Holiday

How much time does the average woman spend gift shopping?

A recent survey shows women spend a lot more time shopping than men do.

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(Photo The Sweetest Occasion)

Everyone has his or her own way of shopping for the holidays. Some start in early fall while others, like my sister, shop all year round. By December 25, she’s amassed a thoughtful collection of gifts for everyone in our family.

I always leave my Christmas shopping to the last minute. Maybe it’s because I get too excited when I buy a loved one a gift I know they’re going to love and can only handle keeping quiet for a few days.

Whether you do it in July or on Christmas Eve, it’s fair to say that most of us want to find the perfect gift for everyone on our Christmas list. The pursuit of perfection keeps us up late at night browsing online shopping sites, or out on the street, running from store to store in search of the item that screams ‘MOM!’.

How long does it take to find the perfect gift?

It may depend on whom you’re shopping for says one U.K. survey. Online retailer Littlewoods.com interviewed 1,000 parents and found that women with families spend more than 13 hours searching for their husband or partner’s Christmas gift.

Men don’t spend quite as much time as women searching for gifts, however (is this a surprise to anyone?). The same survey found that men spend a little more than four hours looking for a gift for their spouses or partners.

Are we to assume this makes men less considerate gift-givers? Their mates seem to think so. Nearly 60 percent of the women polled in the survey confided that they were consistently disappointed by their husband or partner’s Christmas gift.

The women also admitted to dropping hints to their partner in order to get what they really want for Christmas. Based on the numbers that claim to be disappointed, those hints are falling on deaf ears.

I don’t think gift-giving is a gender-specific talent. I can’t say that I’ve been the most considerate gift giver in years past — though it’s not for a lack of searching for the right gift.

I’ve failed repeatedly to crack my mate’s secret Christmas wish. This year I’ll try again. And if he’s disappointed I hope he won’t think it’s because I didn’t give it a great deal of thought. But maybe, like the hopeless men with disappointed wives in the survey, my enthusiasm would be better directed toward listening a little more attentively.

How much time do you spend Christmas shopping? Tell us in the comment section below.