Need survey questions to determine holiday gift giving.
December 15, 2015 9:56 PM   Subscribe

I want to make a survey to send my grown-up kids so I know what to get them for the holidays. For example, I don't know how they stand on licorice since they grew up.

When they were kids I used to put some licorice in their stockings and I haven't talked about food with them in so long I don't really know if they even still like licorice. So I plan to ask them but I thought why don't I force them to fill out a long list of fifty or more questions so I could really get up to speed on what they like. I'll probably touch base like this:

( )Licorice?
( )Chocolate?

( ) Star Wars?
( ) Star Trek?

( ) iPhone?
( ) Android?

( ) Kindle?
( ) prefer real books?

current favorite beer?

The more questions the better and I'll type it up if other people would like to use it.

posted by cda to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
How about more open-ended questions?

George Costanza wanted to wrap himself in velvet. What fabric would you like to wrap yourself in?

I don't understand why my friends waste money on...

List three TV shows you love:

posted by Miko at 10:44 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

Here's a survey question: "Hi! What would you like for Christmas this year?" :)
posted by salvia at 12:25 AM on December 16, 2015 [6 favorites]

your adult children want MONEY. the more the better.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:07 AM on December 16, 2015 [8 favorites]

Write one hundred questions and offer a dollar for each one they answer honestly.
posted by Thella at 1:30 AM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You might adapt Ocherdraco's most excellent Secret Quonsar Questionnaire. Wildly effective!
posted by mochapickle at 1:55 AM on December 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

I second the Secret Quonsar Questionnaire--what a great idea! It's a little more open ended vs. a radio button survey and will make these gifts a bit more of a surprise for the kids.

your adult children want MONEY. the more the better.

Just want to put in a "not necessarily" vote as an adult who sent a Christmas list of non-monetary items to my parents this year. (I have an Amazon wish list, so you could also ask your kids if they have one.) If I get money as a gift, unless it's a very large amount, I'll probably just put it toward things I would buy myself anyway. I like exchanging Christmas gifts with my family because it's a time when we can give and receive special things that we wouldn't buy for ourselves, whether because they're indulgent or impractical.

But, that said, Amazon/iTunes gift cards as a stocking stuffer never hurt.
posted by capricorn at 7:27 AM on December 16, 2015 [7 favorites]

You might want to know what sizes they wear. My son is okay with me buying him clothes, esp. jeans. You could ask for 'wildest dreams' gifts, in case you win the lottery.
posted by theora55 at 8:10 AM on December 16, 2015

Best answer: A Christmas stocking should contain (check all that apply):
( ) nuts
( ) a tangerine
( ) a toothbrush or chapstick (no seriously, one or both of these has been in every Christmas stocking at my mom's house ever)
( ) nothing practical, ever
( ) Hershey kisses or other supermarket staples
( ) Fancy chocolate only
( ) something spectacular
( ) nothing over $10

Select one:
I prefer to buy my own clothes
I trust you to recognize a shirt/sweater I would wear, but clothes aren't a priority
I hate shopping for clothes; I would love it if you bought me clothes.

I have a list (eg Amazon) that I want to receive specific items from
I like getting unexpected things, even if they're dumb/wrong sometimes.
Actually, just give me a gift card/money.

I prefer to receive one big present
I prefer to receive an assortment of small presents

Unless we've specifically talked about it, I feel uncomfortable if you spend more than _____ on a present.

I like snack food that is:
( ) Sweet
( ) Savory
( ) Healthy
( ) Unusual (even if inedible)
( ) Traditional

My favorite treat that I associate with childhood Christmas and still enjoy: ______
(perhaps offer a checklist of the things you/parents/grandparents "always make")

Please rank from 1 to 5, where 1 = "Already have too many" and 5 = "Can never have enough"
Kitchen gadgets
Christmas ornaments
CDs (you asked books/kindle, should also ask CD/itunes)
Coffee mugs

You know my hobby is _____ and:
( ) I am happy to receive anything related to that
( ) There is usually something relevant that I might want, ask my spouse/friends
( ) There is no way anyone could predict what I have and what I need, so please don't buy me things related to that.

I'm sorry to tell you, but I don't collect ____ any more, so you can stop looking for those.

Here is a list of sizes:
T-Shirts (S/M/L)
Dress or dress-shirt:
posted by aimedwander at 8:24 AM on December 16, 2015 [11 favorites]

your adult children want MONEY. the more the better.

Just want to put in a "not necessarily" vote

Agree! Gifts are much more fun for my family.
posted by Miko at 8:37 AM on December 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

I get a little money and a small assortment of gifts, some that I hint at and some that I don't. I would much rather get a smaller amount of money or really, none at all, from my parents in exchange for the gifts they put thought and love into.
IMO it's always fun to get something someone chose for you.
That being said - my parents have weird inaccurate ideas of what kind of candy I like, so just check in before buying in bulk. Weird, seasonal or hard to find flavors and varieties are always fun. "I got you a jumbo bag of three musketeers!" Mom, no one has ever liked three musketeers.
posted by rubster at 8:59 AM on December 16, 2015

Best answer: A few more questions:

If you have one $10 item you know I'll love, and are then totally stumped:
a. Just buy some stuff. I really enjoy unwrapping presents and I'm not too concerned what they are, it makes me feel loved. Who knows, I may not be able to identify the one perfect thing among all the fluff anyway.
b. Just give me the one thing and maybe a box of chocolate. I dislike feeling that "buy presents" is a chore you must do, and I don't believe every Christmas has to be perfect, maybe I'll want something in particular next year.
c. I know you have a mental budget per child, and even though I'll love the one thing you give me, I'll be a bit hurt if I don't get gifts of equivalent value to my brother's.

Handmade vs Storebought?
Practical vs luxury?
literal vs sentimental value?

Which of these things make you smile:
() Locally produced and organic
() American-made non-imported
() item that looks cool even if it's cheap Chinese
() Authentic imported international

() I mostly use digital media and downloads, so it's totally cool to buy me a digital album, or an app; just write it on a piece of paper, and we'll just figure out the download process later.
() I want to unwrap/touch items. Buy me the physical version and I'll burn it to the computer myself.
posted by aimedwander at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Is it terrible that I see the questionnaire we're writing and really want to hand it to my husband? It's been 10 years, shouldn't I know this stuff by now? Or maybe I should give him the opportunity to change his mind and/or correct my misconceptions.
posted by aimedwander at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2015


On money vs gifts from parents: I love thoughtful gifts, and as a working adult money isn't really that interesting. It's not unwelcome, especially if it comes with a note like 'for your vacation' or 'treat yo'self', but money-as-gift says "I have no idea what to get you" to me.

On wish lists: Historically my folks have taken wish list items as suggested examples, ie I circle an exact item and colour in a catalogue but receive a similar but different item. This is OK sometimes, but not if the giftee has already researched on what they want. You may wish to include:
Substitutions? (Y) (N)
posted by a halcyon day at 2:28 PM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

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