The Dark Side of Holidays: Being Nice, Parties, Certain Relatives

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The holidays aren’t just snowflakes and warm woolen mittens. A Consumer Reports survey found Americans dread a number of things during the holidays, including being nice, crappy presents, parties and that music.

Not surprisingly,  the top complaint was crowds and long lines at 68 percent of the 1,013 adults surveyed. Shoppers will spend 19 hours looking for holiday gifts this year, according to another poll by Consumer Reports.

Coming in at no. 10 is “having to be nice,” with 15 percent saying they dread having to put on a kind face during the holiday season.

“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,” said Tod Marks, senior editor at Consumer Reports. “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.”

Consumer Reports’ survey results of most dreaded holiday activities:

  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
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