The stress of gift shopping: What’s not so joyful about Christmas shopping in 2023
December 12th, 2023, Hoang Nguyen

The stress of gift shopping: What’s not so joyful about Christmas shopping in 2023

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The Christmas season always seems to be full of positive and cheerful references. But certain aspects of the holidays are not so jolly for everyone, especially when it comes to shopping for gifts amid the high cost of living.

A recent study from YouGov reveals that more than two in five Christmas shoppers (45%) in the UK are very or somewhat stressed about gift shopping this year.

There’s more behind the mental toll of Christmas shopping, and inflation is a big reason why people are stressed out this year.

Here are the top challenges putting pressure on Christmas shoppers’ mental wellness.

  • Inflation looms heavy on Christmas budgets: 69% of people who celebrate Christmas expect inflation to make a major or moderate impact on their Christmas shopping this year. Digging further into the data reveals that C2DE Christmas shoppers are significantly more likely to say inflation will have a major impact on the Christmas shopping (28% vs. 23% of ABC1 Christmas shoppers).

  • Financial worries: High costs and the potential of going into debt are the main reasons why 67% of stressed-out Christmas shoppers say they are feeling distressed. This is especially apparent among young adults aged 25-34 (77%).

  • Difficulty knowing what to buy: Half (53%) of Christmas shoppers say it’s difficult to choose gifts people will like. This is something that older Christmas shoppers particularly struggle with (58% of those age 55 and over).

  • Time constraints and the burden of long shopping lists: 25% of stressed-out shoppers say they don’t have enough time to do all their shopping. An additional 17% say they have too many people to shop for.

  • Other significant stressors taking a mental toll on Christmas shoppers include a lack of perceived deals (17%), the availability of products (13%), and concern about whether gifts will arrive on time (10%).


This YouGov study was conducted online between Nov. 14-16, 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 2,176 adults aged 18+ in the UK.