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Press releases

WOMEN ACROSS THE UK WILL BE HIT BY STRESSMAS THIS WEEK

20th Dec 2011


With just six days to go until the big day, 59% of British women across the UK will be hit by Stressmas this week as a consequence of hosting Christmas; according to new research out today.

The pressure of creating the perfect Christmas and spreading goodwill amongst family and friends is so high that 42% of females said hosting Christmas is the most stressful thing they have had to 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. Over a third of male respondents (36%) 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. Eight five per cent of women said men do not understand how much work and stress goes into creating the perfect Christmas. Forty six 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% 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.

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

2. Guests will think the house is dirty (30%)

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

4. Keeping the conversation going (28%)

5. Partner and children embarrassing them (25%)

6. The state of the spare room

7. 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. Sixty eight per cent of women said it really annoys them when their mother in law or mother tires to take over on Christmas day. Thirty one 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.

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. Forty two 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.

Further research findings revealed, in a bid to help create the perfect Christmas at home 43% of Britons have suggested to guests who are staying with them over the festive season to book themselves into a nearby hotel. A fifth of respondents’ survey stated they wished their family and friends were more considerate when coming over for Christmas and booked into a nearby hotel; to order to give both parties some space.

A third of women said they get more stressed when they have guests staying over during the festive season than cooking Christmas dinner. A quarter of female respondents stated they enjoy Christmas more when guests just stay for the day and not sleep over. A quarter of women surveyed said they don’t like having guests stay over because they can’t watch their favourite TV programmes.

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman said: “We have seen a year on year rise in Christmas bookings. This year we have experienced a significant rise in bookings for the festive season and many of our 496 hotels are completely full over Christmas. Britons visiting family and friends over the holidays are putting comfort first by spending the day with their host and sleeping in a Travelodge room; so that they can get a good night’s sleep.”



“Staying in a hotel avoids Stressmas as it takes the pressure off for both parties and this year we have seen more hosts book a room for their guests as part of their Christmas present.”



Corinne Sweet, Relationship Psychologist 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.”

Listed below are Corrine Sweet top tips to avoid Stressmas over the festive season:

· Plan ahead, think of what might happen on the day and predict what problems may arise and develop solutions to avoid them happening.

· Give your guests a choice, don’t make people do things they don’t want to

· Look for triggers that usually cause arguments and avoid them at all costs.

· Share responsibility, allow others to help on the day and make them feel involved - especially children

· If an argument does break out, make the people involved aware of how it affects the rest of the family

· The most important thing is to relax and have fun, make your expectations realistic, appreciate the time spent together with your family

Britons were also asked who would be their ideal celebrity guests for Christmas dinner and listed below is the nation’s ideal Christmas guest list:

1. Ant & Dec – for comedy

2. Stephen Fry – for good conversation and his wit

3. Cheryl Cole – for keeping it real and beauty tips

4. Holly Willoughby – gossip from her celebrity interviews

5. Princess Catherine – for style, etiquette and royal gossip

6. Jamie Oliver – for food and wine conversation

7. Keith Lemon – Just for the pure entertainment he will bring to the table

8. David Beckham – for football trivia

9. Bruce Forsyth – for show business gossip and stories

10. Gary Barlow – for X factor gossip and for his funny stories about the music industry

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