Consumers are prioritizing thoughtful gifts over expensive ones

But Amex's report finds Canadians are open to spending more for the right gift.


Nearly three quarters of Canadians are seeking out thoughtful gifts over extravagant ones this holiday season, according to Amex research.

The financial brand’s latest trend report is based on a survey of 8,000 global consumers, including 1,000 Canadians. It found that Canadian consumers are planning to shop for the holidays more considerately, with 74% of respondents agreeing they want to be more selective with gift shopping this holiday season, and 73% categorizing their approach as “thoughtful” instead of thrifty.

That’s backed up by the fact that 73% of those surveyed would spend more if it meant getting the right gift.

The average amount Canadians plans to spend on gifts and decorations is $1,093, with clothes and accessories (56%), dining out at restaurants (52%) and decorations (34%) ranking as the top three category choices for holiday spend. Meanwhile, 60% of those surveyed agree that they plan on donating to charity to give to those less fortunate this holiday season.

When it comes to their own gift preferences, 44% of Canadians surveyed hope to unbox apparel, and while COVID concerns ease, 39% are looking to their loved ones to gift them a travel experience.

The results reveal that 36% want electronics to be under the Christmas tree, 34% of Canadians want to be gifted a book this year and 28% are looking to receive products like makeup, nail polish and haircare to help them to keep up their personal beauty regimens.

The survey also reveals 63% of Canadians surveyed typically spend between one to four hours researching potential gifts before deciding to purchase them.

In terms of where they will shop, 77% of Canadians agree they believe it’s more important than ever to support small businesses this holiday season, with 68% of respondents agreeing that they love dining out at their favourite local restaurants during the holidays to support such enterprises.

Finally, 79% of respondents agree they want to earn credit card rewards for online purchases and 77% agree they want to earn cash back for their holiday spending.