QUEENSLANDERS are expected to spend up to $3.7 billion dollars on gifts this festive season - close to double the anticipated spend of 2011 - but for many, the strain of shopping compares to some of life's most significant and stressful events.
One in 10 people feel Christmas shopping is as stressful as moving or buying a house, with a similar number comparing it to planning a wedding, according to research by Personalised Plates Queensland.
The pressure of impressing with a unique or great gift was the biggest worry for nearly a quarter of Queenslanders, with more than one in eight most concerned about giving a dud gift.
Unsurprisingly, financial constraints ranked as the biggest shopping stressor, followed closely by crowded shopping centres.
For 40% of hopeful Queenslanders, the only thing that would alleviate the stress of Christmas gift shopping was if Santa Claus was real.
Other more realistic stress busters included doing it all online without leaving the house, and enlisting the help of a personal shopper.
Potentially adding fuel to the fluster, the ignorant recipient - who offers little to no acknowledgement of the gift - ranked as the biggest gifting gripe, following by fake gratitude and the double up - giving a gift the recipient already had.
Queenslanders found this more irritating than requesting the receipt and giving an unreciprocated gift.
Despite the stresses, businesses may get the sales boost they've been hoping for, with a new survey showing a rise in consumer spending ahead of Christmas.
According to the Commonwealth Bank's Business Sales Indicator, economy-wide spending rose 2.2% in November, following a 1% fall in October.
CBA executive general manager, local business banking, Adam Bennett said the increase in spending was good news for businesses hoping for a pre-Christmas boost after a tough year for many traders.
"Although we have experienced spending volatility over the past six months, the latest results provide businesses with some much-needed good news in the lead up to Christmas," he said.
"Coming off the back of a tough year for many sectors, it is important that businesses across the country are prepared to make the most of consumer spending over the coming weeks."
What do you find the most stressful about Christmas shopping?
This poll ended on 22 January 2013.
Trying to find the right gift.
The crowds in shopping centres.
It's all good - I shop online.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.