If we’re honest with ourselves, the holiday season isn’t always so warm and fuzzy. It brings along its own annual pests too like shopping, annoying music, and travel, just to name a few.
I put up a survey on-line, asking what holiday pests were the most annoying and why. Some of the results were interesting.
Forty-seven percent of respondents said that shopping and gift-giving were the biggest annoyances of the season. Travel came in second place, at 20%. Music and “Other” (respondents filled in their own answer) were both ranked third at 13% each. Those who responded with “other” listed “trying to make sure everyone is happy” and “rude people.” Respondents seemed to get along with their family — only 7% said they were the biggest holiday pest.
Most respondents who said shopping was the most annoying pest cited money as a concern — not surprising, considering the state of the economy. They often said that they they didn’t have enough money, and that the holidays could get expensive.
“Tis the season to feel more broke than I am year ’round. Hmph!” wrote one participant.
Respondents also said that the most annoying part about shopping was dealing with crowds.
Finances were also a consideration for a third of those who said that travel was the biggest holiday pest.
“It’s expensive to travel and usually the vacation times you’re allotted from work and school don’t justify the cost of tickets,” wrote another respondent.
For those who thought music was the most annoying, repetition was the culprit.
“Most music I am okay with, but it is those 10-15 songs that get played on heavy rotation by holiday music radio stations and in stores that irk me,” said one respondent. Another agreed, saying that “Hearing the same songs over and over for more than a month gets a bit tiring.”
When asked which song was the most annoying, participants gave the honor to “The Christmas Shoes,” by Newsong. Second place went to “Other;” the songs listed under this category were “Feliz Navidad,” “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” and “Wonderful Christmastime.”
The most interesting results came from the participants’ thoughts on spending time with family. Although it was ranked as the least annoying holiday pest, 60% said that they could only deal with family up to a point. Twenty-seven percent said that they did not dread spending time with family, and 13% said that they did.
Participants gave several reasons for their answer. One respondent, who indicated that she did not look forward to family company said, “I avoid family as much as I can but I do certain things because of my in-laws. They are old and I do not want to upset them.”
Another mentioned that her family gathered for various occasions during the year so she thinks that she sees them “far too often. Like, did I not just see you last week?”
However, another respondent said that she enjoyed being with family.
“I don’t get to see them a lot during the year so during the holidays we all get a chance to relax together,” she wrote.
For most part though, respondents were ambivalent. Many said they loved their family but that after a certain point, they drove them nuts. One respondent attributed to the stress of the holiday season.
“I love family to death, but there are times during the holidays were people are stressed out, so things get snippy and there is always a person who is a Christmas bummer and brings down the mood,” she wrote.
Another thought controversial topics soured family gatherings. “Eventually politics, religion etc. will come up and it’s all down hill from there,” he wrote.
But one participant offered some advice: “plenty of holiday cheer (aka booze)” she said, can help.
What are your holiday pet peeves? Do you agree with the results above? Feel free to the take the survey here, or to leave your thoughts in the comments below.