It is the most wonderful time of the year. Festive cheer, dancing, laughing and sharing are part of the holidays. With the celebrations come all kinds of potential issues, such as accidents, poisonings, tragedy and the like.

Here are a few tip to help make your Christmas a healthy one.

1. Donít rush. Take your time as you travel toward your destination. Accidents caused 80,000 visits to the hospital last Christmas season. Donít rush opening presents with the sharp scissors. Donít rush cooking the turkey. Enjoy each moment for what it is.

2. Wash your hands. Hugging, kissing and hand holding all increase the transmission of bugs, viruses and germs. Protect your family and yourself by washing your hands.

3. Watch out for poisons. Did you know mistletoe berries contain toxic proteins that are poisonous? It is okay to kiss under the mistletoe, but not the mistletoe itself. Christmas rose causes diarrhea, and the orange berries of Christmas cherry cause stomach pains.

4. Increase your risk awareness. One way to do this is to limit the alcohol intake. Alcohol decreases risk awareness. That is why drunk people end up driving. Worse than that, drunk people are more likely to text and drive which is even worse.

5. Be Stress Free. Christmas is so stressful, lots of family, lots of food and lots of responsibilities. Try to find some alone time even if it is a relaxing bath. Say ďnoĒ to relativesí demands. Donít suppress your emotions, find someone you trust to talk to.

Enjoy this most wonderful time of the year. Watch your classic favorite movies, and enjoy your wonderful family traditions.

Dr. Justus Turner Peters, a family physician at Glen Rose Medical Center's Pecan Plantation clinic, received his medical school training at Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska and completed his family medicine residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Peters' practice encompasses the care of infants and children as well as adults of all ages. He also conducts ongoing research in the areas of childhood obesity and lower extremity injuries. He serves as the county's Local Health Authority.