Survey: Spending on Gifts Is the Biggest Source of Holiday Stress

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A new survey also reveals that men are twice as likely as women to be grumpy during the holiday season.

The holiday season is upon us, and with it an unwanted visitor: stress. It’s really no surprise considering the extra money being spent on gifts, family dinners being planned, and extra holiday activities.

But not all of us are affected in the same way. According to a new survey from, men are twice as likely as women to feel downright grumpy during the holidays.

And talk about grumpy: “More than 15 percent of men identified the most with Ebenezer Scrooge, stating that the amount of money they spend each year increases and puts them in a bad mood,” the survey said.

Overall, 65 percent of people surveyed said the financial strain associated with gift purchases is the most stressful part of the holidays. (If gift giving is stressful for you, you may want to join the 1 in 10 American families that have a no-holiday-gifts policy.)

Notably, men were more likely than women to consider holiday travel to be the most stressful part, with 1 in 4 men calling it the No. 1 source.

Perhaps that’s because more men appear to put real effort into holiday budgeting, with 35 percent of men reporting that they make a detailed holiday spending plan, compared with 23 percent of women.

Overall, 47 percent said making a gift-giving list is the best way to prepare and to avoid stress. On the other hand, some people never learn: “Surprisingly, 1 in 5 people stated that they never prepare for the holidays and that each year, it sneaks up on them,” the survey said.

Here’s some wishful thinking: Fifty-four percent said they’d love to have a personal assistant or chef to help them with their holiday preparations.

Finally, 9 in 10 respondents said they shop with coupons during the holidays (although 10 percent of men indicated they didn’t know how to find coupons and other deals). And 99 percent said they have no guilt using coupons to get a better deal on holiday gifts.

I tend to get stressed out during the holidays, though it’s not usually over spending money on gifts. I oftentimes feel anxious about having family in town and wanting to make sure that everyone has a happy holiday. I have a big family with lots of big personalities, so it can be challenging at times.

Do you get stressed out over the holidays? What stresses you out the most? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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