Who orchestrates holiday celebrations in your house? According to statistics, there's a good chance she's female (in other words, you) -- and that she has way too much to do.
Women still do most of the housework in most households, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that Ruth Davis Konigsberg quoted in her TIME cover story "Chore Wars" earlier this year. And of the 1,010 adult women polled an October 2011 survey by Georgia-Pacific, a paper goods manufacturer, 65 percent reported that they didn't receive any help with household chores. During the holiday, those duties can only multiply.
Georgia Pacific found that hosting a holiday party added an average of four hours to time spent cleaning the house, and women also do the bulk of the holiday shopping. A survey conducted between September 23 and October 10, 2010 of 578 people ages 18-34 by MTV Networks Digital found that women did 56 percent of household gift shopping compared to only 36 percent of men, and that only one-third of men reported buying gifts for their significant others compared with 50 percent of women. The only place men outpaced women when it came to holiday shopping was buying holiday gifts for themselves: 47 percent of men reported doing this, compared with 35 percent of women.
No wonder the holidays can feel so stressful for some women. But would they be any less hectic if men were in charge? According to a new survey, some men think so.
Red Tractor, an independent food quality firm in the UK, recently asked 2,000 men how the holidays would be different for their families if they, rather than the women in the household, were in charge, the New Zealand Herald reports. A third of those surveyed said they think women stress too much over Christmas, and according to the Daily Mail, a majority of them said they could run the holiday better than women, maintaining that the whole affair would be cheaper, less rushed and less stressful if they were in charge.
Here are some of the specific ways men thought the holidays would improve if they were in charge.
PHOTOS: If Christmas Was Run By Men
Half of men surveyed said they wouldn't send Christmas cards because it involves too much time and effort.
A quarter of men would ditch turkey for a different meat, and almost a fifth would opt for steak and fries or even takeout.
Most men surveyed didn't see the value of wrapping at home when it can be done in a store -- this is definitely a task they'd take off their holiday to-do lists.
40 percent of men surveyed said that if they were in charge of Christmas, they wouldn't visit their in-laws.
Men may be onto something here -- most respondents said that kids should help out in the kitchen.
For all of the ways the men surveyed said they would celebrate Christmas differently, 66 percent reported that family is their main priority during December. That part they wouldn't change at all.
One question their responses raise is why the holidays are so stressful for some women. It's possible that some women don't let men help, or that they place undue stress on themselves in pursuit of the "perfect" holiday experience, which leads to a more stressful time for everyone in the family.