1-In-5 Americans Dreads Buying Gifts For The Holidays

If you’re avoiding looking at the calendar because you have yet to buy anyone on your list a gift this holiday season, you’re not alone. According to a new poll, a full 20% of U.S. shoppers simply dreads the experience of gift-buying at this time of year.

The poll, conducted by our kin at Consumer Reports, found that the thing most people (58%) dread during the holiday shopping season is good ol’ waiting in lines and having to deal with crowds. Of course, this is a lot more than the 20% who hate the entire shopping process, so that means that while these people hate crowded stores and standing around to pay, a good chunk of them are not totally put off by the prospect.

Speaking of crowds, clogged parking lots of aggressive drivers was the third most-dreaded facet of the holidays, with 40% of respondents not looking forward to navigating their vehicles between cars vying for spots or racing for the exit. This peeve was edged out by the classic holiday concern: weight gain, mentioned by 41% of people.

We don’t know how to feel about the 30% of people who dread getting into debt during the holidays. Does this mean that the remaining 70% are not dreading debt, or that they just aren’t spending more money than they have?

And though it’s not on the list below, CR’s Tod Hunter says that 60% of respondents said they would rather receive cash than gift cards — so keep that in mind the next time you’re looking for a last-minute gift; maybe the green stuff is better than plastic.

Here is the full breakdown of things consumers dread this holiday season (NOTE: Respondents were allowed to select multiple answers, which is why it adds up to more than 100%) —

Crowds, long lines: 58%
Weight gain: 41%
Aggressive, thoughtless driving in parking lots: 40%
Getting into debt: 30%
Gift shopping: 20%
Seasonal music: 14%
Disappointing gifts: 13%
Seeing certain relatives: 12%
Traveling: 10%
Having to attend holiday parties, gatherings or events: 9%
Having to be nice: 4%
Holiday tipping: 3%