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Survey: There's no place like home for the holidays

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More than two-thirds of Americans believe there's no place like home for the holidays, according to a new survey from TD Bank.

The 2016 TD Bank Holiday Giving Report showed 67.1 percent of those surveyed said they would rather spend the holidays with extended family than at a resort with a partner or close friends (32.9 percent). The survey was of 1,502 U.S. respondents aged 18 to 65+ via Google Surveys.

The survey also found that the spirit of holiday giving is alive and well. More than half of those surveyed (56.5 percent) reported that they engage in some form of charitable activity over the holidays, including:

  • Volunteering as a family (9.2 percent)
  • Donating some of the children's gifts (9.9 percent)
  • Shopping for charitable gifts as a family (15.9 percent)
  • Donating while shopping (21.9 percent)

In fact, only around one-third of respondents (36.3 percent) said they don't engage in any form of charity during the holidays.

"I find it heartwarming to see how many Americans believe in giving back to those in need," said Michael Carbone, regional president at TD Bank. "This is a core conviction I share with TD Bank and my own family. I firmly believe that charity should begin at home and be a full-family affair."

Gifting on the wane – except for millennials

Holiday décor may hit shopping malls earlier each year, but that's not translating into universal gift giving. In fact, nearly one in three respondents across all age groups (32.1 percent) said they don't buy holiday gifts.

Despite being saddled with student loans, millennials appear to be the most generous of the lot: Fewer than one in four (23.7 percent) said they don't purchase holiday gifts.

Nonetheless, the vast majority of respondents still receive holiday gifts. Fewer than one in five respondents across age groups (19.5 percent) said they don't receive holiday gifts. And for those gregarious millennials, only 14.5 percent go without.

What to do with those unwanted gifts

Marking another win for charitable giving: More than a quarter of respondents across age groups (25.5 percent) said they donate their unwanted gifts to charity. Here are other ways respondents deal with unwanted gifts:

  • 20.2 percent secretly return unwanted gifts
  • 18.9 percent re-gift
  • 16 percent keep the gifts to display when the gift-giver visits (this number jumps to 26.8 percent for respondents aged 18 to 24).

There's more good news for those who fear material excess: Many families appear to be striking the right balance when it comes to how much to give their children over the holidays. Nearly half of respondents across age groups (46 percent) said the kids in their families receive just the right amount of gifts (the percentage jumps to 64.2 percent for those aged 18 to 24). Nonetheless, more than a third of respondents (36.3 percent) indicated that gift giving is over the top, while 17.7 percent don't exchange gifts at all.

"I come from a large extended family; my son tended to get a lot of gifts growing up," said Carbone. "That's why we've developed a family tradition. Each of us selects at least one of our gifts to donate to charity. I'm delighted to see that so many Americans agree that the holidays are not just about giving, but giving back."

About the Survey

TD Bank surveyed 1,502 U.S. respondents aged 18 to 65+ via Google Surveys. The survey was conducted across Google's network of news, reference and entertainment sites, providing free access to respondents in exchange for free access to premium content and credits for Google Play.