November 8, 2023 | Allison Robertson

Unwrapping the Least Desirable Seasonal Jobs of the Holiday Season

Unwrapping the Least Desirable Seasonal Jobs of the Holiday Season

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

The Christmas season, while full of joy and festivity for many, can also mean a time of grueling work for those taking on seasonal jobs. From enduring the cold in outdoor markets to managing the frenzy of last-minute shoppers, seasonal employees often face tough conditions for meager pay.

Let’s highlight some of the less-than-merry seasonal jobs that people take on during the holiday rush.

Christmas Tree Lot Attendant

Happy Tree lot owner carrying Christmas tree for customersHero Images Inc, Shutterstock

Attendants at Christmas tree lots spend long hours in the cold, often lifting heavy trees and tying them to customers' vehicles.

The combination of physical labor, cold weather, and holiday shoppers in a rush can make this job particularly demanding.

Salary: Usually minimum wage or slightly above.

Warehouse Worker for Online Retailers

Wild Office DramaPexels

These workers face long shifts, picking and packing a high volume of orders to meet the holiday demand.

The high-pressure environment to meet shipping deadlines and the repetitive nature of the work can be physically exhausting.

Salary: Typically near minimum wage, with some potential for overtime.

Gift Wrapper


Gift wrappers stand at busy mall kiosks, wrapping an endless stream of gifts, often with intricate designs demanded by customers.

The job requires speed and precision for hours on end, which can be both mentally and physically taxing.

Salary: Often minimum wage, occasionally with tips.


Holiday Decorator

Customer Service IIShutterstock

Responsible for decking out homes and businesses with festive decor, often requiring work at heights and under tight deadlines.

It's physically strenuous and can be risky when installing lights or decorations at heights, all for a relatively low financial return.

Salary: Usually low hourly rates.

Seasonal Delivery Driver

Karens vs employeesShutterstock

Delivery drivers for companies like UPS or FedEx often work overtime to deliver a high volume of parcels.

The stress of timely deliveries, combined with increased traffic and adverse winter driving conditions, makes this job particularly stressful.

Salary: Varies, but often close to minimum wage, with some overtime pay.

Retail Sales Clerk

Woman Checking Out At A Department StoreGorodenkoff, Shutterstock

These clerks manage the chaos of holiday shopping, restocking shelves, and assisting an endless parade of customers.

Long hours on your feet, dealing with impatient customers, and the frenetic pace of holiday retail can make the days feel longer than they are.

Salary: Typically at or near minimum wage.

Santa’s Helper or Elf

Festive Facts About ChristmasFlickr, TaylorHerring

Working in Santa's grottos in malls, helpers assist with photography, crowd control, and entertaining children.

While it might seem magical, managing long lines and keeping spirits high among waiting families is no easy task.

Salary: Usually minimum wage.

Parking Lot Attendant

Black Friday FactsShutterstock

These attendants manage busy parking lots during the shopping frenzy, often in cold and inclement weather.

The job involves a lot of standing, exposure to the elements, and dealing with stressed drivers, all for low pay.

Salary: Often minimum wage.

Call Center Holiday Support

Young woman is talking on the phone at call center.MART PRODUCTION, Pexels

These workers handle customer service inquiries, often dealing with complaints or last-minute order changes.

The high call volume and dealing with frustrated customers can be overwhelming and thankless.

Salary: Usually close to minimum wage.


Costume Character

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

Whether it’s dressing up as Santa or a reindeer, these roles involve entertaining and sometimes managing crowds, often in hot and uncomfortable costumes.

The costume can be cumbersome, visibility limited, and the job often requires boundless energy to stay in character for hours.

Salary: Close to or at minimum wage.

Final Thoughts

People Realized They Were Rich FactsShutterstock

Seasonal jobs are often a necessity for those looking to supplement their income during the holidays. However, the roles listed above can demand a lot for relatively little financial reward.

As we enjoy the holiday season, it's worth remembering the hard work and long hours put in by seasonal workers to help make our celebrations possible.


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