Merry Christmas from Catholic Health Services!

The holiday season is upon us and the countdown to Christmas has already hit single digits!

 This is possibly the most enchanting time of the year when family and friends are finally all in the same room and for once, no one is too busy to spend time together and actually enjoy it.

I won’t harp too much on the health this time around because we all know that this is a time to focus on hugging your loved ones a little tighter and getting swept away in the joyful spirit of the holidays rather than sitting there at the dinner table counting your calories. No worries, folks, the gym won’t miss you for a day or two!

Just a couple of things to keep in mind:

Remember to stay hydrated (yes, again with this), especially if you’re going to be engaging in eggnog consumption. And if that is the case for you, make sure to have a designated driver or to make other plans (besides driving yourself) to arrive home safely. Everything can get hectic and exciting, so this is all so easy not to think about, but it’s too important not to.

I may be a little late to the party on this one, but if you don’t have a tree yet, make sure you are considering your family members and potential house guests in the process, as Christmas trees are known to stir up some environmental allergy issues. In those cases, fake trees are a great investment because they keep the sniffles at bay and stay beautiful and functional for future Christmases to come, if handled properly. Food allergies are also important to consider if you are cooking for guests, so check with everyone beforehand.

If your family and friends do the gift thing, it never hurt to try something cool that you can all do together and it’s also a plus if it involves staying active. For example, my brother got a Nintendo Wii one year and got the Wii Fit game to go along with it. Other ideas could be a bike, running shoes, a cool monogrammed water bottle, a healthy cookbook, etc. It’ll keep everyone moving all year long, which is an awesome way to promote health and fitness.

While jolly, this time of year can also be stressful, especially for the chefs, hosts and hostesses out there. Don’t overdo it at the mall during holiday hours because I guarantee your blood pressure will suffer. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself and getting adequate sleep, as well, so you’re ready to jump out of bed before sunrise with your family on Christmas morning. Your mood can set the tone for the whole holiday, so make sure you’re happy and healthy instead of being the Grinch.

And finally, a shameless plug for the pets: Poinsettias are gorgeous to behold, but they are POISONOUS for dogs. Keep the plants out of reach of your pets and definitely check what your pets can and cannot eat before you or your guests feed them table food.

Don't lose sight of what this holiday is about and try your best to see past the parties, awkward dinners that you might not want to go to and stocking stuffers. Enjoy this time with your loved ones and remember to be thankful for your health and theirs.

Merry (almost) Christmas from everyone at Catholic Health Services to you and your families, and thanks for reading!

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