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A couple of months ago, Hubby and I visited our grandsons the week before I had a speaking engagement. I was afraid of getting sick because the last several times I visited our grandsons, I’d come home sick. The last time, it was tonsillitis. Before then, it was a nasty cold that lasted for six weeks. There’s something about the damp and moldy air in Oregon that makes me sick nearly every time we visit. While I love seeing the grandsons, our son, and daughter-in-law, I dread coming home because almost always, I’m sick in bed for a few days.

My speaking engagement was too important to be sick, so I took lots of vitamin C and echinacea during our visit to keep myself healthy. It worked for me, but poor Hubby got really sick. I drove him home and put him to bed. I was so proud of myself for staying well. I thought I’d finally discovered how to visit them and not come home sick. What I never considered is getting sick before we go.

We are planning to spend Christmas with the grandsons, but today, ten days before Christmas, I feel sick. It’s all backwards! I don’t take extra vitamins or echinacea while at home. Boise is on the edge of the desert so mold and mildew don’t grow rampantly here. Somehow, someway during this past week, a germ took a liking to me and decided to move in. Now I’m faced with getting healthy before I go see the grandsons. I mean, getting sick while at their house is one thing; making them sick is quite another.

In this season of gifts, evergreens, and family gatherings, remember what you need to do to avoid getting sick.

1. Get a flu vaccination.
2. Wash your hands often. You never know a stray germ is lurking.
3. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
4. Drink plenty of fluids.
5. Rest. Germs love fatigued people.
6. Keep your feet warm and dry.
7. Use Lysol or antibacterial spray and Clorox wipes on everything a sick person touches.
8. Make the sick person put their used tissues in the trashcan. Never pick them up without disposable gloves on.
9. Don’t share silverware or glasses with anyone else.
10. Have plenty of vitamin C, echinacea, Zicam, orange juice, and chicken soup on hand, just in case the other nine steps don’t work.

As the Christmas season continues, take good care of yourselves and stay healthy. Love each other and spread joy. It doesn’t matter if you’re sick or well, be kind to others whether they deserve it or not. If the weather is bad, curl up with hot chocolate and a good book. If you can’t stay home, drive safely and courteously. And most of all, enjoy your families and friends! Merry Christmas!

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