Holiday fantasies are not just for children. It turns out grownups actually celebrate the holidays living by their own set of myths, and they probably don’t even know it.
If all the holiday prep and bustle is giving your inner Grinch a migraine, you may find yourself in very good company! A recent Coinstar survey, conducted among 2,000 adults by Atomik Research, uncovered some of these hidden attitudes toward the holidays.
The findings revealed truths behind the following five myths we often cling to when it comes to the holiday season.
Myth No. 1: Regifting is in poor taste
Many people have a secret stash tucked into drawers and stuffed way back into closets: Presents from the past they don’t really want but the guilt is too strong to let them go. If you think regifting is a tacky solution to lightening the load, here’s a good secret you should know. Nearly two-thirds of us (65 percent) do it anyway, according to the survey. So if you can picture your aunt’s wide grin when she sees that over-the-top holiday sweater, by all means, wrap it up and give it to her. She’ll commend you for your excellent taste and your holiday budget will also give a tiny gasp of relief.
Myth No. 2: Sticking to a holiday budget is just too hard
After past failures to make a holiday budget, you decided it’s just easier to close your eyes and dive into a credit coma until January. Because it’s impossible to keep up with the unexpected extras that keep popping up: added gifts, events, replacement decorations, holiday attire and food. Here’s a reality check. Some 68 percent of people stick to a holiday budget. Maybe past failures can be chalked up to not having enough information to create a good plan. Look back on last year’s bank and credit card statements to help you make a better plan for this year.
Myth No. 3: Adding spare change to your budget doesn’t add up
These days, you think pocket change won’t even cover the cost of a cup of coffee. Which is why you may not be in the habit of counting on your change to fill out your holiday budget. Remember this: Most people who cash in spare change have more than they think, and according to the survey that’s about $78 on average. So don’t discount the power of pocket change. Grab a container and explore the nooks and crannies of your house just to see what you find. Check handbags, car consoles, spare change jars, dresser drawers and sofa cushions. With this new cash stash, you can easily knock out an item or two on your budget.
Myth No. 4: Spending time with family is what the holidays are all about
No better occasion than the holidays to spend quality time with your family, eating a delicious meal, followed by opening gifts in the soft glow of the fireplace and twinkling lights. If picturing your extended family in this idyllic holiday scene is more than a stretch of the imagination, you’re not alone. One in five people say they’d rather bow out of the family celebration. In fact, they’d prefer to spend time with friends, be alone or go to work. But for those who enjoy family time, holidays are perfect for making new memories.
Myth No. 5: Gift-giving comes from the heart
Ideally, every single gift is a pure expression of love and generosity from the giver, right? Wrong. You probably have a competitive gift giver in your group. And maybe it’s even you! One quarter of Americans confessed to getting into an altogether different kind of holiday spirit when it comes to buying presents. They want to be the one behind the most talked-about, flashiest or best gift at the gathering. Whatever the motivation, keep on giving.
Now that you know the truth behind some common holiday myths, give your holiday spending power a boost by visiting the nearest Coinstar kiosk. Cash in your extra change for cash or a no-fee eGift card for well-known retailers and get more gifts crossed off your holiday list.