WEST LONG BRANCH — A new Monmouth University poll finds most of us enjoy the holidays, but the season still has its share of stresses.

Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray says their poll showed finding the right gift can be a strain.

"More than 1 in 4 people say that that is the thing that gives them the most stress," Murray said. "We find that among all of the activities that you have to participate in in the holidays and take care of, finding the right gift is the top stresser."

Four in 10 find the holidays more enjoyable than the rest of the year, and men are less likely to be stressed right now than women.

"Women are a little bit more stressed out, and you get this picture of men (who) are the ones who wait until the very last minute," Murray said. "Part of it is, you know, you need to find the perfect thing for that person, or maybe it is just affording that gift. I think that when we look at it, we see that it is the parents of young children, are those that seem to be the most stressed out by this."

Some other findings in the poll:

  • 1 in 6 in the poll, 17 percent, find holiday traveling the most stressful. But 33 percent say they get at least some stress from holiday travel.
  • 16 percent said being with family members is a top cause of stress.
  • 9 percent find holiday cooking very stressful.
  • 6 percent said holiday decorating did it for them.

The poll shows the least-stressed holiday demographic is older, retired individuals, with "grandpa" stressed the least.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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