Consumer Reports Poll: Holiday Shopping Is Loathed by One in Five Gift-givers

Dec 13, 2012, 06:00 ET from Consumer Reports

Crowds and Long Lines, Gaining Weight, Aggressive Drivers Top List of Americans' Holiday Aggravations; Holiday Tipping is among the least Dreaded

YONKERS, N.Y., Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although a whopping 94 percent of holiday shoppers say they're at least somewhat enjoying the holiday season this year, one in five feel that gift shopping itself is one of the things they absolutely dread about the holiday season, according to a Consumer Reports Holiday Poll. At the top of the dreads list: crowds and long lines, which drew the ire of 58 percent of poll respondents.  

"Our poll revealed that the holiday season has been a happy time for most Americans, but there are still some things about this time of year that inevitably drive people batty," said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. "On the bright side, the thing that people told us they dreaded the least was holiday tipping."

Americans' biggest holiday dreads include:

  • Crowds and long lines (58 percent)
  • Gaining weight (41 percent)
  • Aggressive or thoughtless driving in store parking lots (40 percent)
  • Getting into debt (30 percent)
  • Gift shopping (20 percent)
  • Seasonal music (14 percent)
  • Disappointing gifts (13 percent)
  • Seeing certain relatives (12 percent)
  • Traveling (10 percent)
  • Having to attend holiday parties, gatherings or events (9 percent)
  • Having to be nice (4 percent)
  • Holiday tipping (3 percent)

When asked what they wished they could do differently from how they expected to spend their time during the holiday season, 22 percent of Americans said they'd simply like to change their holiday activities. Thirteen percent wished they could alter their holiday food menu, an equal amount said they wished they could celebrate with a somewhat different group of people. Fifty-three percent wouldn't change a thing.

Additional results of the Consumer Reports Holiday Poll are available at

The Consumer Reports Holiday Poll also revealed that 60 percent of shoppers would rather receive cash as a present than a gift card. And 8-in-10 would rather receive something practical over something ostentatious as a gift.

Consumer Reports Poll Methodology

The Consumer Reports National Research Center designed a survey to explore general sentiment and shopping behaviors for the upcoming 2012 winter holiday season. In November 2012, GfK Custom Research administered the survey online to a nationally representative sample of over 1,100 randomly selected adult U.S. residents who said they were planning to shop for the holidays. The data were statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey were demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is +/- 3.8% points at the 95% confidence level. Fifty-four percent of the sample was female, and the median age was 47 years old.

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SOURCE Consumer Reports