I Hate Christmas Shopping Reasons and Tips

Christmas shopping can be super stressful and frustrating for the 93 percent of people celebrating each December. In fact, studies show depression and anxiety peak at the holidays, more than any other time of the year. So if you hate Christmas shopping, you likely have company! But many wonder ‘why I hate Christmas shopping’?

Reasons some people say ‘I hate Christmas shopping’ are many. From long lines and rude shoppers to spending too much money and full parking lots, frustration rises quickly when shopping at Christmas. But good preparation and a positive attitude can help people minimize the Christmas shopping stress.

Below I’ve discussed what some people, including myself, dislike about Christmas shopping and some useful tips to help reduce the stress during the Yuletide season. After all, the reason for the season has nothing to do with Christmas shopping!


Why I Hate Christmas Shopping- Overview

The Christmas shopping lines grow longer the closer it gets to Christmas, but many don’t seem to mind.

When it comes to doing your holiday shopping in December, you might feel like you’ve just reached Dante’s eighth circle of hell upon entering the mall parking lot! It’s one of the most dreaded aspects to the holidays in my opinion. So why do I and a majority of people hate Christmas shopping so much?

Christmas shopping, hated by many, has become one of the most dreaded parts of the holidays. The top things shoppers find annoying at Christmas are carols and Christmas music; parking hassles; long lines; screaming kids and bickering adults; difficulty finding gifts; and spending too much money.

I’ll address each Christmas shopping annoyance below and then, provide some ideas to deal with them. Later I’ll share some overall tips to possibly making Christmas shopping less loathesome…’possibly’ that is!

1. Constant Christmas caroling: A Christmas music overload nearly killed most people as kids, and I’m one of them. It’s the best excuse I can come up with for why it makes me feel so nauseous. As I scout the mall for the perfect Christmas gift, I try to keep my stomach from churning

Christmas medleys are even awful than Christmas music in general. While it may seem like something from the “hard at work” montages on CSI, I don’t know who will end up on the chalk outline.

As well, there are those modern renditions of Christmas songs where pop singers try to sound sultry while singing about Santa. It’s actually disgusting more than anything. And of course, every store, mall, and even parking lots are playing the same tunes over and over.

2. Parking Problems:  Valet parking is a luxury that everyone deserves during the holidays, yet it is often out of budget and even if you decide to splurge, usually I’ve found it’s full or too busy to justify the expense.

However, every Christmas has me running around the parking lot! Just as I think I’ve found an empty space, in pulls a driver not following ‘parking lot etiquette.’ Then you find yourself stalking other shoppers carrying bags to their car, hoping to grab their space as they leave…only to find them just storing their packages and returning to do more shopping!

I’ve found myself turning more to online Christmas shopping but of course, if you don’t plan ahead, you are not likely to get the items in time for gift giving!

Not to mention, there are always those people who pull in too far to one side, essentially taking up two spaces. If you dare to risk pulling in next to them to park, you just know you’ll return to new scrapes or dents on the car!

3. Long Lines: I think it’s ridiculous how long the lines get just to shell out your hard-earned money at Christmas time! From buying wrapping paper and tape to gifts for co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family, the lines grow longer and longer the closer you get to Christmas from my experience (though maybe a lull on Christmas Eve, depending on your location).

One of the most discouraging aspects of adult life is having to stand in line for something you don’t particularly want to accomplish. Christmas lines are akin to lines at the DMV in my opinion!

The worst experiences include standing behind or in front of bickering couples or people who let their kids run wild! And even worse if someone is wearing obnoxious perfume, or the opposite, reeks like they haven’t showered in a week! My head is ready to pop by the time I get to the front!

But of course when the harried store employee greets me with a tired, ‘How are you, sir?’ I’m resigned to just smile and murmur, ‘fine’-since the only thing worse than shopping at Christmas is working at stores at Christmas!

4. Screaming kids: Those of you who have been to Walmart at the Christmas season know exactly what I’m referring to. Kids seem to hate Christmas shopping more than even I do, though I am pretty sure they’re going to be on the receiving end in most cases!

The same can be said when shopping at the mall before Christmas.

Whether kids are running around wild, being carried in some sort of kid-carrier backpack, or pushed in a monstrous stroller bedecked with toys, they are all screaming. Of course a few are also crying while screaming!

I’m sure parents would stop it if they could; they just all seem to have lost hope by this point!

5. Guessing sizes: Of course, hunting through the stores to buy unnecessary gifts at exorbitant prices isn’t fun in any case, having to find clothes for Christmas shopping is the worst of the worst!

If I have to buy wearable gifts for a friend or family member, the chances are that I have to guess their size. Even if I know their size, like for my own child, I’ve found that the same size varies from item to item, so even knowing is often useless!

There is just no winning with buying clothing items! If you guess too small, the recipient feels bad because it won’t fit.

If you guess too big, they feel bad as well! They think, you think, they’re too fat! You can try to find a ‘one size fits all’ gift, but even those are annoying because it limits your options quite a bit (robes, gloves, hats…).

6. Going Over Budget: And finally, the most annoying thing to me causing me to really hate Christmas shopping is just simply spending too much. And in my opinion, almost anything spent counts as too much!

To be honest, most people you give gifts too don’t need the item. If they did, they’d already have bought it! So spending needlessly amounts to over spending to me. But I get it: It’s Christmas and giving gifts is a part of the tradition.

Which then adds to the stress of shopping! Because I don’t want to buy something worthless or waste my hard-earned money, I take more time trying to select a gift that is wanted, useful, and not going to push me over budget!

Black Friday Christmas Shopping can lead to some tears while trying to find just a parking spot in order to shop!

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Shopping Late for Christmas Can Be a Positive Strategy

If you hate Christmas shopping but have to do it anyway, then you might as well shop late. I’ve found the late strategy can help minimize some of the problems with Christmas shopping (though, of course, not all of the problems will go away!).

It’s possible to reduce Christmas shopping stress, though probably not from keeping you saying I hate Christmas shopping. Shopping late in the day right before closing and shopping late in the season right before Christmas are two ideas for avoiding some problems with Christmas shopping

Shopping late in the day

I’ve found that shopping during off times can be very helpful in avoiding long lines, screaming kids, rude people, and limited parking. Most people like to shop during peak hours, like mid-day especially on weekends.

When our kids were young, we often found off times better for our schedule for shopping. This is also true for Christmas shopping. Shopping a few hours before closing in one example of this.

Less people are hanging out at malls then, so try it out! Also, Walmart typically has longer ‘open hours’ so you can really expand your shopping time by going to the mall first, then head to Walmart right before they close. Of course give yourself enough time to find everything on your list, but you could break up your shopping over a period of days (late days, that is) to make it more manageable, too.

Shopping late in the Christmas season

Most people usually have their shopping completed a week to two weeks before Christmas. If you wait til later, you’re likely to find the malls and stores (and consequently the parking lots) less busy as a result!

While shopping a day before Christmas might seem like the biggest sin of the season, it’s actually a great way to maintain your sanity. The rowdiness is reduced, and there are fewer carolers to deal with.

Also, since almost everyone is home and getting friendly with guests, the stores have to lower their prices to sell off the remaining seasonal goods. You may find some of the merchandise picked over, but unless you’re looking for one specific hot item, I’m sure you’ll find suitable offerings still available!

No Noise, More Parking Space

When it comes to Christmas Eve shopping, people who have never done it have a false impression of what it’s like.

Unlike Black Friday, or the weekends leading up to Christmas, shopping late tends to be much less problematic. Most people have ended their Christmas shopping already. Parking becomes easier, and there are fewer people in line.

Hey, maybe this is what’s meant by patience is a virtue!

The Best Deals 

You’ve probably heard about the crazy-popular ‘after holiday’ sales. Well, I’ve found the closer it gets to Christmas, the more likely to find discounts too! (Of course, after Christmas is great in that regard, but most people don’t like waiting til Dec. 26th or 27th for their Christmas gifts!)

Retailers don’t mark down products on Christmas Day because they are closed. But on the 23rd and 24th you just might get lucky and be able to take advantage of some slashed ticket prices!

More Time to Pick up Thoughtful Gifts

There’s a common belief that people who buy gifts at the last minute are less thoughtful than those who prepare beforehand. Last-minute buyers, on the other hand, can be highly conscientious individuals. In fact, being extra mindful of gift selecting is often why some wait!

Rather than just buy any ol thing, they take the time to ponder the ‘just right’ gift for the people on their list. Christmas gift-buyers who wait until the last minute to make their purchases have afforded themselves the greatest time possible to come up with the best gift idea. That’s quite considerate in my opinion.

Shopping Late Can Be Productive

Homer Simpson has a sly plan for waiting til the last minute to do Christmas shopping.

Ever tried to buy a gift for anyone in the early stages of the holiday season? Despite strolling the mall in search of inspiration, you return home empty-handed. This happens to most people I’ve talked to…so they end up going back to the stores over and over, wasting a lot of time, often buying things they aren’t happy with, then trying again!

There is no need to rush if you wait. You have plenty of time, so you are much more productive!

And with fewer people walking the aisles, you have the chance to see all the best options and make a productive decision.

More Tips for Handling ‘Hating Christmas Shopping’

  1. Listen carefully to those you’re buying for while you wait to do your shopping. This way you buy gifts you know fit the recipient.
  2. Check out all the stores options online first. You can often find online deals this way.
  3. Eat first. You’ll be in a better mood if you aren’t hungry.
  4. Take water or go ahead and buy your favorite latte prior to starting your shopping. Being hydrated will keep headaches at bay and having a little coffee caffeine will perk you up too!
  5. Figure out if you prefer shopping alone or with a partner before you start; then do whichever is applicable. Again, you want to create your best shopping experience!
  6. Group or sort your shopping to what makes sense to make the shopping smoother.
  7. And then just accept it, and put a smile on your face. Science tells us smiling helps our moods!

Wrapping Up I Hate Christmas Shopping Reasons and Tips

To wrap it all up, many (including myself) say ‘I hate Christmas shopping’ every year. But since it’s part of Christmas tradition, we find ourselves doing it regardless of how we feel. So in that regard, it’s best to plan ahead to make the best of it!

  • Shopping late in the day is one way to help you ‘not hate Christmas shopping’ so much!
  • Also, shopping late in the season, even on Christmas Eve, is another way to make Christmas shopping more bearable.

In both instances, crowds are reduced and parking hassles are lessened. These effects can certainly turn your ‘Bah Humbug’ to ‘Merry Christmas’ even if you still hate Christmas shopping!

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