The top ten reasons to cause a festive freak-out revealed

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  • Avoid jingle hell by stamping out these key causes of Christmas stress

    New research commissioned by Google reveals the top ten causes of Christmas-related stress. Not surprisingly money woes are at number one, followed by family and Christmas decorating pressures. Nearly two thirds, 65 per cent, of Brits generally find Christmas at home stressful.

    Related: The 10 things Christmas hosts are most likely to forget

    See what made the charts for seasonal stresses…

    Top 10 reasons causing Christmas stress

    1. Finances

    Christmas stress

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and often the most expensive too. It’s no surprise 24 per cent held money in the number spot for making festivities less fun.

    2. Not having any time for yourself

    ‘Tis the season to be jolly and sociable. While it’s great to catch up with all your nearest and dearest, 22 per cent claimed not having enough ‘me’ time resulted in stress. Over a third would choose to hide in the bathroom in an attempt to get a bit of alone time.

    Scots are most worried among us about having time to themselves, with 27 per cent citing this as their most stress-inducing element of Christmas.

    3. Cooking the Christmas dinner

    Christmas stress

    Image credit: Steve Baxter

    The task of cooking such a big dinner was the cause of stress for 22 per cent.

    4. Wrapping weirdly shaped presents

    Buying weird and wonderful gifts is all very well but how do you wrap them? 20 per cent revealed this very thing was a source of stress. Just stick a gift tag on and be done with it to instantly reduce the stress levels.

    5. Putting on weight

    Christmas should come with a disclaimer – overindulging is unavoidable. Mince pies for breakfast in December feels like a good idea at the time, but 20 per cent revealed the fear of gaining weight weighed heavily on their minds.

    6. Spending time with the in-laws

    Rather dramatically, one in ten claimed they would ‘rather swim naked with sharks than spend Christmas with the in-laws’ (we’re not sure why being naked is necessary for the task?!). The survey found people in Northern Ireland are the most likely to be those found hiding from their family – down the pub, with 15 per cent admitting that’s their safe haven.

    7. Pretending to like presents

    Christmas stress

    Image credit: Claire Richardson

    Having to fib about liking presents that you really don’t like has 14 per cent of us stressing out. In the North East, it seems the likelihood of receiving an unwanted gift is increased, with a quarter admitting this is the thing they find most stressful about Christmas.

    8. Buying presents for people you rarely see

    Spending money on gifts for those you hardly see does feel like a thankless task – 11 per cent agree.

    9. Decorating the house

    Not since Clarke Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has there been such a pressure to decorate to the max! With the added pressure of seeing everyone’s efforts on social media it’s no wonder 10 per cent held this accountable for great stress.

    10. Untangling the Christmas lights

    It appears this thoroughly annoying task made it into the top ten – with 10 per cent citing it highly stressful.

    Just missing out on the top ten stresses was having to find things for the kids to do with per cent. Running out of alcohol is a great worry for 5 per cent of the nation!

    There are some Scrooges among us, 10 per cent, who said having to play games with the family was worthy of a freak-out.

    Related: You won’t believe how long Brits spend on pre-Christmas cleaning!

    The survey was conducted to find out how people will be using Google’s Home Hub to ease the stresses of hosting Christmas at home.

    ‘Having family round over the festive season can be overwhelming. This device is designed to fit in with your life by being your personal little helper when you really need it.’ says Laurian Clemence of Google. ‘From using recipes for sprouts while managing not to burn the turkey, to videos for wrapping oddly shaped gifts, to setting timers, entertaining the family and controlling the heating. As it’s powered by the Google Assistant.’

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