Five random holiday hazards

Here we go with Christmas, Hanukkah, and the now-included Kwanzaa, a time of joy and celebration – as long as you don’t fall prey to a number of holiday hazards.

Deco-RAT-e/Illustration from Ryn's book RATS INCREDIBLE

Deco-RAT-e/Illustration from Ryn's book RATS INCREDIBLE

Some folks around town have already begun to deck their homes with lights and fake reindeer. More holiday décor and cheer will surely be on the way. Keep it cheery by keeping these five random holiday hazards in mind.

Flying turkey – While this hazard is more common on Thanksgiving, and an incident of it was even reported one year by Tucson police, do beware of other large, flying foodstuff in the midst of holiday fights.

Packing lots of family and friends together with drinks and old resentments can turn a festive feast into a food fight. Beware the Christmas ham or those wayward Hanukkah latkes that could hit you in the face.

Christmas tree terror – Pick a tree that is fresh, green and doesn’t lose all its needles when you bounce it on the ground, advises a news release from the Northwest Fire District.

“Make a new diagonal cut of about two inches on the trunk to open up pores clogged by sap, and put the tree into a sturdy stand with at least a gallon of water,” the release adds. Cut trees can suck up between a quart and a gallon of water per day, so keep the reservoir filled. For extra protection, you can even spray the tree with a fire retardant. Place trees away from heat sources, like that sparking fireplace or hot-air-blasting wall unit.

While fire is the most common hazard with Christmas trees, they are also in danger of getting peed on by the dog or cat or falling atop a drunken uncle when he careens backwards into it. Trees, too, can go flying during domestic disputes.

Lethal lighting – Use indoor lights for indoor use and outdoor lights for outdoor use. Seems simple, but some folks like to skimp. Don’t skimp, either, by using old lights with frayed cords or chewed up bulbs. Overload sockets and you risk turning your home into tinder.

Candles have long been the number one cause of fires, especially during the holidays. Keep them away from curtains, flammable couches, children and pets. We don’t care how old fashioned you want your décor to be, never use candles on a Christmas tree.

Shut off lights and extinguish candles before leaving the house or retiring for the night.

Broken necks – These can easily come about if you try to hang lights outside your home while dangling from the roof or stand atop the roof peak during heavy winds. They may also be a result of the aforementioned flying turkey or ham.

Mistletoe – Be very careful where you stand during this festive season. One wrong step could place you under the mistletoe with someone you’d rather not kiss. Also be aware that mistletoe is poisonous if eaten, especially its berries.

“Eating the berries will cause acute stomach and intestinal pains, diarrhea, weak pulse, mental disturbances, and the collapse of blood vessels,” says the MountLehmanLlamas website. “Death has occurred within ten hours after ingestion.”

Don’t eat it.


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Has a hazard ever ruined your holiday? Do tell.

What other holiday hazards should people try to avoid?

About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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23 Responses to Five random holiday hazards

  1. Jennatoolz says:

    Heya Ryn! I’d hate to be the person on the receiving end of a Xmas tree toss…someone would have to be pretty angry to actually pick up a tree and hurl it towards someone else, haha!

    When I was a kid, my grandparents would decorate the inside of their home with a bunch of those slow-moving, robotic, super creepy Santa’s and Mrs. Claus’s. They would slowly sway, and wave their little candle and taunt you with a very unnerving look on their face. It was pretty uncomfortable, haha.

    Good advice on the tree’s too! My family usually opted for those artificial ones…save for the one year we used the inflatable tree. 😛

    • Rynski says:

      hiya jennatoolz!
      yes, a christmas tree toss would be quite dangerous. I’ve not heard of it actually happening, but i have heard several stories of kids – and adults – falling into and knocking over the tree. i think my brother once fell backwards into one as a tot during a family photo session.
      those slow-moving, robotic figures ARE super creepy. dang! wish i would have remembered them when i made up the poll – haha. i recall lots of them in a big line at a store called Bronner’s in Mich – it’s a year-round holiday decor store that had some cool stuff – coupled with those creep-o-rama robots. ick!
      also like the tree advice – northwest fire is good with tips like that. actually, all fire depts are very good with preventative tips.

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Hmm the tree talk made me realize that I don’t have an artificial tree anymore…shoot! It was super cute was a white one, and I decorated it with pink lights, silver ornaments, and black ribbon draped all around it. Not your typical tree, but it was super cute and totally me! Looks like I’ve got some tree/decor shopping to do…ahh!

        (Oh yeah, puppy update: Azmouse informed me that someone else has taken the cutie pants home, so no puppy for me…yet! Just wasn’t meant to be right now, but my quest for a pooch is definitely not over!) 😀

      • Rynski says:

        awwww, pooh! on the puppy. but you’re right, if it were meant to be then it would have been. maybe it’s just a hint to go get your pink/black/silver tree first!
        that does sound like an excellent tree combination. very, very cute! good for you for being creative and going beyond the same old red/green combo. do they make leopard print trees? hahhahahah

      • Rynski says:

        is the face for the puppy situation or the thought of a leopard print tree?

      • azmouse says:

        The puppy, Ryn. The tree would look amazing in your living room!

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Don’t be sad azmouse! The puppy found a home, and that’s what matters here! 😀

        A Leopard print tree would be amazing! If they didn’t have that..I suppose you could find at least some leopard print ribbon to drape around it….and a leopard print tree skirt to match! Oh, the ideas are flowing! Lol!

      • Rynski says:

        now i want a tree. thanks for the add’l decorating ideas!
        and i, too, am sad about the puppy.
        but maybe you can find a phoebe look-alike, jenna. i hear they are a hot breed these days! haha.

      • Jennatoolz says:

        LOL We’ll see! I saw some majorly cute puppies on the HSSA website a few minutes ago…they looked like little Chewbaccas! Haha! I like the ugly-but-super cute ones I guess. 😛

  2. azmouse says:

    I hung up my outside lights the Friday after Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition for me to wait until after Sebastian’s Birthday every year to decorate the inside of the house…so I’ll probably do that this Sunday, since his B-day is Saturday.

    Anyone up for making cool gingerbread houses, and sending in the pics for Ryn to show?? C’mon Jenna, I know you’ll do it with me! LOL
    No need for a contest, maybe just for fun?

    • Jennatoolz says:

      OOOooo!!! Gingerbread houses! Sounds fun to me! Count me in!! 😀

      • azmouse says:

        I knew you’d be up for it. Maybe Radmax and his daughter and Ryn could make a cool gingerbread house with her art skills.

      • Rynski says:

        now i want to make a gingerbread house! a leopard print gingerbread house….

      • radmax says:

        Mornin’ Rynski!….Az! While building gingerbread houses sounds exceptionally fulfilling, I certainly wouldn’t want to rile Rynski’s psychopathic beau. 🙂

      • azmouse says:

        Maybe her crazy beau needs some riling?!?

        C’mon now, you know it would be such a great memory for your beautiful daughter to tell her children about someday……

      • Rynski says:

        mornin’ radmax –
        yeah, my guy might get so riled he’d have to break all the necco wafers or something … hahaha.

      • azmouse says:

        Oops…that came out wrong.
        I meant Maxxie and his daughter could make one, AND Ryn, on her own, with her art skills could make a cool one too.

        That came out the wrong way, sorry….

    • Rynski says:

      would love to showcase pix of gingerbread houses! i remember them being so much fun. and they are the only use on earth i can think of for those horrible necco wafers. although those wafers taste like crap, they do make great gingerbread shingles.

      • azmouse says:

        Very true!

        Cable guy is here!! They are replacing my outside cables today, so I may be off the puter for a bit…..
        we’ll see!

  3. Ferraribubba says:

    Hey Rynski: Every time the inflatable Santa gets together with my inflatable Susie Suck Doll, she deflates him.

    You know, like the Auto-Pilot in the movie ‘Airplane.’ <g>

    Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

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