‘Tis The Season To Be Thoughtful

December 10, 2020 | WATERLOO, Belgium
  • 65 per cent of Europe are being more thoughtful this Christmas
  • One in five have become ‘philanthrogifters’ to help give back
  • 59 per cent are shopping locally to help rebuild communities
  • One in five have purchased gifts that support a charity

‘Tis the season to be thoughtful, as new Mastercard research reveals that the average festive shopper is putting more time and effort into gifts for loved ones this Christmas – with three quarters (77 per cent) of Europe saying the year that was has reminded them what is important in life and 65 per cent saying they are being more thoughtful this Christmas.

While 58 per cent of shoppers say they are tightening the purse strings after a challenging year, over half (51 per cent) say they are putting more personal touches to gifts and 45 per cent are spending more time making or choosing them.

The challenges of 2020 have made people more thoughtful every day, including of people they don’t know, with 17 per cent becoming ‘philanthrogifters’ and purchasing gifts for a stranger as a way to help those more in need after a challenging year.

Almost half (48 per cent) of Europe have purchased gifts that give back, one in five (18 per cent) have bought items that support a charity, 17 per cent have purchased animal adoption gifts and 14 per cent have donated directly to a charity in someone’s name. A further 19 per cent have purchased charity Christmas cards this year.

Europeans are also being more thoughtful about where they shop this year. One in two (50 per cent) have consciously given back to their own community whilst Christmas shopping. 59 per cent have shopped locally as a way to help rebuild the community, 44 per cent have purchased gift cards from local small businesses, 61 per cent are buying their Christmas food and drink from a local shop and 27 per cent have booked Christmas dinner at an independent restaurant in their neighbourhood.

Homemade hampers (38 per cent), wellness gifts (37 per cent) and framed photographs (35 per cent) top the list of most thoughtful gifts for 2020, followed by experience gifts to spend time together (32 per cent) and personalised decorations (26 per cent).

“For many of us Christmas will no doubt look very different this year. The festive season has always been a major shopping occasion, but with 2020 being a challenging time for all, it’s heart-warming to see people across Europe putting more time, thought and personal touches into their Christmas gifts,” said Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe. “Small businesses are the backbone of Europe’s economy so shopping local this Christmas will make a huge difference not only in helping rebuild your local community, but the economy as a whole.”


  1. Homemade hamper (38 per cent)
  2. Wellness gifts (37 per cent)
  3. Framed photographs or photobooks (35 per cent)
  4. Experience gifts to spend time together (32 per cent)
  5. Personalised decorations (26 per cent)
  6. Matching clothes (23 per cent)
  7. Handmade candles (16 per cent)
  8. An illustration or drawing (15 per cent)
  9. Writing a poem or story (12 per cent)
  10. Homemade boardgames (11 per cent)

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors

Independent research company Fly Research questioned 16,000 adults across 15 countries in November 2020.

For more information and imagery please contact Benedicte.Stievenart@mastercard.com