What do you find most stressful about Christmas? A poll of 2,000 people has revealed the things that have us tearing our hair out over the festive period - and it's a pretty exhaustive list.

The survey looked in to what Christmas-celebrating adults most dread about the holidays, and along with some predictable stuff like having to spend time with the in-laws, or hosting people, it seems that buying meaningful gifts for loved ones was the most challenging aspect of the entire season for the majority of respondents.

Additionally, one in five adults struggled with pleasing everyone, and cooking dinner for the family, while 34 per cent were worried about the amount of money they would be spending. And all those Christmas treats were playing on the minds of 23 per cent of those polled, who said the fear of putting on weight after too much indulging was their biggest concern.

The study also found that one in 10 people felt organising Christmas was more stressful than moving house – while 21 per cent thought sorting out finances was easier than sorting crimbo! Yet despite all the hassle, just under a fifth admitted they will secretly enjoy all the chaos of the Christmas build-up, with one in 10 having started their festive prep in the summer!

And in the main we seem to thrive on all the stress and hard work, with two thirds (66 per cent) saying that festive stress was worth it in the end, and 44 per cent claiming Christmas day was the happiest day of the year.

Simon Thompson, managing director of Warner Leisure Hotels, who commissioned the research, said: “Christmas is a magical time, but a lot of festive admin is required to bring it to life. We absolutely understand the pressures and find we get a lot of last-minute bookings for our festive and January breaks because people are so keen to unwind - before and after. We hope people remember to take some time for themselves at some point during the festivities.”

And despite all the planning, the survey also found most of us will forget an average of two key Christmas elements – with some us forgetting as many as 10.

For more than one in 10 (13 per cent) of us it will be failing to source extra chairs so everyone can sit own, while one in five of us won’t remember to buy wrapping paper.

And posting our Christmas cards in time will slip the minds of 28 per cent of us, meaning a rush to hand-deliver them instead.

Simon Thompson added: “It’s all worthwhile in the end. We suspect many people wouldn’t have it any other way – and being able to relax at the end of the day with a glass of sherry, knowing all the work is done, is a wonderful feeling.”

Isn't it just!


  1. Buying presents
  2. The amount of money that is spent overall
  3. Pleasing everyone
  4. Doing the big food shop
  5. Having enough money to last you through December
  6. Wrapping presents
  7. Putting on weight
  8. Running out of time to do everything
  9. Cooking the dinner in general
  10. Saving enough money throughout the year to afford it all
  11. Getting timings of the Christmas dinner right
  12. Visiting family
  13. Hosting Christmas Day
  14. Juggling Christmas preparations with work
  15. Shops running out of food and drink
  16. Untangling the Christmas lights
  17. Putting up decorations
  18. Where to have Christmas dinner
  19. Keeping presents hidden from loved ones
  20. Making sure there is enough food for everyone
  21. Having to attend lots of social events
  22. Spending time with the in-laws
  23. The lack of exercise you do
  24. Remembering to send cards to loved ones
  25. Finding a place to hide presents