The quest for gifts, a source of stress for many French people

The quest for gifts, a source of stress for many French people

Happiness, sharing, conviviality and magic take over homes as New Year’s Eve approaches. However, not everything is considered idyllic in the eyes of many French people, who believe that this time of year is synonymous with tensions, for many reasons. More than a third even say they don’t like the stress caused by searching for Christmas presents, even though they are supposed to be a source of pleasure.

Make no mistake, an overwhelming majority of French people (89%) say they love Christmas, and almost as many (82%) say they are even enthusiastic about celebrating this holiday this year, according to a survey directed by Appinio. And when asked what they appreciate most during this magical period, the French overwhelmingly mention spending time with family (71%) and the various holiday meals (68%). Two important things in their eyes, well before giving gifts (58%), the atmosphere (48%), the Christmas markets (45%), receiving gifts (42%), enjoy moments of relaxation (25%), and the essential Christmas films (21%). In these aspects, Christmas appears indeed to be a convivial celebration, marked by joy and sharing.

Different sources of stress

Yes, but the end-of-year celebrations are also considered by the French population, at least some, as a significant source of stress. Among the things that the French like least about this time of year are the stress linked to finding gifts (35%), the consumerist aspect of these holidays (33%), the advertisements linked to Christmas ( 26%), the abundance of food (22%) – meals are nevertheless among their favorite activities – stress linked to family (18%), having to work at Christmas (17%), or even stress linked to the quantity of events organized at this time of year (16%). Although they are appreciated, the end-of-year celebrations are no less stressful, even exhausting, for some.

And it is not the questions surrounding the budget that should fix things, on the contrary. While four out of ten French people (43%) say that it will remain unchanged this year, almost a third (32%) say that it will decrease, and it should even decrease “a lot” for nearly 15% of people. respondents. This is much more than those who plan to increase it (around 10% in total). And when it comes to cutting back on spending, it’s the gift budget that takes the biggest hit (62%), well ahead of decorations (47%), food and drinks (42%), stays and various trips (29%), and the Christmas tree (28%).

Second hand, a popular alternative

Whether for financial or ecological reasons, the French are increasingly inclined to turn to second-hand goods when purchasing Christmas gifts. More than a third of respondents (36%) say they could do so, while nearly three in ten French people (29%) say they have already done so in the past. Over the years, second-hand goods have emerged as a real ‘econological’ alternative during the end-of-year celebrations. This was recently shown by a survey conducted by OnePoll for Amazon, revealing that nearly one in two French people (47%) were ready to turn to second-hand goods to please their loved ones, compared to 19%. year earlier.

*This study was conducted in France, from November 30 to December 9, 2023, among 1,000 respondents aged 18 to 65. National representativeness ensured by application of quotas.