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The 21 Holiday Gifts Gen Z & Millennials Are Wishing For

What do Gen Z and Millennial consumers want for Christmas? We know what’s at the top of their holiday wishlists…

We’ve explored where young consumers plan to shop for the holidays, and what Gen Z and Millennials are planning to buy this upcoming retail holiday weekend—but what about the gifts they want to receive?

Not only will Gen Z and Millennials’ wishlists be driving the holiday shopping behaviors of older generations, but these young shoppers also see the holidays as a chance to treat themselves to the things they really want—with massive deals and the upcoming discounts of Black Friday and Cyber Monday giving them built-in reasons to buy. In our holiday shopping survey, we found that almost 40% of 13-36-year-olds plan to buy “gifts” for themselves this season—and their estimated budget to buy things for themselves is nearly as high as their budget to buy gifts for others. Tis the season to treat yo’self!

With all that in mind, we once again got to the bottom of what young consumers really want this holiday season, asking 1000 13-36-year-olds to tell us, “What is ONE thing is at the top of your holiday wishlist?”* And for the first time in years, cold hard cash was dethroned from its top spot on the ranking:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of items that Gen Z and Millennial consumers want for the holidays—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most popular. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred.

What’s At the Top of Their Holiday Wishlist


      1. Clothing / Accessories
      2. Cash
      3. Travel
      4. Smartphone
      5. Shoes / Sneakers / Boots
      6. Gift Cards
      7. Computer / Laptop
      8. Video Games
      9. Gaming Console
      10. Books
      11. Smartwatch
      12. Event Tickets / Experience
      13. Electronics
      14. Cooking / Kitchen Supplies
      15. Headphones
      16. Home Décor / Furniture
      17. Jewelry
      18. Coat / Jacket
      19. Tablet
      20. Camera
      21. TV

Last year, money was at the top of their collective wishlist, as it was in 2016. So it’s significant that for the first time in years, clothing/accessories tops the ranking of what they most want for the holidays. Of course, it was a close race, and cash ranks high—with nearly as many respondents saying it’s what they want most. But it could be a sign of the economic upturn that many young consumers are thinking about items that they want, not just the cash they need this holiday. Regardless, it’s a good thing for fashion retailers.

When we look at what’s at the top of their wishlist for each age group, it’s clear that Millennials are driving the high ranking for clothing/accessories:

Clothing/accessories came in at the top of the list for both 18-24-year-olds and 25-36-year-olds, while teens were were more likely to say they want money to be gifted to them this holiday. In fact, clothing didn’t crack the top five for this group, who were more interested in electronics, especially gaming items.

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.