For most people, Christmas is a holiday to look forward to.
But for those working in retail, it can be one of the most difficult times of the year.
According to a recent study conducted by Australian retail union Shop Distributive & Allied Employees Association, 85 percent of people working in fast food and retail experienced abuse from customers while at work.
Participants told researchers they "routinely have customers swearing and yelling at them, spitting in their faces or threatening them, simply for doing their jobs".
According to Kate Davis of First Union it's a problem for Kiwi retail workers too, especially around the Christmas period.
"Everyone wants Christmas to be this happy time full of flying reindeers and Santas down chimneys, but the reality is for our retail workers this is not a happy time," she said.
"And you make it less happy with your demands as a customer and management make it less happy with their demands expecting more and more from the workers and giving them so little in return."
Ms Davis' advice to customers is to be patient and remember that the staff are just trying to do their job.
"Be kind and considerate, and if you've got a complaint don't take it out on the retail worker. They can't help you if the product you're looking for from the mailer is not on the floor."
Watch the video to hear the stories of two experienced retail workers employed by major chain stores in New Zealand.