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Diatribe: Holiday Decorating Injuries.


broken-xmas-ornamentOur house is finally decorated for the holidays.  This year, because there are fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we assembled and decorated our Christmas tree before leaving town for the long Thanksgiving weekend.  We didn’t plug it in until the first of December, because we think it’s important to finish enjoying one holiday before beginning the next, and we think it’s quite beautiful.  The tree is our only Christmas decoration this year.  We didn’t put any lights up outside.  And nobody got hurt.

According to government health officials, holiday decorating injuries have risen steadily for the past four years.  New data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that more than 15,000 people were seen in U.S. emergency rooms last year because of holiday decorating-related injuries.  The most common injuries include:

Falling from ladders.  Reaching and stretch and losing one’s balance leads to many different types of injuries.  Ladders should always be placed on flat, level surfaces and moved frequently as needed to avoid over-reaching.

Glass Christmas ornaments.  Like any other shards of glass, broken ornaments can cause potentially serious and painful cuts.

Back strains.  Some holiday decorations are heavy and many, particularly strings of lights, often require more than one person to move when stored in bulk.

DUI (Decorating Under the Influence).  It’s true … each year there are many instances of people who require emergency room assistance because they hurt themselves while decorating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Christmas tree fires.  Live Christmas trees dry out and become extremely flammable very quickly.  It’s important to keep cut trees in water for the duration of their stay in your home to keep them from becoming brittle and dangerous.

Holiday decorations can certainly enhance the spirit of the season.  But a serious injury can just as easily ruin it.  Please remember, when decorating for the holidays, to take your time and be careful.  And decorate with a friend!  Share the joy!

Have you ever been hurt while decorating?


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From → Diatribes

  1. I haven’t been hurt whilst decorating, but I have thrown ornaments at Carlos for the way he hangs his balls on the tree. =/


  2. Well, my Dad almost threw a bucket of water on the priest at Midnight Mass….. Background – we lived in a tiny town on an isolated bay, no roads in or out, just boat and seaplane. My Dad was the manager of the mill and responsible for the town and was paranoid about fire. Father F loved his candlelit tree. Dad worried and worried. Even though we were not Catholic we showed up at Midnight Mass. Father F joked that if the tree caught fire he would jump into it and take his chances with God rather than face my father.


  3. My personal favorite!

    DUI (Decorating Under the Influence). It’s true … each year there are many instances of people who require emergency room assistance because they hurt themselves while decorating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    With that being said, Christmas is my wife’s holiday. She makes sure that I know she wants our house visible from space. However, this year I got a “pass” because of a shoulder injury from earlier this year, a foot surgery I had recently, and because I have been working 16 hr days for the past 8 weeks. Now, personally, I don’t really see the point of massive decorating. After decorating in my actual off time from work, I stood back and decided I like simple.


  4. I quoted from your post to my mother today, when she was lamenting my sister not letting her climb a ladder to get their decorations down from the attic. Your first one is scary for me three states away and her being 82. Thanks for the reminder. BTG


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