Three in four Americans have a newfound appreciation for their loved ones this year now that the pandemic is reaching the two-year mark, according to new research.
A new study polled 2,000 Americans to analyze how they plan to connect and make memories with loved ones this holiday season and found 64% are now closer than ever to their families – despite the limitations of the pandemic.
Seven in 10 respondents shared that they look through photos and videos to feel more connected to their loved ones.
The majority of respondents are kicking it old school — they give loved ones a phone call more often (66%) to stay in touch and share their appreciation. Over half (56%) of those polled send a text to check in and 50% prefer to spend time together in person.
A quarter of respondents have lost touch with loved ones recently, citing it would mean the world to hear from an old childhood friend (24%) and even a family member (23%).
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Memento, the survey found 46% of respondents prefer to connect by sharing digital photo and video memories with loved ones – and 27% said this is what makes them feel most appreciated and loved themselves.
Additionally, 69% of respondents shared that they often look at photos and videos from past years ahead of the holidays to reflect on good times.
Video calls (47%) are another popular way to check in on loved ones – and just over a third (34%) said receiving video calls from their friends and family is what makes them feel most appreciated.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents show they care by sending loved ones gifts and the best reaction they look for in their recipients is surprise (27%).
Other sought-after reactions included "Awww!” (17%), laughter (16%) and even tears (12%).
“Video has emerged as one of the most meaningful ways for consumers to connect and show appreciation for each other,” said Matt Douglas, CEO, Punchbowl, Inc., the parent company behind Memento. “The average American watches videos of their family on their phone or computer twice a week, and video gifts are the latest trend in gift-giving.”
When it comes to meaningful gifts, respondents were asked to share the most memorable gifts they’ve received from loved ones. They mentioned custom-made household items, personalized jewelry, big-ticket gifts like vacations and cars, and items that belonged to family members who have passed.
Many respondents shared that time with family is the best gift they’ve received in life.
Seven in ten respondents said nothing can replace the gift of hearing someone say something heartfelt about you.
Two in five respondents plan to kick things up a notch this year and give personalized gifts to show loved ones just how much they mean to them.
“Fifty-five percent of consumers prefer to receive digital gifts or experiences rather than physical presents,” Douglas continued. “That can be seen in the survey data, which showed that 51% of respondents plan to put together a photo or video gift to share at a gathering.”
The survey also found moms are the best gift-givers, but they’re also the hardest to shop for. Dads and brothers are the next people in line that are hard to find gifts for, followed by significant others.
Significant others, however, are the second-best gift-givers, followed by sisters, brothers and dads.
AMERICA’S FAVORITE WAYS TO SHOW THEIR APPRECIATION
- Phone calls (66%)
- Text messages (56%)
- Spend time together (50%)
- Video calls (47%)
- Share digital photos & videos (46%)
- Send gifts (39%)
- Make food for them (31%)
- Run an errand for them (27%)
- Moms (18%)
- Significant others (12%)
- Sisters (10%)
- Brothers (8%)
- Dads (7%)
- Grandmothers (6%)
- Daughters (6%)
- Friends (4%)
- Grandfathers (4%)
- Aunts (3%)
- Uncles (3%)
- Sons (3%)
- Nieces (2%)
- Family friends (1%)
- Nephews (1%)
- Roommates (1%)