Who Are California Residents Struggling to Buy Gifts For?

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The pressure cooker experience known as Holiday Shopping has a well-known range of challenges, kind of like an obstacle course on “American Ninja”. There is the first stage, which is dealing with traffic and coping with parking. Then, there’s the second stage of navigating crowds in the shopping centers and malls searching for the “perfect” gift. And finally, there’s the denouement stage, which would be wrapping the gifts. Extra points if the wrapping paper reflects some hobby or interest of the recipient.

It's no wonder that about 10 years ago, the Pew Research Center found that the top three things people disliked most about the holidays all had to do with commercialism, expense, and shopping. Of course, some of those irritations have been mitigated lately by online shopping – but, really, doesn’t that feel a little bit like cheating? After all, how can anyone truly feel the elation and warmth of the holidays unless they are first prefaced by the raging headaches and chronic stomach-churning of getting ready for them?

Given the general gift-giving delights inherent in the holiday season, BetCalifornia.com - your home for California sports betting updates, news, and sportsbook app reviews - mused about who on the gift-recipient list were the ones over whom Californians most struggled.

To answer that question, BetCalifornia.com used Google Trends to conduct its own research. Using the “Topics” feature, we found the top related topics and queries to “Christmas gift” for the last 90 days (Sept. 7-Dec. 7, 2023) and ranked the top five most challenging gift recipients according to volume. 

Terms apply for all bonuses. Must be 18+ to participate.  
Must be 18+ to participate. T&Cs Apply.

Who are Californians Struggling to Shop For?

RankTop Related Queries

California Finds Girlfriends Are Difficult to Shop For

So, the No. 1 recipient who presented the most challenge for gift-givers was “Girlfriend”, where sentiment and taste are paramount, and the general concept of utility should be approached with extreme caution. The next most difficult recipients were simply a “Couple”.  

No. 3, was “Grandparents” (but doesn’t that often come down to framed photographs of grandchildren). The next most challenging gift recipient is “Boyfriend”, and No. 5 on the list was “Mom” (who frequently will express gratitude for anything that says “Mom” on it).

Of course, this very joy and exhilaration of holiday gift shopping has immensely boosted the popularity of multi-brand gift cards, and seasonal-themed lottery scratch-off tickets.

Once sports betting is legal in the Golden State, consider gifting your friends and family with some of our best California sportsbook promos which will be available on BetCalifornia.com.


Bill Ordine
Senior Journalist & Opinion Columnist

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetCalifornia.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

Cited by leading media organizations, such as: