Top gifts Australians want to receive for Christmas
Australians are preparing to wrap up feel-good gifts for family and friends this Christmas after what's been a challenging year for many of us.
New PayPal research shows that 38 per cent of consumers believe giving people some small luxuries can help lift their spirits and de-stress over the summer holidays.
It found the top gifts Australians want to receive were chocolates, followed by homemade hampers, scented candles, soaps or hand creams, and beach gear.
"This Christmas, many Aussies want to be more mindful and are looking to buy gifts that have purpose and give back to the local community," says PayPal Australia consumer shopping expert Danielle Grant.
"Meaningful gifts don't have to be big or expensive - sometimes it's the little luxuries of life that can cheer up your family and friends."
Retail specialist Ingrid Maynard says there's bound to be something different and special under the tree this year.
"Gifts that offer experiences will be popular, such as weekend packages, restaurant vouchers, treatments and retreats," she says.
"It's a great time to seek out some luxury for those we love and care about, who may not be able to afford these little luxuries of life, with gifts such as perfume and skincare."
Scentre Group general manager of customer experience Lillian Fadel agrees that the wellness and self-care category has been popular in 2020, with customers looking for gifts that encourage healthy habits or generate feel-good moments.
These include home gym sets, weights to use at home, exercise mats, skincare and restorative creams.
"We've really seen our customers take extra steps to feel good inside and out this year," Fadel says.
"Connection is more important than ever and we've seen an increase in customers taking the time to implement smart home technology, including the installation of smart speakers and lighting and temperature control apps.
"Affordable luxury has been a key theme for fashion this year, as younger customers look to purchase entry-level luxury accessories, such as sunglasses, purses and jewellery."
It is a Christmas of self-improvement for everyone on Gemma Wall's shopping list.
She's buying building blocks and board games for her four children, and outdoor gear for husband Jody, who's a keen runner.
"Christmas is a great time to show people how much we care about them, and meaningful and heartfelt gifts are a nice way to do that," Wall says.
Research has found that gift giving has been linked to the release of oxytocin, a hormone that induces feelings of warmth, euphoria and a stronger connection to others.
"When we receive a gift, it releases those 'feel-good' endorphins in the brain, which is the secret behind that fabulous Christmas smile you see when you get someone that perfect gift," Maynard says.
"Gift giving provides us the opportunity to show how well we know and care for that person, demonstrating our thoughtfulness towards them and helping to connect us more deeply."
Originally published as Top gifts Australians want to receive for Christmas