A recent survey by The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center reveals that the festive spirit is taking a back seat to stress over inflation and global affairs, making this holiday season more challenging than ever.

The study delved into inflation and holiday expenditures, global/ national affairs, increase in seasonal respiratory illnesses, and the unpredictable nature of the travel industry.

Depressing global affairs

In a poll of 1,007 respondents, a whopping 81% expressed that both domestic and international news are adding a significant layer of stress to their lives, although the survey didn’t delve into specific news events causing the anxiety.

Inflation, rising prices, and anxiety

As if global affairs weren’t enough to dampen the holiday mood, 75% of those surveyed voiced anxiety over the rising prices and inflation, casting a shadow over their seasonal celebrations.

Adding to the yuletide woes, over half of the respondents reported heightened concerns about respiratory illnesses such as RSV, flu, and the ever-persistent COVID-19, making the season less merry and bright.

A majority of Americans assert that the most reliable gauge of the national economy’s health is the prices they encounter for goods and services. This takes precedence over considerations like the unemployment rate, and stock market index.

Unreliable air travel industry

A significant 44% of respondents admitted that last year’s travel chaos, particularly the notorious 16,700 flight cancellations by Southwest Airlines, have turned them into holiday Grinches. NPR reported that the cancellations left numerous travelers stranded, some even without their luggage, adding to the stress of the already hectic holiday season.

Holiday season vs. stressors

While the holidays can induce stress, the survey results suggest that the stressors have reached unprecedented levels. The holiday plate is piled higher than ever, making the quest for festive joy a more challenging journey for many this season.

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