The stores have packed away the costumes and masks. Halloween is over for another year. This end-of-October event kicked off the fall and winter holiday season. Thanksgiving with its turkey and all the trimmings, with the pioneer costumes and horns of plenty is also packed up and behind us.
Now the department store shelves are filled up with green and red decorations and blinking lights. The winter holiday season is here and will extend well into the New Year.
This is the season of over-indulgence in food, in alcohol and all-night parties. It's also the time of under-indulgence in the one thing we all need most -- sleep. Many emerge, once the celebrating is over, looking haggard and hollow-eyed.
Let's face it. Sure, the partying and celebrating is fun, but wouldn't it be even more enjoyable with less over-indulgence and a full requisite of sleep?
Turkey's delicious, and so are all the trimmings - the dressing, the potatoes and gravy and maybe mince or pumpkin pie. And don't forget that rich Christmas cake, the chocolates and salted nuts. Over-eating can end up in indigestion and heartburn that will not only make you uncomfortable, but also make sleep difficult.
With all the visiting, who has time for exercise? Why not combine the two? Gather friends and family and go skating or skiing if you're in a snowy area. Or for a brisk walk or a swim if that appeals. Get up, get out and get moving. There's nothing more invigorating than fresh air and exercise.
Dinner's over and you're sitting around getting reacquainted with relatives and friends you haven't seen since last year. Somebody keeps filling your glass, but you're too busy chatting to notice. Or you go to a party. Same thing happens. And, before you know it, you've had too much, and in some cases, way too much, to drink.
Alcohol can lead to lots of problems, not the least of which is a hangover that can spoil the next day's pleasure. Alcohol also disrupts sleep patterns so you don't get a good night's sleep to recover from the revelry.
All-night parties. I believe the name says it all. By all means, go out and have a good time, but leave at a reasonable hour and get some sleep. Tomorrow is another day. Make it a pleasant one.
I think the catch phrase here is "Everything in moderation." Eat sensibly. Enjoy your dinner. If you're planning on that piece of pie, keep it in mind and cut back on the turkey and trimmings. Taste the cake and all the goodies, but taste, don't gorge. Your body will thank you for it. Then get up and get going. Walk some of that food off.
Drink if you desire, but again in moderation. Learn the "hand-over-the-glass" trick when the bottle comes around the third or fourth time. Or switch to a soft drink. Believe me, no one will notice what's in your glass, especially your more inebriated friends.
Keep your health in mind, and make this the best holiday season ever.