20 percent of participants will be spending more than they did last year, either as a result of getting a raise or finishing their education and starting their first steady job. On average, they expect to spend 6,795 yen (US$67), although one individual who’s either incredibly generous or mistakenly added an extra zero when filling out the questionnaire is looking to drop a cool million.
But while these are the kinds of things children are picking out, what do mothers themselves actually want? To find out, Panasonic asked a group of moms in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, and the overwhelming winner, being requested by 78 percent of those polled, was “health and beauty electronics.”
This is sort of unexpected, as a love of gadgets is still something more associated with young men than the women who gave birth to them. On the other hand, it’s hard not to imagine the implicit power of suggestion being in play here, considering the survey was conducted by one of Japan’s largest electronics manufacturers, which is itself in the middle of a multi-year marketing push for its personal wellness and beauty products.
Mothers’ second-most-wanted gift was, predictably, flowers, at 73 percent. Another 67 percent said they’d like some kind of food or drink, 57 percent were hoping for small personal items, and just 11 percent said they be happy with a meal out or trip to a day spa. A couple of differences jump out between the two gift lists.
First is that, despite about one in seven kids planning to give their mothers clothing or jewelry, mothers didn’t show a particularly strong desire for either, at least from their offspring. Second, the figure for the list compiled from the moms’ responses add up to way more than 100 percent, so it looks like some are expecting more than a single present from their offspring.
But it’s really the thought that counts, right? Children certainly seemed to think so. When asked “Why are you going to give a gift?” the near universal response was, “To show my appreciation,” with 98 percent of participants giving that as their reason. Mothers, for their part, said things such as, “Anything they put some thought into will be fine,” and “I’m just happy to have my children think of me as they choose a present.” Still, we’d recommend thinking of her as you pick out a leg massager, just to be on the safe side.