Our recent survey of 1,002 Australians reveals that while there may be some debate about the Christmas story in our religiously diverse world, Australians don’t want to lose the true meaning of Christmas.

Our annual research on best or worst gifts reveals technology is still voted the best gift to receive and novelty or decorative items once again are the least desired.

True meaning of Christmas still a strong sentiment

Over four in five Australians (85%) prefer the traditional greeting of “Merry Christmas” compared to more neutral salutations like “Season’s Greetings” (8%) and “Happy Holidays” (7%).


Although there are some debates around whether the Christmas Story should be shared, nine in ten Australians (91%) support nativity scenes in public spaces. Just 9% of Australians say shopping centres and local councils should not display these decorations.

Religious insights

Even Australians who practice a religion other than Christianity or have no religious beliefs are happy to see a nativity scene in public spaces (91% of those with a religion other than Christianity and 86% with no religion think ‘it’s great’ or they ‘should be allowed’).

Generational insights

The older generations (Generation X, Baby Boomers and Builders, 87%) are more likely to prefer the more traditional Christmas greeting, “Merry Christmas,” compared to the younger generations, Generation Z & Y (81%).

The best gifts… and the worst

With so many new and exciting gadgets hitting the market each year, it is no surprise that nine in ten Australians (90%) rate technology as the best gift, or one they wouldn’t mind receiving. Experiences remain high on the wish list at number two for over four in five Aussies (83%). Jewellery comes in at number three with just under three quarters of Australians (74%) saying this would be their best gift or that they wouldn’t mind receiving it.

On the bottom end of the scale are novelty gifts which are rated the worst gifts. Almost three in five Australians (57%) say they wouldn’t like to receive such trinkets or that it would be their worst gift. Ornaments and decorative items come in second last (54% state they wouldn’t like to receive it or that it would be the worst gift).

For Australian women, the top three ‘best gifts’ are experiences (36%), technology (35%) and jewellery (29%). For Australian men, the top three ‘best gifts’ are technology (37%), experiences (17%) and food gifts (16%).

Generational Insights

Although technology is perceived to only be enjoyed by the younger generations, this research reveals technology is actually the number one ‘best gift’ across all generations.

Experiences are rate second across all generations, except the Builder Generation (aged over 72), for whom a food gift is considered to be the best gift.

Download the full media release here

About this study

This research was conducted by McCrindle in November 2017 based on a nationwide study of 1,002 respondents.

For media commentary or enquiries, please contact Kimberley Linco at kim@mccrindle.com.au or
via 02 8824 3422.