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Nearly two-thirds of Americans think this is the ‘grinchiest’ place during the holiday season

Americans also ranked the most overplayed holiday songs in this recent survey.

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A young couple with smartphone in shopping center at Christmas.
(Ground Picture via Shutterstock)

The “grinchiest” place of all during the holidays? Shopping centers, according to nearly two-thirds of Americans.

A panel of 2,000 U.S. adults revealed 64% think malls and shopping centers induce the most stress during the winter months, with airports (59%) and the post office (58%) rounding out the top three. Crowds (60%), long lines (53%) and noise (52%) were among people’s top pet peeves at these stressful locations. 

But, unfortunately, ‘grinchy’ places exist online, too. Stress-inducing social media platforms are Facebook (43%), Instagram (40%) and TikTok (36%).

Nearly half of respondents (48%) feel overwhelmed by shopping ads and insensitive or negative content being posted online during the holiday season. 

Another potential source of holiday stress? Overplayed songs. “Jingle Bells” (25%) and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” (25%) tied in this category, while “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” was among the least overplayed (17%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of International Delight following the launch of its line of limited-edition Grinch-themed coffee creamers in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the survey also discovered getting a surprise sale or discount (45%), receiving an unexpected gift (43%) or enjoying a hot cup of coffee (39%) can take a place from “grinchy” to “joyful.” 

Survey respondents also shared that “home cooking,” “a holiday card,” “a raise,” “family and friends” and “people being kind to one another” could make their holiday months more delightful.

Another way to spice up the winter holidays may be literal. Chocolate emerged as the winner among flavors that bring people the most joy this season (41%), followed by vanilla (35%), gingerbread (34%) and peppermint mocha (33%).

“Despite the excitement of the holidays, the crowds, long lines and noise can make what is meant to be the most cheerful time of year feel ‘grinchy’!” said Kallie Goodwin, Vice President of Marketing for International Delight. “We’re on an endless mission to spread joy and celebration. To bring a little more delight to your holiday season, I recommend adding your favorite festive creamer to a hot cup of coffee. Oftentimes, it’s the simple things that can make people’s hearts grow three sizes.”


  • “Jingle Bells” - 25%
  • “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” - 25%
  • “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” - 23%
  • “Jingle Bell Rock” - 23%
  • “All I want for Christmas is You” - 22%
  • “Feliz Navidad” - 21%
  • “Santa Baby” - 19%
  • “Last Christmas” - 18%
  • “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” - 17%
  • “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” - 17%
  • “Winter Wonderland” - 16%
  • “The Chanukah Song” - 15%


  • “People being kind to one another.”
  • “A holiday card.”
  • “The smell of Christmas.”
  • “A little snow wouldn't hurt.”
  • “For everyone to slow down and enjoy the holiday.”
  • “More free time to myself.”
  • “Eating delicious delicacies.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,005 general population Americans was commissioned by International Delight between October 10 and October 17, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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