Stick a Drumstick in it, Drunk Uncle!

Ah, the holidays… That magical time of the year when we put up our twinkling lights, gather together, share gifts and pass out watching football on television. But the joys of the season can also make for stressful situations. Let’s make sure we can celebrate with our family and avoid those holiday pitfalls.

Let’s start with the decorations. Yes, we know you and your neighbor have a competition as to who has the sparkliest house. You’ve got season passes to Rush Hockey up for grabs, and you bought five hundred dollars of new lawn ornaments this year. Every winter you watch your neighbors walk by and admire your talents and you beam with pride. But don’t let your Christmas-light ambitions lead to injury!

Before you drag out the lights, the reindeer, the 10-foot tall Santa, start by doing an inspection of your home. Look at each spot where your decorations will be positioned to make sure that everything is in good shape. Those plastic clips on the side of the house where you string your icicle lights can degrade in poor weather (especially South Dakota winter conditions). Check to see if any need to be replaced.

Hanging lights (particularly when you need to be on a ladder) is a job for two. Don’t climb up and discover that you’re two feet further from the gutter than you should have been. Make sure that the ground is cleared for safe positioning of the ladder, and put your decorations out when there is natural light. Do not attempt to mount your sled on the roof using your phone’s flashlight! The holiday season should be focused on your loved ones, not begging your chiropractor for an emergency appointment.

Another word to the wise about holidays: this is a time for celebrating, for showing thanks with family and friends. This year, in particular, the nation faced a divisive national election. Politics and religion are topics we should steer clear of, during the holidays. This year we may want to be extra sensitive. Let’s work to bridge our divide and comfort those expressing fear and uncertainty.

If you’re hosting a holiday gathering, here are some ideas to make sure the conversation doesn’t go sideways:

  • Rather than having an adults-only table and a separate table for the kids, mingle everyone together. This brings together the different generations. With the kids present, the conversation should stay light.

  • Have a set of conversation cards handy. If someone starts to go off-topic (or off-color) quickly redirect the talk back to what everyone is most thankful for, or what each person wishes for the New Year.

  • Maybe cut back on the alcohol? A hot Toddy, or spiked coffee is great at warming you up on the coldest days, but booze tends to instigate a lot of the too-hot conversations at the holidays. This year, give your drunk uncle a warm sweater, or an audio book, instead of the usual bottle of bourbon. (Blame the liquor store – tell him they were out this season – and save yourself the headache of listening to his rants. Because your drunk uncle is actually a pretty cool guy, when he’s sober.)  While we’re at it – don’t drink and drive! Ease up on your alcohol consumption, particularly when you are away from home and responsible for the family vehicle.

Rushmore Family Chiropractic wants to extend our warmest wishes to each of you this holiday season. Stay healthy, stay safe and may you get everything you desire this Christmas!