Christmas is coming and the inside of my pockets appear to be rapidly turning into quicksand.
Like many others, the pressure is on to find thoughtful yet useful gifts on an ordinary person’s budget. It’s no easy task when you’re also having to turn the heating up and buy approximately one million bed socks.
I can’t help sometimes but cast a wistful eye over certain luxurious department store websites, marvelling over the magically opulent Christmas I could give my family should my lottery numbers finally come in.
I’d get my dad a Ferrari and my mum a holiday home in Greece. I’d give my sister a trolley full of shopping vouchers for the Trafford Centre and my grandma a wardrobe’s worth of M&S jumpers.
Lots of us have wish lists like this, imagining how much happiness we could shower over our nearest and dearest if only we didn’t have to worry about counting the pennies.
However, it would appear those who actually do have cash to splash don’t take quite so much pleasure in dreaming up the perfect gifts for their loved ones.
Indeed, research from the money experts at Finder has found those earning $100,000 to $150,000 are the most likely to give ‘spiteful presents’.
If – like me – you are innocent enough that before today you didn’t understand what a ‘spiteful gift’ entailed, then allow me to dim your Christmas spirit a little.
A spiteful gift is a present that you give knowing full well the recipient will hate it, taking genuine glee in their distaste. As a person who has long dreaded giving the wrong present or causing some sort of inadvertent offence, this is a completely alien concept to me.
According to Finder:
Interestingly, we found that 15% of Americans — roughly 38 million people — have deliberately bought a present knowing their recipient wouldn’t like it.
Men are about four times more likely than women to intentionally gift a bad present, with 25% of men surveyed saying they’d done it in the past, versus about 6% of women.
Of the generations, Gen Xers are most likely to knowingly give bad gifts, with 22% admitting they’ve done so. That’s only slightly higher than the rate for Gen Y (18%) but 11 times higher than the rate for boomers (2%).
A worrying 28% of those within the $100,000 to $150,000 pay bracket have admitted to buying spiteful presents, which is nearly three times higher than those within the range of $50,000 and $75,000 (11%) and almost five times higher than those with pay packets falling between $25,000 and $50,000 (6%).
It’s times like this that I’m kind of grateful for being so bog standard average that this sort of Grinch-like behaviour wouldn’t even occur to me…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.