Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Friends or family? Why Christmas can be so very stressful

45% of Belfast folk get stressed at work because they are worrying about how much they've got to do to prepare for the December holiday

Deciding who to spend Christmas with is one of the most stressful things about the festive holiday for Ulster folk, a new survey has revealed.

Besides money being the most obvious stress, more than 60% of people from Northern Ireland said choosing who to spend the holiday with was one of the biggest causes of stress, with 10% of those saying they would prefer to spend Christmas with friends instead of their family.

The study also revealed that 45% of Belfast folk even get stressed at work because they are worrying about how much they've got to do to prepare for the December holiday.

However, half did admit that they brought their anxieties on themselves by leaving festive preparations to the last minute.

The poll also revealed that a cheeky 55% of the people in Belfast would quite happily go away for Christmas to leave the organising to someone else.

According to the research conducted for Life Assistance Firm, CPP Group, one in ten people have had such severe financial problems in the past that they have been unable to buy any Christmas presents for their loved ones.

And while 10% of those told friends and family they would get their gifts a bit late, no one has been so short of money they were forced to turn up empty-handed on Christmas Day.

The survey also found that almost two-thirds of the 3,000 people polled said they were absolutely dreading the festive season and 70% found Christmas shopping a stressful experience.

Nick Jones, communications manager at CPP, said that while APACS, the UK payment association, estimates that Britons would spend over £53 billion over the Christmas period, a staggering three-quarters of people polled said they were already worried about the cost of Christmas, even though it is still another month away.

He also warned that people should be aware that identity and card fraudsters will be looking for rich pickings this Christmas.

Most stressful things about festive season

1. Spending too much money

2. Deciding what people might like as presents

3. Shopping for presents and dealing with the crowds of people

4. Worrying about spending time with the family and preventing arguments

5. Long shopping queues

6. Putting on weight

7. Cooking for all the family

8. Eating and drinking too much

9. Juggling family commitments

10. Deciding where to spend Christmas

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