Spreading Holiday Cheer: Crazy Parent Shoppers, 2015 Edition (Backed by Data!)

We hear it every year: extreme holiday shopping finds a new and shocking low. Maybe its the Tickle Me Elmo stampede, maybe its some kind of weird suburban parent gang related tussle over who was in which position in line outside the local Toys-R-Us, or perhaps the time honored tradition of the breathless, frazzled parent interview on Black Friday’s 5 o’clock news shouting about the injustice of the last _________ being taken “RIGHT OUT OF MY HANDS.” No matter how we might progress as humans, the pilgrimage to the toy store and subsequent absurdity that inevitably unfolds is something upon which we can always count.

This year, for a change, we are putting data behind these deplorable stories. Turns out news crews don’t actually have to go digging for nutty parents fighting for toys, but instead that a whopping “23 percent of Americans said they would behave unethically to score the last hot holiday gift on the shelf.” Yes, thats a one in four chance of potentially being mauled, lied to or “knocked down” (8 percent!) for the last one of whatever your kids have been screeching for the last five months.

Some highlights, or lowlights, depending on your POV:

Here are the lengths to which parents (versus non-parents) would go to snag the last hot gift:

  • 17 percent (versus 8 percent) would lie to other shoppers.
  • 16 percent (versus 8 percent) would cut in line.
  • 16 percent (versus 5 percent) would pretend to be a store clerk.
  • 8 percent (versus 3 percent) would knock down an adult.
  • 8 percent (versus 2 percent) would push a child over.
  • 7 percent (versus 2 percent) would trip an elderly person.

As for the gifts that would lead an otherwise sane person to push a child over, 36 percent of respondents said smartphone shortages will cause the biggest problems.

About 30 percent say the worst headaches will stem from shortages of video games such as “Guitar Hero Live,” “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” and “Star Wars Battlefront.”

Roughly a quarter predicted that “Star Wars” toys would cause the biggest disturbance in the force.”

Here is the Today Show clip on this just to add more color and anxiety to your preparations (nothing like a good stock video door buster to get you looking forward to the next few weeks!).

 

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