Cut down on stress

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sTRESSED out by the festive frenzy of shopping, cooking and cleaning?

You’re not alone. A third of Sheffield are finding it such a struggle they’ve been forced to take annual leave for their festive shopping.

Research from TK Maxx reveals work pressures are responsible for two thirds (62 per cent) of people from Sheffield having no free-time to complete the Christmas chores.

Almost a fifth (17 per cent) are having to take two days annual leave to buy gifts and one in 20 (5 per cent) take nearly a whole week off in order to cope with the pressures of the holiday season.

The sacrifice of these holidays equates to £1.2 billion in wages across the UK, driving the cost of the average gift up from £29 to £53.

What little time shoppers from Sheffield do have left is exhausted on the streets shopping for gifts. Lucky kids get one hour 39 minutes spent on them, but poor old grandma is at the bottom of the pile with an average of just 33 minutes spent researching and buying gifts for her.

Jane Beecroft, 46, from Sheffield owns a sandwich shop and working a six day a week leaves little time to go browsing around the shops, especially over Christmas.

“Ideally, I need at least three days to complete my Christmas shopping so I usually end up having to take a day or two off work just to make sure that I can get everything in time,” she says.

How do other busy women cope? We want to hear humorous stories of your Christmas conundrums - and how you solve them. Send us your story, plus a few hints and tips and some downright cheats that get you through.

Email to and we will pick four readers to be included in a Christmas stress-busting feature. As a thank you, the four will each receive a £75 TX Maxx voucher.