Over a third of Brits are full of stress rather than Christmas cheer

Buying presents is the most stressful Christmas activity for British consumers according to a new survey. (AFP Relaxnews pic)

New research by Mintel has found that 36% of UK adults feel stressed at Christmas time, with buying presents reported as being the most stressful activity.

The survey of 2,000 internet users aged 16 and over revealed that although a large percentage of British consumers (42%) did report feeling somewhat relaxed during the Christmas season, 30% feel somewhat stressed and six% feel extremely stressed.

The majority (46%) report that the cost of buying presents is what stresses them the most, followed closely by 43% responding that it is buying the right present for friends and family that they find most stressful.

Time is also a factor, with 27% stressed about not having enough time to get things done and 17% worrying that deliveries of food and presents won’t arrive on time.

Cooking the Christmas lunch or dinner is what is stressing out 20% of those surveyed, while for 16% it’s spending time with family members at Christmas who they don’t get on with.

Worrying that they might behave badly at a Christmas party is stressing out 4% of Brits.

Some of those surveyed must be feeling some festive cheer however, as when asked to complete the phrase, “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without…,” 56% of adults agree that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas songs, and 52% say Christmas films are what makes it Christmas for them.

The rise in Christmas TV adverts now means for 41% of Brits, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas TV adverts, while for a third (33%) it wouldn’t be the festive season without Brussels sprouts.

Just under three in ten (28%) Brits feel that it wouldn’t be Christmas without the traditional Queen’s speech, while a quarter (25%) say Christmas is all about the Christmas jumper.

Jack Duckett, Senior Consumers Lifestyle Analyst at Mintel, commented on the findings saying, “Brits face a lot of pressure to have the perfect Christmas, ranging from the best decorated Christmas tree to the most elegant of Christmas feasts.

There has always been something of a competitive element to how people approach Christmas, but there is little doubt that the dawn of social media and pervasive images of high-end celebrations have put even more pressure on Brits to achieve the ultimate Christmas Day.

There is therefore little wonder that so many people feel stressed at this time of the year.”

“Money consistently proves a core factor driving heightened stress levels this season, reflecting that as consumers seek to ‘achieve’ both the traditional and contemporary goals that come with having a ‘perfect Christmas,’ it can be hard to keep costs down.”