Survey: Nearly 7 in 10 Americans say they'd give up gift-giving this holiday season

by: Fiza Pirani, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Updated:

Would you give up the holiday gift-giving tradition this year if your friends and family agreed to it?

According to a new Harris Poll survey on behalf of SunTrust, 69 percent of Americans said they would.

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The poll, conducted online within the U.S. between Oct. 3-5, includes responses from 2,185 American adults ages 18 and older, 1,986 of whom said they spend money on something related to the holidays.

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Forty-three percent of respondents said they feel pressured to buy gifts and spend more money than they can afford.

With the extra time and money saved by eliminating gift-giving, 60 percent of Americans said they’d spend more time with loved ones, 47 percent would save money or invest it, 37 percent would pay down debt and 25 percent said they would use the money on activities with friends and family.

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In an effort to help reduce financial gift-giving stress this holiday season, SunTrust introduced the onUp Challenge, “a free, gamified experience that turns finances into an adventure,” the company said in a news release.

“The holidays are full of joy, celebration and an unmentioned pressure to spend,” Brian Nelson Ford, financial well-being executive at SunTrust, said. “During a time of year when financial stress is traditionally high, a little smart spending, preparation and planning can lead to financial confidence and enhance the joy of the season.”

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Potential survey limitations

According to SunTrust, because the online survey isn’t based on a probability sample, an estimate of theoretical sampling error cannot be calculated.

A man carries a gift-wrapped box on Christmas Eve 2016. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

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