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

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

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 savour 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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

Flickr/daveyninNot every kid is ready to meet Santa.

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

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty ImagesSanta Claus and friends.

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?

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

If you’re travelling 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…

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

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…

Mario Tama/Getty ImagesA well-stocked toy aisle.

Click here for the25 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…

Hiroko Masuike/Getty ImagesAn empty shelf.

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


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