Survey: For Christmas, read Stressmas

Nearly two thirds of British women across the UK will be hit by Stressmas this week as a consequence of hosting Christmas; according to new research.

The pressure of creating the perfect Christmas and spreading goodwill amongst family and friends is so high that 42 per cent of females said hosting Christmas is the most stressful thing they have had to do this year.

The survey conducted by Travelodge with 6,000 Britons also revealed that 45% of men think women make too much fuss about Christmas and make the day a lot more difficult than it should be.

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Over a third of male respondents stated that they could do a better job of hosting Christmas than their partners and wouldn’t get as stressed.

Forty one per cent of women surveyed stated they do not trust their partner to execute an essential Christmas task and in the long run it’s much easier if they just do it – as they know it will be right.

85 per cent of women said men do not understand how much work and stress goes into creating the perfect Christmas. 46 per cent of women said they feel pressurised to create the perfect Christmas due to popular TV programmes hosted by Nigella Lawson and Kirstie Allsopp who make Christmas entertaining look so easy.

Key research findings revealed 41 per cent of women are worrying that they will not be perceived to be a domestic goddess by their family and friends and will be criticised for their hosting skills. Listed below are the top seven Stressmass concerns that will be giving women sleepless nights this week.

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l How to keep guests entertained over the festive season (32%)

l Guests will think the house is dirty (30%)

l Menu planning and cooking additional meals whilst guests stay over (29%)

l Keeping the conversation going (28%)

l Partner and children embarrassing them (25%)

l The state of the spare room

l Guest will hear partner’s snoring

The research also revealed the mother in law is the most dreaded Christmas guest, followed by Mum as both women know best and will interfere with the day’s planned proceedings.

68 per cent of women said it really annoys them when their mother in law or mother tires to take over on Christmas Day. 31 per cent of respondents said it makes them feel inadequate and not a good host. A fifth of women said if it gets too much on Christmas day they will use the excuse of having a migraine so that they can have a sneaky catnap.

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The study also investigated the cost of hosting Christmas with the average expense being £245.50.

Around £105 is spent on stocking additional food for guests and £78.50 is spent on additional alcohol. The remaining £62 is spent on other expenses such as: fancy toiletries, new towels, scented candles, getting the spare room ready and new Christmas decorations.

42 per cent of female hosts said that having a well stocked fridge and larder was far more important to them, in comparison to having a well stocked drinks trolley over the festive season.

A fifth of female respondents stated they will spend more money on presents for guests who are staying over with them for the festive season because they have to face them on Christmas morning.

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Relationship psychologist Corinne Sweet said: “It’s not only the turkey that gets overheated at Christmas, family flare-ups are inevitable, especially as people who seldom see each other are suddenly thrown together 24/7. Stressmass can be avoided, prepare yourself psychologically by lowering your expectations, Christmas can’t be perfect”.

“Take time-out every time you feel riled. Having a nap can work wonders, as people are especially niggly on not much sleep. Make space for yourself this Christmas (even a walk round the block can help), set boundaries with relatives and kids, and create some quiet ‘me-time’ to reflect on what the spirit of Christmas is really all about.”

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