As the Christmas season kicks into high gear and we're surrounded by gorgeously decorated fir trees and songs of yuletide gay, it's easy to forget that the holidays represent a grim time in terms of health statistics. You're more likely to die of natural causes from Dec. 25 through New Year's Day than at any other time of the year.
This spike, identified by sociologist David P. Phillips while combing through death certificates in the United States, has been confirmed in subsequent studies using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other large data sets. It holds true for all ages except for children and for numerous conditions including heart disease, respiratory problems and cancer.
Speculation about why this happens has ranged from in-law stress to the excesses of eating all that fruitcake and drinking all that eggnog, but the prevailing theory accepted by many doctors and researchers has always been about the weather. The colder it is, the more vulnerable people's bodies might be to having a complication from a heart attack, flu or other ailment that they can't recover from.
(Ariana Eunjung Cha. Mystery of the spike in deaths between Christmas and New Year’s gets curiouser and curiouser. The Washington Post. December 22, 2016.)
How many times do you hear people getting married being frustrated or upset with their in-laws?
On your wedding day, you marry your partner, but get the in-laws for free. And herein lies the challenge. Whilst you can do all of the due diligence that you like about the person that you want to spend all of your life with, you can often end up getting more than you bargained for – as your marriage creates new relationships between you and the in laws, as well as changing the relationships that your partner has with their family.
Putting it simply, there are no guarantees that the person you love has family that you will love. Or that they will love you. When you find yourself in this circumstance, what can you do?
(Philip Owens. DEALING WITH IN-LAW STRESS. Reflective Resolutions. May 11, 2016.)
’TIS THE SEASON OF IN-LAWS: that special time of year when married people all over the country prepare to unite under one roof with the families that brought their significant others into the world. Careful questions will be asked about how work has been going. Offers to help with the dishes will be extended with practiced earnestness. Some tongues will be held; others won’t be.
(Leon Neyfakh. The weird science of in-laws. The Boston Globe. November 17, 2013.)