American children have been detailing their December holiday dreams for generations. The first Sears Wish Book catalog was published in 1933, coincidentally, the same year my mother was born. Since then, traditions have evolved, from dog-earing pages and writing letters to Santa, to creating Amazon registries accessible to extended family.
In this year’s Holiday Wish List survey, the youngest Kids are significantly less likely to be writing letters to Santa (9%, down from 26% in 2015), which breaks our YouthBeat® hearts a little. They’re more practical about their wants, just telling their parents what they would like as gifts. At the same time, the North Pole mythology has expanded, with many homes now hosting an Elf on the Shelf throughout December. We suspect the daily presence of the Elf, and his or her reporting back to Santa, has diminished the importance of an additional letter in children getting what they really want.
And, in this technologically savvy age, digital natives appreciate what they already have. More than half of Kids (55%) would rather donate all of their gifts to charity this year than give up their electronic devices for a month, significantly more than the 37% who chose the same option two years ago.
See what else is tickling the fancy of Kids, Tweens, and Teens this year in our Holiday Wish List infographic.