07 December 2012

Timex Survey Reveals How Americans Spend
Their Time During the Holidays

From Waiting in Line and Shopping to Gift Returns and Cooking the Big Holiday Meal

Middlebury, CT, December 7, 2012 – While children (and many adults) anxiously wait for their holiday presents, millions of other Americans from coast to coast are spending their time thinking about the perfect gift, waiting in line, cooking, and finally, buying and returning gifts. Today, Timex, the nation’s leading watch manufacturer, released the results of a survey that showcase how time is spent around the holidays.

When We Shop

When shopping for presents, the belief that many wait until the last minute to buy that holiday gift turns out not to be true. According to the Timex survey, less than 4% of shoppers buy gifts on the day before the holiday and only 3% are shopping on Christmas Day. Most people purchase gifts between one week and one month before the holidays (42%). More than a quarter of respondents actually purchase their gifts more than one month in advance (26%).

Waiting in Line

When finding that perfect gift, it is apparent that respondents are willing to wait in line to make their purchase. More than 60% are willing to wait more than 10 minutes to purchase a gift, while only 6% are not willing to wait in line at all.

Online Shopping/Making Returns

One of the reasons online shopping may be growing in popularity is because of the speed and efficiency it offers. The survey results show that on average, it takes only one hour to purchase all of your holiday gifts online. Once people get their gifts, they are fast to return the ones they don’t like or want. Twenty-two percent will be returning those unwanted gifts within two days and 60% will be heading back to the store within the week.

Unwrapping the Gifts

Parents should prepare to get up early on Christmas Day, as most children will be up before 8AM to get their presents (79%). More than half of kids will be up before 7AM (51%).

Working Up an Appetite

Shopping and opening gifts can help a family work up an appetite. However, they have to have patience when waiting for the big holiday meal, as 60% of respondents indicated it takes more than two hours to cook the feast. More women than men indicated that it would take more than two hours to make the meal (74% vs. 64%), which might indicate that fewer men are actually helping in the kitchen, so they may not realize what goes into preparing the big feast.

Looking Forward to New Years Eve

Ryan Seacrest may be waiting for the last few minutes of the year for a large portion of his audience to rock out on New Year’s Eve. While 43% of Americans turn on the TV before 11PM to watch the ball drop, over 55% wait until the final ticks of the clock to tune in to watch the festivities from Times Square.

The comprehensive survey was conducted November 22–26, 2012, with 1,000 respondents and includes a margin of error of +\- 5%.