LONDON, December 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Christmas comes just once a year ... and that's welcome relief for most men since, for the majority, Christmas shopping is pure hell. Almost half of them (48%) regard it as worse than the stress of being dumped by their girlfriend, losing their job or moving home. A recent study, carried out by Lands' End Direct Merchants, found that men had increasingly short tempers and heart rates the longer the Christmas shopping trip lasted.
Life events that cause the most stress include divorce, being fired and moving home. And now, a significant proportion of men would place Christmas shopping high on that list, only a short way behind the stress of a divorce.
A multitude of things rev up male shoppers' stress levels - these include dawdlers that get in their way (86%), having to traipse around the shops carrying heavy bags (90%), rude shoppers or discourteous shop assistants (83%), other peoples' screaming children (76%) and queue jumpers (74%).
And the stress doesn't stop there, as the finances take a hit. Over half (52%) will be splashing out up to GBP500 this Christmas with a quarter spending up to GBP1,000. The most generous men are from Wales with nearly a quarter (24%) spending up to GBP2,000, followed by the Scots (35%) and the North (26%) who'll spend up to GBP1,000. The meanest in the GBP500-GBP1,000 group are the Southerners, with just 19% spending that much.
And what do they get? Men's worst Christmas gifts include anything knitted by an elderly relative (27%) and (12%) said this year's Christmas hit single. Other dud gifts included cheap wine or aftershave, a walking stick, a Michael Bolton CD, a Chelsea shirt for a Liverpool supporter, novelty ties and socks, two right hand gloves and a bottle hat and Viagra!
James Sherwood, Style Writer says, 'The levels of stress in buying a present rise the less you know and/or love the person you're trying to please. Ask yourself whether you should really be with that girl if you have no idea what she likes or dislikes. There are certain strategies to turn the nightmare before Christmas into fun:
- Avoid the obvious hot dates - Saturday mornings and late night shopping. Drink a glass of champagne before hitting the shops to loosen your inhibitions and your wallet. I like to choose one or two retailers and buy everything in one hit, have it all beautifully gift-wrapped then delivered to the home or office.
- Shopping online on secure websites removes the stress of Christmas shopping entirely. Choose a theme, such as perfume, and buy everyone their favourite fragrance. Mail order is marvellous if you choose failsafe presents in the correct sizes. There's no man, woman, child or animal that will not thank you for a cashmere sweater or scarf. Socks can be fabulous if they are indeed cashmere or silk and brightly coloured. And I have yet to meet an Englishman who won't appreciate a bottle of good booze.
- The rules are simple. Don't try to be too clever. Don't try to show off too much and don't think of Christmas shopping as a chore. If you love the people you're buying for then you know they are worth it. Stress is just another word for indecision and bad taste.'
Men are not alone ... women get bad presents too. A third (32%) said anything for cleaning the house or car a gnome that lets off wind, a weight loss book, cheap perfume or jewellery and a divorce!
'The best way for men to reduce their stress is to try and plan ahead a bit and combine high street with internet or catalogue shopping', says Rob Galkoff, Lands' End Direct Merchants. We're trusted to deliver in time for Christmas - with a last order time of midnight on 22nd December - so guys and girls can shop stress-free up to the last minute! We'll even gift wrap your order and deliver them to your loved ones if you order before 21st December. Our live, 24/7, call centre is staffed with a team of experts who can act as your own personal shopper to help find the perfect gift for you. We're happy to take away the stress factor even further by guaranteeing everything we sell for life, so if the present needs changing or refunding in January then you know it's not a problem.'
The independent survey, commissioned by Lands' End, looked at the views of 1,000 men and women in England, Scotland and Wales. J-peg images of people using catalogues and the internet are available on request. Rob Galkoff, Lands' End is available for comment.
Lands' End website: www.landsend.co.uk
Lands' End free phone: +44-(0)800-61-71-61
SOURCE Lands' End