Merry Christmas to all, and to all, good health

By • Published: December 24th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

“So merry at Christmas, are some, they destroy, their health by disease and by trouble their joy. At Christmas, mix wisdom with mirth, and ne’er fear, you’ll secure the wish’d blessing, a Happy New Year.”

Those words are as true today as when they were penned almost three centuries ago. As we gather at the holidays, whichever we celebrate, let’s make sure the festivities don’t jeopardize our health and well-being.

For some, this time of year features a very long road trip that starts right after a full day of work, and includes night driving. That helps maximize the time spent with family… but only if you get there. Don’t start celebrating with alcoholic drinks “for the road,” as you or another traveler might never make it, if you cause an accident.

Sleep, like alcohol, dulls the senses. Driving under the influence of fatigue can have consequences similar to those of driving under the influence of alcohol. If you get drowsy, stop at a motel or secure rest area and take a nap.

Many other drivers will probably have the same road trip idea, so try to avoid the road rage that can boil over when people… anxious to get where they’re going… become impatient with slow-moving traffic. Obey all road rules, and don’t engage angry motorists. Pull off the road if necessary.

Once you arrive at your destination, there will be plenty of chances to raise a toast to family, fellowship and good food. But even when spirits are high, keep the consumption of spirits low. Overindulging can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal. And when people are inebriated, even routine tasks such as carving a holiday ham can lead to an emergency room visit.

So eat, drink and be merry… but be careful, lest your merriment end in mishap.