You use the expression 'emulators'. This usually means some sort of shell to run ancient software like Amiga games in, not current applications.
The only experience I have of running anything close to an emulator is experimenting with a virtual machine. I used VMware's free version for my experiments with mixed success. First of all, you need an operating system to run inside the VM but you can run several different ones inside the same VM. You choose which one you want to use when you start the VM running. The reason I got interested is that I did quite a lot of work some time ago on 16 bit software, some of which is still current from a maintenance point of view and it will not run on a 64 bit computer like my own. So, a VM, 32 bit XP and this ancient CAD software ran very well. A couple of games I tried out of curiosity didn't work anywhere near as well.
However I was running XP inside a VM running on a 64 bit Win 7 computer. I don't know, but I suspect you might have problems trying to run say Win 8.1 on a VM on an XP computer. But I was never aware of any shortage of memory while I was doing this.
If the software you are wanting to run is mostly productivity or business related, given the number of XP computers still in use in industry and beaurocracy world-wide, I would have thought you would have been able to find suitable equivalents natively capable of running on XP.