Dec. 26, 2013 at 10:21 AM ET
The bare spots under Christmas trees thanks to late deliveries by UPS and FedEx have created a mixture of frustration over missing presents and support for the workers trying to get them to their destinations.
Two of the nation's biggest package shippers were scrambling to deliver items on Thursday to angry customers. The companies blamed increased online sales and weeks of bad weather for the delays, and both have issued apologies.
But the shipping giants have taken a beating on social media, where #upsfail and #fedexfail have become popular hashtags.
Amid the complaints, FedEx and UPS employees and their families and loved ones are also speaking out, claiming they have been working long hours and that the workforce was understaffed to handle the volume.
"I drive a UPS truck and worked 10-14 hours a day for a month Strait (sic),'' Bruce Hendrickson wrote on TODAY's Facebook page. "Did not see my wife did not go Christmas shopping and most of the days did not get to eat until night time. You people have no idea what happens inside that brown truck."
"My uncle works for ups as well and I gotta say its hard to even see him since he works so many hours!" Espy S. Diaz wrote on Facebook. "I joke with him and call him elf since he delivers over 300 or so packages a day."
"My husband is a ups driver too and works 12 hours and doesn't see his kids except the weekend bc they are already in bed when he comes home,'' Michelle Smith posted on Facebook. "People need to have more respect for what ups drivers do. It's not easy!"
Others have blamed the company's management for the late deliveries.
And then there's the backlash to the backlash, as Twitter users knock the complainers for procrastinating on ordering their gifts — and missing the true meaning of Christmas.