Poll: 35 million Americans dread being nice at Christmas

If you feel like the Grinch during Christmas, you are not alone, according to a new poll.

Reached by phone, this survey participant revealed an intense dislike for heat lamps and annoying "nose-eating rabbits."

Reached by phone, this survey participant revealed an intense dislike for heat lamps and "nose-eating rabbits." (AP Photo)

Consumer Reports reports “35 million Americans dread having to be nice for the holidays.”

While 35 million sounds like a huge number, if people responded to telephone surveys honestly that number would likely be a lot higher.

The survey of 1,013 U.S. residents conducted Nov. 4-7 asked people what they dreaded most during the holidays.

The findings indicate the following, plus a limited ability to think up synonyms for “dread.”

* 90 percent malign something.

* 68 percent don’t look forward to waiting in line.

* 37 percent fear putting on weight.

* 37 percent abhor getting in debt.

* 28 percent deride shopping, and will spend an average of 19 hours doing it.

* 24 percent find mordant the idea of seeing relatives.

* 23 percent loathe Christmas music.

* 16 percent churlishly attend holiday parties.

* 15 percent grimly ponder being nice.

* 12 percent are not keen on tipping, which many waiters and waitresses will say sounds low.

“For all the chatter about nostalgia, family fun and gift giving this time of year, many people don’t like too much of a good thing,” said Tod Marks, senior editor at Consumer Reports.

40 comments Add your comment


November 29th, 2011
2:18 pm

Maybe people should get back to the reality of what the holidays are all about, the birth of Jesus and enjoy celebrating him. And take the time to reflect with family and friends, instead of getting caught up in the middle of what the retailers want. The holidays shouldnt be about rushing around, it should be a time to enjoy the important things, its a season none of us should take for granted. Put the CHRIST back in CHRISTMAS!!!!


November 29th, 2011
2:26 pm

Put Christ in Christmas? Like calling the lighting of the town’s tree, a ‘Grand Illumination’?
It sounds like they are more apt to kick dirt over Christ and Christmas, but don’t forget to shop and max out those credit cards.
Christmas stinks because it has nothing to do with Christ anymore, and people sense that.

Daughter of Christ

November 29th, 2011
3:13 pm

Trish I could not have said it better myself! Christmas has gotten all too commercial and its just sickening!


November 29th, 2011
3:42 pm


November 29th, 2011
3:52 pm

I’m no scrooge but I really wish the gift giving to adults would stop (or at least among the people I know). I love getting gifts for kids and think that should continue but all of this shopping stresses everyone out. We should be enjoying this time, while relaxing with family and friends. We shouldn’t be running around going crazy trying to find gifts for everyone. Don’t we buy enough gifts for other crap throughout the year?


November 29th, 2011
3:53 pm

The truth is Christmas has nothing to do with Christ in the first place. Research the origin of Christmas and you will see that December 25th was taken from the pagan celebration Saturnalia, the rebirth of the Roman God Saturn. the winter solstice occurs a few days before December 25th each year.

The winter solstice is the day of the year when daylight is the shortest. In ancient times, December 25th was the day each year when the day started to become noticeably longer. Thus it was fitting for the early pagans to designate December 25th as the date of the birth or the “rebirth” of the sun. In order to get all those “pagan” Romans to convert fo “Christianity” the pope allowed them to cotninue celebrating this festival.

The day of Jesus’ birth is unknown. Nowhere do the Scriptures direct us to celebrate that birth, nor is there any evidence that early Christians did so. In contrast, the Bible provides the exact day of Jesus’ death, and he commanded his followers to observe that day. Clearly, Jesus wanted emphasis to be placed, not on his birth, but on the value of his sacrificial death.

No wonder you never actually hear people talk about “Christ” much during Christmas. He has nothing to do with it.

C from Marietta

November 29th, 2011
3:53 pm

@ Tim and Trish

Lighten up Francis!

Sid Vicious

November 29th, 2011
3:57 pm

Smartgirl, you are all over it. Good job on telling it like it should be taught. Thanks!


November 29th, 2011
4:10 pm

It’s hard to be nice when you go broke buying presents.

Smartgirl….I love you. SPEAK THE (real) GOSPEL!!!!!!!

Oh hail, Saturn!!!!!!!!!


November 29th, 2011
4:13 pm

Smartgirl, you are one smart girl! It is true that the Pope and other Christian orgs encouraged/allowed pagan celebrations to be blended into Christian rituals, effectively hijacking the pagans. So don’t any of you potentially wringing your hands about what she’s saying call her a hater, or accuse her of attacking your beliefs. There’s plenty of room to celebrate whatever you want to celebrate this season, whether it’s crass commercialism, Christ, or both. And look this up too: some of the most popular Christmas songs of the classic movie years were written by Jewish guys! Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.

Upward Bound

November 29th, 2011
4:22 pm

Trish you said it right! Jesus all the way!


November 29th, 2011
4:35 pm

Many holidays have a tendency toward being trivialized, commercialized, or made into convenient days off with scant regard for their origins. Do we really reflect on the meaning of civil rights and equality on Dr. King’s birthday? Do we stop on Presidents’ Day to realize that George Washington actually turned down the offer to be named “king” and made his own term limits? For Christians, Easter is about a lot more than eggs and chocolate–we look back to the resurrection of our Savior! When is the last time you heard anyone reflect on our government on Law Day (don’t know when that one is, huh?). I don’t see many flags on Flag Day, and although there’s a lot of red, white, and blue on the Fourth of July, the very fact that we call it “The Fourth of July” instead of “Independence Day” indicates that we’ve forgotten a lot of its real meaning. Remember that a ragtag group of farmers, craftsmen, and shopkeepers challenged the world’s superpower at the time–and WON! In an era of high unemployment, do many bosses really express appreciation to their workers on Labor Day? Do we stop to reflect that the colonialist, imperialist, gold-seeker Christopher Columbus really took a risk in sailing three tiny wooden ships westward with no guarantee of survival, let alone financial reward? We probably give Halloween more than its due, but we can’t even take the day off for Thanksgiving for fear that another retailer might be open an hour longer and get more long green on Black Friday.

In light of all this, it’s no wonder Christmas is subjected to a host of misunderstandings. The date is arbitrary, as we have no solid biblical or historical evidence for a particular month of the year in which Jesus was born, but whatever date is chosen, the holiday does look back to that world-changing event. For millions of people, Christmas observes the birth of the One we revere as God’s Son, but everyone else is free to have a Holly Jolly, Blue, or White Christmas, to observe Hannukah, Festivus, or the Winter Solstice, or to do whatever else you’d like to do because of that wonderful thing called the First Amendment…which just happens to be in our Constitution because of a Baptist preacher named John Leland….but that’s another story for another day.


November 29th, 2011
4:43 pm

@Trish and Tim, AMEN! At Smartgirl, everyone knows that is not the actual day that he was born and we understand the reason why it was chosen. The reason we chose the date makes sense to me. what we need to do is stop commercializing Christmas and celebrate it accordingly. The retailers have made this holiday all about spending money and it is not about that.


November 29th, 2011
5:23 pm

Try doing Christmas this way . . . Instead of buying gifts (objects), why not DO something good FOR someone. And . . . why not let the gift be giving of ourselves, time, and effort to help those around us? That will unhook us from commercialization and put meaning and simplicity back in to the holiday.


November 29th, 2011
5:51 pm

I would bet that 90% of those 35 million are Democrats… just a hunch.

Why fall for it . . .

November 29th, 2011
5:51 pm

Why fall for the hype . . . I don’t and Smartgirl speaks the truth. Don’t let commercials rule your money.


November 29th, 2011
6:01 pm

That’s funny, because I dread my grandmother and future mother-in-law that aren’t nice to me at Christmas. Glad to know they’re part of the 35 million people that have a hard time “faking” being decent human beings every year. Seriously, just show up, be polite and eat. Not that hard.


November 29th, 2011
6:15 pm

Sorry to burst your bubble with facts, but Jesus wasn’t born on December 25. It was just a usurpation of various pagan festivals of light by the Holy Roman Empire in the 4th Century.


November 29th, 2011
6:15 pm

Actually Smartgirl is not exactly correct. Christmas does have to do with the celebration of the birth of Christ. No they are not sure when the EXACT date was. The act of giving from the wise men is representative of the act of giving at to Christ at Christmas. Santa Claus is patterned after St. Nicholas, who was born very wealthy and gave away all his money as gifts to the poor and children. Read about him here. http://www.angelfire.com/tx5/adoptee/saint.html My daughter actually asked me (she is 8) to tell her the truth about St. Nick or Santa. Was he real and did he exist? I explained why yes he was real and we Googled up the above references. I then explained St. Nicholas so loved Christ and his teachings he did what he did and was the first Santa Claus. Does he still live? Well, yes he does. In my house this same spirit of giving inspired by Christ, because of Christ, through St. Nicholas, the first Santa, lives in mommy and daddy and now that she knows I hope through her as well. Just as Christ can die in your heart so can what St Nick was doing die, or, he can live through you, mommy’s and daddies, and all of the Santa’s you see everywhere. So, Smartgirl, do you believe in Christ and were you a good girl this year? I hope someone who has Santa living in their heart knows you. Now I get to stand back and read from all of the haters, my motivators. MERRY CHRISTMAS and blessings to all of you and thank you Lord God for all of the challenges of life.


November 29th, 2011
6:27 pm

Jesus does a great job mowing my lawn. Other than that, I don’t have use for any other Jesus.


November 29th, 2011
6:29 pm

@Smartgirl: Yep, you’re right. I’m a Christian and I know you’re right. But you won’t hear me being one of those people who thinks society ought to celebrate holidays the way *I* want to.

@Bonedaddy: The date was chosen in order to co-opt the pagan festival (Yule). Many of those traditions we love, like decorating trees, came over directly from the pagans. Christian bishops were well aware that the newly-converted locals at the edges of the Holy Roman Empire weren’t going to give up their beloved traditions, so they took them and made them part of a celebration of Christ’s birth. It doesn’t cheapen Jesus (or St. Nick, who came to the festival quite late in the game, late 18th/early 19th century) to acknowledge the truth of this.

Christians, let me be a voice of conscience for the moment. Stop looking at society and tsking about commercialization. Be the change you want to see. If the commerce aspect really bothers you, stop exchanging gifts. If you feel that you’ve lost the true meaning of the season, then get more involved in your local church. If you’re upset that you can’t have nativity scenes in public places, then open up your church and make your nativity public.

And if you aren’t willing to do these things, then you SURE as heck should not point at people who aren’t even Christians and blame them for ruining your holiday.


November 29th, 2011
6:38 pm

Festivus…no THAT’S a holiday! We shall dance around the Festivus pole, and then have an airing of grievances!


November 29th, 2011
6:40 pm

Great bigdawg, he actually understands and still loves you. Historically speaking, from the thousands of witnesses and archeological accounts, just for the record, there actually was a Jesus Christ living at the time of Pontious Pilate and Kink Herod the Great. (I have artifacts from both of the these people). I choose to believe Christ is and was whom he proclaimed to be. You my friend, enjoy your lawn, watch out for the DUI roadblocks this time of year and Merry Christmas!


November 29th, 2011
6:43 pm

I understand that Shannon, I just said she was not entirely correct. Read up on Constantine and why he did what he did. The church had to allow (at the time) a little Paganism to get the word out and more accepted by the masses.


November 29th, 2011
6:47 pm

If you really want to have fun, adopt a family that needs it, make sure all of their kids have a killer Christmas. This is a tradition at our home. Christ lives though us, Santa (his acts) lives through us.


November 29th, 2011
6:49 pm

Wow, I said Kink Herod. He probably was. I meant King Herod.


November 29th, 2011
6:51 pm

I NOT a Christian…but I digs your voice, Shannon. That’s what’s up!


November 29th, 2011
6:52 pm

Stop the debate! Just spend time with the people you love and enjoy a good meal while you talk. If you have no loved ones, I hope some day you will. You can never love yourself enough to love someone else.


November 29th, 2011
7:43 pm

For those that claim to be Christians, you can’t look at the world and expect them to act like Christians. They aren’t. Just make sure if you’re claiming to be a Christian, you are acting like one. No matter the historical background of it, if you’re a Christian, remember who you celebrate and why.

Shut-up Bonedaddy

November 29th, 2011
9:44 pm

Shut up Bonedaddy . .. you talk too much! People such as you are what others don’t want to deal with during the Holidays. Christmas is over-rated, like everything else. People go into debt and kids only see it as the give-me season. If your heart is a blessed one then give throughout the whole year and not just gewgaws!


November 29th, 2011
10:14 pm

Solve the problem by being nice,or at least making an attempt to,all year long.By doing this,it won’t be such a task when the Holidays come each year. While you may be having what you may consider to be serious difficulties in your life-unemployment,family disputes,illness,etc.-other people may have much worse problems.The spirit of Christmas lives within you,don’t hide it by being overwhelmed by your problems. Contact someone you haven’t seen in a long time. Do more for others.


November 29th, 2011
11:01 pm

It’s great to show how “smart” one is but Americans and Christians have chosen this day to celebrate the birth of Christ and as he was a gift to the world and the worlds savior gifts were given to remember and celebrate the day. It wasn’t about commercialism but again the world and non-believers re-hijacked the day with commercialism. We know Jesus wasn’t born in the winter or dec 25th. This doesn’t change the fact he was born as a gift from God to save the world and be its savior.

I don't think it's accurate

November 30th, 2011
12:32 am

I believe in God but I don’t believe everything that’s in the Bible. I believe Jesus was a righteous being but I also feel he was just a mortal man. What hurts me is that so many of his ‘followers’ just stood by and watched him be crucified.

Would you have died for Him? Ask yourself that when you’re running from place to place, spending your money so you can give everyone what ‘they’ll just die for’ to have.

Happy Birthday Jesus.


November 30th, 2011
11:33 am

For me the best thing about this time ‘o year is the (almost) annual Santa Claus rally in the stock market. Like today! Holy frijole, I’ll make enough by the 4 o’clock close to finance Christmas for the next 10 years.


December 4th, 2011
3:13 pm

Ah Christmas, the time of year all the hypocrites come out of the woodwork and demand I bid them a “Merry Christmas”. May everyone who goes about with “Merry Christmas” on their lips have a stake of holly . . . . you know the rest.


December 4th, 2011
5:07 pm

Where can I find a Christian church that doesn’t make a mockery out of the REASON for the season? Most of the churches I see have Christmas trees, promote exchanging presents, etc. CHRIST gets thrown in like part of the furniture.
For that matter, you can include EASTER. There is nothing in the Bible about BUNNIES!


December 4th, 2011
6:24 pm

Now I may be a bitter, hateful old man but at least I’m not trying to find a church to cater to my bitterness. Christmas trees are evergreen and represent life in the midst of death. Isn’t that what Jesus was all about? And giving gifts (when done sincerely) is a gesture of love. Isn’t that what Jesus wanted? And every church I’ve ever been to (believe it or not, I’ve been to a lot), are always making a big deal about Jesus and love at Christmas time, even if they are hypocrites. They sing songs about Jesus. They tell stories of Jesus. It’s the one time of year they do good deeds, because that’s what Jesus wanted. I just don’t get you religious people. You are never happy. Perhaps if you embraced your inner Scrooge and was honest with yourself about how selfish you really are, then you could at least be at peace with yourself and stop being so judgemental of your fellow man. Bah, humbug.


December 4th, 2011
6:41 pm

I like Christmas; it’s just that I don’t like: shopping, crowds, parties, fake cheer, the people ringing bells at the entrance to every store, putting up decorations and a tree, taking down decorations and a tree, wrapping presents, etc.


December 6th, 2011
3:10 pm

Christmas: An opportunity for atheists to spew opinions in hope of appearing more intelligent than they really are. We get it .. we just don’t agree with you. Stop trying to educate us since its all in interpretation and yours and ours are two completely different opinions. The difference between an atheist and a christian is we don’t stomp all over your holidays, but we will pray for you anyway!

Blue Pencil

December 12th, 2011
9:25 pm

* 90 percent malign something.

Someone fire the proofreader.