By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – We know that the most wonderful time of the year can also lead to a lot of stress.

A new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital national poll finds parents are worried their holiday stress may be taking away from holiday joy.

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The poll shows nearly a third of parents are stressed during the holidays by extra shopping, balancing finances, and especially keeping their family healthy. Moms are twice as likely as dads to experience high stress. One in five parents believes their stress negatively affects their kids during the holiday season.

“A lot of them feel like that has a negative impact on their child’s enjoyment of the holidays. And that’s just so unfortunate. I think in some families we’re trying to make up for some things missed over the last year or year and a half. And I don’t really think that’s the approach that is going to be most helpful,” said poll Co-Director Sarah Clark.

Experts say to make the season brighter, sit down with your family and ask everyone what they really want from Christmas. Keep your favorite traditions alive but think about which activities you can cut or minimize.

Mom Stephanie Mortimore knows the holiday season can be hectic. She’s squeezing in some shopping with her son Eli and their friends.

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“We have to decorate the house. We have to get all the gifts. We have to like, you know, make sure the kids have a memorable holiday,” she said.

In December, it can feel like the to-do list is longer than Santa’s list. Often parents feel they have to make things perfect.

“For sure, and then you’re not sure if everybody always notices. Right?” said Mortimore.

Mortimore’s son Eli Rogers says he wants to keep “the presents and the holiday spirit, and the meals, I guess.” He also adds “Elf on the Shelf.”

So, check the to-do list twice but try to trim some of the stress for more joy this season.

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Seventy percent of parents say the best way to reduce holiday stress is to get some alone time and more than half said listening to music helps. Team