Bah Humbug! What Do Americans Dread Most During The Holidays?
November 30, 2011

Bah Humbug! What Do Americans Dread Most During The Holidays?

A new Consumer Reports poll shows that nearly 1 in 7 Americans despise “having to be nice” during the holiday season, and crowds and long lines aren´t helping either.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of 1,013 adults aged 18 or older. The survey asked participants what (if anything) they dreaded most during the holiday season. About 90 percent noted there is at least one thing that they stress over during the holidays. Among the top complaints were crowds, gaining weight, going into debt, and long lines.

“For all the chatter about nostalgia, family fun and gift giving this time of year, many people don't like too much of a good thing,” said Tod Marks, senior editor at Consumer Reports.

A whopping 68 percent of people say waiting in lines and crowds irritated them most. Putting on weight was also an annoyance of the holidays, with 37 percent dreading the accomplishment. And holiday shopping, which ties in with crowds and long lines, was dreaded by 28 percent of those polled.

Perhaps the most surprising find is the fact that 16 percent of those polled said they dreaded being nice during the holidays, with 24 percent dreading seeing relatives and 15 percent not looking forward to attending holiday parties and events. Also, 25 percent of interviewees said they dreaded having to travel for the holidays.

Other holiday humbugs include 23 percent dreading holiday music, 19 percent dreading receiving disappointing gifts, and 12 percent avoiding holiday tipping.

“For many folks, the holidays are a lot like the Super Bowl. Even if you're not a football fan you watch the game because it's a big event,” Marks said. “With the holidays, you may not like the game, but it's part and parcel of the season. It's just what we all do.”


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