9 Hidden Dangers Lurking at Christmastime

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas music is playing everywhere, there are tons of social events to attend, kids dress up in cute costumes and perform in pageants, we make tins of cookies and share them with everyone, and there are decorations galore everywhere you turn. Not bad.

But then there’s the darker side of the holiday season. All of that festivity doesn’t necessarily come without its issues. In fact, Christmastime can be downright dangerous if you’re not careful and don’t take the proper precautions. Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy yourself…

Don’t let any of these things happen to you or your loved ones this year!

9. Eating raw cookie dough

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As you bake your seventh batch of Christmas cookies this week, it can certainly be tempting to taste the batter along the way. Heck, if you’re going to break your back rolling out all the dough and then carefully decorating every tasty treat, you totally deserve to “test it out” in the process, right? Not so fast, Betty Crocker. Most of your sweet desserts probably contain raw eggs, and they’re just begging you to develop a raging case of salmonella right before all of your family arrives from out of town to stay with you for a week. (Or on second thought…)

8. Drinking unpasteurized eggnog

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Similar to diving into your desserts before they’re cooked, “they” say that consuming eggnog that isn’t pasteurized might not be the smartest move. It’s such a tease, having all of that creamy candy in a cup with your favorite alcoholic beverage, waiting for you to take a sip so that you can end up with salmonella poisoning. Sure, you might lose a little weight from all of that holiday overindulgence, but you might want to avoid that method of weight loss if you can. Stick to the store-bought varieties instead.

7. Eating the berries from holly

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We know — those berries on holly look just too good to pass up. They’re like festive little cranberries just waiting to be plucked from their pointy leaves. When you have a party, be sure to warn all of your friends to not eat the holly berries, though. They’re toxic. Why do toxic things have to look so darned irresistible? Before you know it, you’ll have an entire house full of people with vomiting and diarrhea. What a fun party!

6. Your cat eating your poinsettia plant

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They are pretty and festive, but these holiday plants are DEATH IN A POT. Ok, maybe not that bad. They’re vomiting-and-drooling-in-a-pot if your feline friend goes for a nibble.

5. Stepping on broken ornaments

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You hang all those gorgeous ornaments and the next thing you know, one that wasn’t quite attached properly takes a dive off the tree from five feet up and shatters into a thousand pieces all over your floor. Sure, you’re probably vacuuming and sweeping all day because of the constant deluge of pine needles, but now you have to make sure that you don’t get an extremely fine and sharp piece of glass in your foot (or in the feet of your kids or pets). And you can’t escape them. Ornaments are EVERYWHERE. BEWARE.

4. Your tree drying out and catching fire

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One downside to buying your real tree early in the season is that it can dry out by the time Christmas rolls around. But placing it near a heat source can also contribute to a loss of moisture, and before you know it, it’s petrified and shooting needles at you when you come within a foot of it. One quick moment near an open flame (which everyone has right near their tree) and WHOOSH! There goes your whole house and every memory you’ve made within it.

3. Stocking holders falling on you

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Those beautiful, heavy stocking holders on your mantle are no joke. All it takes is one curious cat jumping up (or one reaching toddler) and BAM! Someone has a concussion. And don’t think you’re immune, either. These holders that are innocently hanging by your fire are just waiting to break all the bones in your foot. Let’s see how festive we feel after that, huh?

2. Getting electrocuted as you attempt to string lights all over the house

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We all want to be Clark Griswold and make our house shine brighter than those of our neighbors. Just make sure that you know what you’re doing and that the lights you’re using are designed to be exposed to the elements. And you know what is a really fun way to spend Christmas week? In the emergency room, which is exactly where you’ll end up if you staple or nail the wires of these bad boys. They should call them electrocution lights, not Christmas lights.

1. Banging your head against the wall from hearing “Jingle Bells” one too many times

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This is by far the most dangerous aspect of the holidays. On December 1, you’re enjoying all of that Christmas music, and introducing your kids to all the different versions of “Jingle Bells.” There’s the one recorded by Frank Sinatra, and then the one by Bing Crosby. Ella Fitzgerald had one, too, and there’s the instrumental version from A Charlie Brown Christmas. The list goes on. But by December 20, when your child has requested that Alexa play “Jingle Bells” for the 23rd time since breakfast, you are in serious danger of losing it. Do yourself (and your family) a favor: step out of the room, put in earplugs, or disconnect your Echo. Then, and only then, can it be a festive Christmas season.