It is, if the songs are to be believed, “the most wonderful time of the year”.
Evidence from US travel comparison site Priceline suggests that many of you might be experiencing more than a little bit of tension right now.
Indeed if their recent survey, published at the end of last month, is to be believed then the reality of Christmas is rather different to the Disney-esque view that many of us hold dear.
Priceline asked 1,001 US resident about their yuletide experiences in order to gain a rather more honest view of what many of us truly think about Christmas.
And the reality is rather starker than you might imagine.
For starters, almost a third of those surveyed wished they could leave at least one family member “home alone” when off visiting relatives and friends between Christmas and New Year. Unsurprisingly the figure is even higher when the younger age-group alone are considered, with 48% of those under 25 admitting such sentiments. Hardly what one might call the “season of goodwill”.
Adding to this festive experience, 43% of Americans admit that they will fake their holiday cheer at least once during the festive season. Over a quarter of those surveyed also admit to “regifting” – the process of giving away unwanted presents to others and palming them off as something new.
So what do you do if nobody is buying you what you really want? The answer, of course, is to buy it for yourself. Depending on age group, between 33% and 42% of Americans admit to buying themselves presents while shopping for others.
Possibly most depressing of all is that this fake bonhomie, combined with rounds of forced socializing and extensive volumes of rich food means that many people are unable to enjoy a restful and rejuvenating Christmas season.
Indeed, according to the survey 56% of Americans admit that they would appreciate a vacation from the holidays.
It should come as no surprise then that 43% of survey respondents would welcome a tropical getaway as a holiday gift this year. If you’re struggling to come up with that “perfect gift” the statistics suggest that you could therefore do a lot worse than shopping for a holiday to the sun.
As a final note, and taking into account that this will be our last news post before the end of 2015 we’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Expatriate Healthcare.
Remember that if you are lucky enough to receive a foreign holiday for Christmas this year you might want to get a travel insurance quote from us, to ensure that you’re properly covered for all eventualities while abroad.