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Online Trends

Published December 22nd 2016

What Do People Want For Christmas? We Found Out

The Brandwatch React team aids Santa in his efforts to find out what people actually want for Christmas and provide tips for buying them.

If Santa was a smart man he’d be investing in a social intelligence platforms to decipher what it is people actually want for Christmas. It’s no job for elves.

Timmy’s Christmas list that floated through the workshop window might contain dinosaurs, space ships, and burning laser guns, but his comments on social media probably tell a different story.

In the age of the customer, Santa would be wise to start listening to the swathes of smartphone-toting kids (and adults) or he might find himself falling out of favor with the present-hungry masses.

The Brandwatch React team decided to get Santa’s social media research started for him.

What do you want for Christmas?

The team searched for “I want” or “I would like” near “for Christmas” (amongst other variants) across Twitter for December so far, filtering out mentions of famous Christmas songs and retweets to get a flavor of what individuals are after this Christmas.


As is evident from the geo-tagged tweets chart, the US is responsible for the largest chunk of “I want x for Christmas” mentions. We also found female tweeters were more likely to talk about what they want for Christmas on Twitter than males and that music was the most prominent interest of tweeters in the whole conversation.

Prominent in the top mentioned tweeters were male singers and/or social media stars. Shawn Mendes, Cameron Dallas, Grayson Dolan and Justin Bieber were amongst the most wanted.

However, Santa has already made clear that celebrity kidnapping is not allowed.

Most wanted gifts

Celebrities aside, we found the most wanted gifts tweeters were talking about by looking over mentions of our above search terms for each day of December so far, identifying top mentioned terms using the topic cloud component in Brandwatch Analytics.

Here are the most sought after items. Scroll down for tips on buying each.


Some tips for buying

We may have supplied the most popular items, but who should you buy them for and what specific brands within those categories are most desired?


Everyone loves puppies – it was the largest gift segment for both men and women.

Just remember to take this dog’s advice:


While men were less likely to talk about what they wanted for Christmas overall they were more likely than women to discuss wanting clothes for Christmas on Twitter compared to the other gift ideas we searched for.

Jerseys were particularly popular in the clothes category (which also incorporated people wanting a dress, skirt, shirt, jacket etc).

Just make sure you get the right team.


Books were equally popular for men and women, but Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham will likely do well out of her book ‘Talking as Fast as I Can’ this Christmas. She was mentioned more than Justin Bieber in the “I want x for Christmas” conversation.

Games / consoles

The gaming category was one of the only ones in which men out-tweeted women. The PS4 is particularly popular in their conversation.


Like dogs, cats are not just for Christmas. But they’re still very popular on tweeted wish lists.

Each to their own.

Tattoos / piercings

Tattoos aren’t for everyone but they’re a popular choice on Twitter. We found that many of those discussing wanting tattoos already had one and were asking for “another” or “more”. If you know a tattoo fan you can’t go wrong with getting them a voucher for another one.

Unless their current one looks like this.


Recent years have seen incredible innovation in camera technology but in a bizarre twist of events Polaroids are particularly popular this Christmas.


Makeup was predictably more popular with female tweeters though we didn’t see any particular brands coming the the forefront.

Instead, there was a lot of hint dropping.



It’s a trap! We thought we’d got rid of the boy band members but apparently not. However, some of the bear mentions were for genuine bears like “baby polar bears” or actual teddy bears.

Money / cash

This guy says it all.


Tickets are great presents to get when you want to go to something yourself but can’t justify the money unless you’re spending it on someone else.

If you share that opinion you’d do well to search for your ticket match on Twitter.


New phones are wanted all round this Christmas, and iPhones are particularly prominent in the conversation. Perhaps the iPhone 7 reveal wasn’t so underwhelming after all.

Bag / purse

Finally, bags and purses were particularly popular with the ladies. Tastes vary.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty more. Email us [email protected] for more information

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