SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – Tis’ the season to be jolly? That may be so for most Americans, but there’s still plenty about the holiday season that drives them batty.

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 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.

Women, in particular, said they dreaded holiday weight gain (47 percent vs. 34 percent of men), admitting that they overindulge on desserts, pastries and cookies during this time of year. And twice as many men as women say they’re bummed out about the holiday parties or events they have to attend.

The poll also revealed that 60 percent of Americans 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.

“On the bright side, the thing that people told us they dreaded the least was holiday tipping,” Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor, said in a statement.

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)
  • **Total exceeds 100 percent since multiple responses were allowed

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 the wished they could celebrate with a somewhat different group of people. Fifty-three percent wouldn’t change a thing.

This Consumer Reports Holiday Poll was administered 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 was statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey were demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. Fifty-four percent of the sample was female, and the median age was 47-years-old.

Additional poll results are available at


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