Disappointing photos of department stores during the holidays will make you want to shop online

Shoppers clog the aisles at Macy's Department store.

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Shoppers clog the aisles at Macy’s Department store.
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Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Black Friday is looming, which means that holiday shopping is about to consume your every waking minute.

INSIDER has got you covered on gift guides if you’re looking to do your shopping online. But what about those brave souls who march into a department store in the middle of December?

From less-than-breathtaking holiday decorations to screaming kids, department stores don’t always evoke warm and happy holiday feelings.

Here are just a few reasons why department stores might not be your best shopping option this holiday season.


Sometimes walking into a department store inspires childlike wonder. There are so many things to see and do that you can’t help but marvel.

You should savor that feeling – department stores might not be long for this world.


But any goodwill you have towards shopping will be knocked out of you by the time you navigate the lion’s den that is the parking lot.

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Shoppers and traffic mix in the parking lot.
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

You might think you’re avoiding crowds by skipping Black Friday this year…

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This couple has more than enough personal space around them.
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Adam Berry/Getty Images

Nobody would blame you for sitting Black Friday out. It can be a nightmare.


But the only way you’re avoiding crowds this holiday season is if you do your shopping at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday.

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Customers stream into Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.
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Kena Betancur/Getty Images

According to Woman’s Day, the best times to hit the mall are Mondays and Tuesdays right after opening or right before closing.


The toy section of any department store is supposed to feel like a magical wonderland.

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People play on a giant keyboard inside FAO Schwarz.
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Mario Tama/Getty Images

FAO Schwarz is reopening after suddenly shutting down three years ago.


But you might just be surrounded by screaming kids having meltdowns.

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Not every kid is ready to meet Santa.
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Flickr/daveynin

Santa is such a great photo op! You’ll cherish these memories forever…

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Santa Claus and friends.
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Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

A lot more work goes into being a professional Santa Claus than you might think.


Unfortunately, you never know how your kid is going to react to being passed off to a strange bearded man.

Crying might actually be better than your child asking potentially uncomfortable questions, like “Why do you look different than the other Santa I saw?” or “Can I have a puppy?”


And if you’re overwhelmed by crowds and screaming kids, at least you’ll be surrounded by beautiful decorations… right?

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Shoppers walk among Christmas lights at a shopping mall.
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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

If you’re traveling to New York City this holiday season, department store holiday displays are a must-see.


That is, if you can even see the decorations past all the phones, cameras, and people…

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The 2011 Macy’s Herald Square Christmas windows.
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Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

And all of this assumes that the object of your desire will be in stock. Surely stores will keep their shelves full for the high volume of customers…

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A well-stocked toy aisle.
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Mario Tama/Getty Images

Click here for the 25 toys every kid wants the most this holiday season, according to Amazon – these might sell out fast.


But a lot of other people might be coveting the same items…

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An empty shelf.
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Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images

You can easily avoid all this strife by sticking to Cyber Monday and online shopping.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.