church health communion (copy)

During flu season, churches are cognizant of the need to keep germs from spreading. This is especially important for churches that use a communal Communion cup. This holiday, protect yourself as you celebrate. 

Are you already feeling rushed and running out of time, even though December just got here? Well, Thanksgiving did come later than usual, so that means there’s not as many days left to do all that we feel has to be done.

One thing I was thankful for last week is that it seemed like the holiday music started later than usual on local radio. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I always prefer an end to Black Friday before I’m humming White Christmas.

There’s one more possible benefit to a shorter holiday season — less time to get sick.

Think about it, we spend a great deal of time with each other during the month of December. There are the various school and church celebrations. Parties start lining-up like so many airplanes waiting to take-off on the runway. There are hands to shake, hugs to make and cookies to bake.

The idea is to spread good tidings, not germs.

Many happy returns

I’ve reached a point where I never pass a container of hand sanitizer without taking a squirt. Yes, I’ve had a flu shot, but you have to be a little extra careful this time of year. Know why? The routine aspects of going through a normal day can cause problems.

For example, a rental car company recently conducted a study on the cleanliness of vehicles. Are you sitting down? A steering wheel has 4 times more germs than a public toilet seat. In addition, cup holders, seat belts and door handles were all found to contain additional germs.

Similar research on the hotel industry found problem areas with light switches, the hair dryer and the bathroom sink. The nastiest item in a hotel room? The TV remote.

If you don’t want to be that specific to rental cars and hotel rooms, just consider some other areas we routinely touch. Elevator buttons and hand rails cone quickly to mind. We’re all at the self-service gas pump, what about the buttons we push there? Same deal at the ATM.

I see people in hospitals all the time opening doors with their elbows or backing into a door with their hip.

So what are we supposed to do, wrap ourselves in plastic and never leave the house?

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Our moms knew

What’s the one thing moms and grand moms always told us as children? Wash your hands before you eat and after you go to the bathroom. That still holds today.

Most doctors will tell you to keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face. Another entry point for germs to the body is biting your nails. Your mom probably had something to say about that, too.

We all want to spend time with each other and enjoy the parties and the festivities of the season. We should do just that. And you don’t need to accept drop-in invitations solely from germophobes.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? And there are fewer days this year to do it all.

Here’s the perfect stocking stuffer — hand sanitizer.

Reach Warren at