Americans' top holiday dreads—being nice makes the list

Consumer Reports News: November 29, 2011 12:08 PM

Crowds and long lines of shoppers are by far what people dread most about this time of year. But more surprisingly, 35 million Americans actually despise "having to be nice" during the holidays, according to our recent poll.

Our survey, asked people what (if anything) they dread most about the holidays. A whopping 90 percent noted there's at least one thing that they stress over during the year-end festivities. Along with the chief complaint of holiday crowds, "gaining weight" and "getting into debt" both tied for second-place in top holiday woes among survey respondents.

"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.

Holiday Jeers

  1. Crowds and long lines: 68 percent
  2. Gaining weight: 37 percent
  3. Getting into debt: 37 percent
  4. Gift shopping: 28 percent
  5. Traveling: 25 percent
  6. Seeing certain relatives: 24 percent
  7. Seasonal music: 23 percent
  8. Disappointing gifts: 19 percent
  9. Having to attend holiday parties or events: 16 percent
  10. Having to be nice: 15 percent
  11. Holiday tipping: 12 percent

"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."

What do you dread most about this time of year?

Designed to track the mood and shopping behavior of consumers across the country, the survey was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. Results were based on a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,013 adults. For additional results see Consumer Reports poll: Shoppers will spend 19 hours looking for holiday gifts.

Maggie Shader

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