Tampon Safety and Toxic Shock Syndrome


According to the grapevine in a North Carolina middle school, tampons not only cause AIDS, but also can be lost in a woman’s body, never to be seen again. Like urban legends, tampon tales get more creative as they’re passed around. The latest stories claim tampons are tainted with cancer-causing toxins and that rayon tampons are especially dangerous. One Internet rumor suggests that manufacturers add asbestos to tampons to promote excessive bleeding and boost sales.

The truth is:

  • tampons cannot get lost forever in your body;
  • rayon tampons are as safe as cotton ones; and
  • asbestos has never had anything to do with fibers that make up tampons.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates tampons as medical devices. Tampon design and materials are tested by the agency, and manufacturers conduct a battery of safety studies as well. The FDA also regulates the absorbency ratings for tampons.

Tampons and TSS

Any fear still surrounding tampon use likely dates from a time when TSS was first identified. About half of all cases occur in women using tampons, although the exact link between TSS and tampons remains unclear. Tampons enjoyed a quiet history from their introduction in 1933 until about 1980 when the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) noticed a sharp rise in the number of cases of TSS, a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by toxin-producing strains of the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium. Experts believe the bacterium releases one or more toxins into the bloodstream.

Between October 1979 and May 1980, 55 TSS cases and seven deaths were reported. Most were among women who experienced onset of illness within a week following their periods. The TSS epidemic reached its peak in 1980 with a total of 813 cases of menstrual-related TSS, including 38 deaths. The CDC carried out national and state-based studies to pinpoint TSS risk factors, and used its national surveillance system to track trends. Research suggested one factor was the use of very highly absorbent tampons made from new materials.

Studies showed that women who used Proctor & Gamble’s Rely tampons were at substantially greater risk for TSS than other tampon users. This brand consisted of polyester foam and a special type of highly absorbent cellulose, a combination no longer used in tampons. Proctor & Gamble voluntarily withdrew that tampon from the market in 1980, and competing manufacturers of tampons made from other superabsorbent materials began removing them as well. The material of the Rely tampon and its absorbency were very different from that of tampons on the market today.

Today tampon manufacturers report to the FDA on absorbency, as well as on the safety of all components of a tampon, including the cover, string and applicator, and on the chemical composition of any fragrances and color additives. Companies conduct clinical tests in tampon users to look for bacterial growth and adverse effects, such as allergies and ulceration, with tampon use. Through toxicological testing, manufacturers must show that the tampon will not enhance the growth of Staphylococcus aureus or increase the production of toxic shock syndrome toxin.

TSS Cases Have Declined Dramatically

Compared with the 813 menstrual TSS cases in 1980, there were only three confirmed cases in 1998 and six in 1997. The substantial drop in TSS rates is attributed to the removal of Rely from the market, and advances in the way FDA regulates tampon materials and absorbency. Women also are much better educated about TSS prevention. Since 1982 all tampon labels have included information about TSS warning signs. And packages include a note that the risk of menstrual TSS can be reduced by not using tampons and by alternating tampons with sanitary napkins. Women are advised to use the lowest absorbency needed to control their flow.

Use the Right Absorbency

In response to CDC findings and FDA regulatory activities, manufacturers standardized and, in some cases, lowered tampon absorbency. Superabsorbent today is much less absorbent than superabsorbent tampons used in 1980, and far fewer women use very high absorbency tampons today than they did in the 1980’s.

Absorbency (the rate at which a tampon absorbs or soaks up menstrual blood) is measured in grams of fluid. Research suggests that the risk of toxic shock syndrome may increase with tampon absorbency. That doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of higher absorbency tampons completely, but you should match absorbency to your flow. For lighter flow, use regular or junior absorbency. If your tampon absorbs as much as it can and has to be changed before four hours, you may want to try a higher absorbency. There’s usually less need for higher absorbency when your period is ending.

When you shop, you’ll find these absorbency terms and ranges on all tampon packages:

  • Junior absorbency: 6 grams and under
  • Regular absorbency: 6 to 9 grams
  • Super absorbency: 9 to 12 grams
  • Super plus absorbency: 12 to 15 grams

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, your tampon is probably too absorbent if the tampon is hard to remove, you experience vaginal dryness, if a tampon shreds, or if it doesn’t need to be changed after several hours. Vaginal dryness and ulcerations may occur when a tampon is too absorbent for your flow.

What are the TSS Warning Signs?

Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome can be hard to recognize because they mimic the flu. If you experience sudden high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, or a rash that looks like a sunburn during your period or a few days after, contact your doctor right away. Also, if you’re wearing a tampon, remove it immediately.

One or two weeks after initial symptoms begin, flaking and peeling of the skin occurs, mainly on the palms and soles. If your doctor determines that your symptoms are TSS, you will probably be sent to a hospital for treatment. With proper treatment, patients usually get well in two to three weeks. Women under 30, especially teenagers, are at a higher risk for TSS, because some females that age may not yet have antibodies to the toxin. Using any kind of tampon — cotton or rayon of any absorbency — puts a woman at greater risk for TSS than using menstrual pads.

Tampon Ingredients

Manufacturers in this country produce tampons made of rayon, cotton, or a blend of the two. Rayon is made from cellulose fibers derived from wood pulp. CDC studies have found no increased risk with rayon versus cotton for the same absorbency and brand of tampon.

Chlorine gas, which can produce a small amount of dioxin, used to be the bleaching agent for rayon used in tampons. But elemental chlorine-free bleaching uses a chlorine dioxide agent. Chlorine dioxide may sound like chlorine gas, but they are not the same. Using a method approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, major tampon manufacturers have tested their products for dioxin. Data show that dioxin levels in tampons range from undetectable to 1 part in 3 trillion, far below the level that occurs through daily environmental exposure, and considerably below the level FDA believes would put consumers at risk. According to the FDA you could end up with dioxin in rayon or cotton simply because of decades of pollution — it can be found in air, water, or the ground before the wood pulp or the cotton is produced, but you already have more dioxin in your body than in any tampon.

Many experts say that the proof of tampon safety lies in its long history. But others want more research into diseases other than toxic shock syndrome. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced the Tampon Safety and Research Act in 1997 and again in March 1999. The bill, which was referred to the Subcommittee on Health and Environment, proposes to provide NIH with research support to determine the extent to which dioxin, synthetic fibers, and other additives in tampons pose health risks such as cancer, endometriosis, infertility, and pelvic inflammatory disease. The FDA says that there is there is no indication right now that a large-scale study of tampons’ relations to these diseases is necessary.

Reference:

Toxic shock syndrome

Toxic Shock Syndrome and Tampons – McKinley Health Center

How to use a Tampon: 15 Steps & More Tips with Video

Patient Alerts (Medical Devices) > Tampons and Asbestos, Dioxin

Learn How To Perform A Prostate Massage


Read about how prostate milking can be a natural and easy solution to manage prostate pain and to maintain better prostate health.

Prostate massage, when performed on a regular basis, can be used as a preventative treatment against prostate cancer. It is good for prostate health in general, and can decrease the risk of prostate enlargement–that is, benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH). It is also a form of sexual play. Whatever your reason may be, let’s say you would like to do prostate massage on your husband or partner. Here is how to go about doing it.

Although it is possible to perform prostate milking externally by stimulating the prostate through the perineum this method is not always successful and it is
more usual for the milking to be performed internally using a finger, prostate massager or a medical massager.

Due to the embarrassing nature of the topic, prostate massage is often not talked about. Stimulating a prostate to orgasm can bring about a euphoric high and create cancer fighting endorphins. Many people in the medical community advise this massage to help prevent cancer as well as increase the life expectancy of a prostate cancer patient. Not all people agree this works, but it is definitely worth a try. It is possible to do alone, but getting a partner like a wife or girlfriend to do it is better.

This prostate massage can be done as often as the man feels comfortable with it. It is a huge help and doing this could save your man’s life. There is some evidence that this type of massage can increase his life expectancy by a long time. It is a difficult one to get any serious numbers on though, since it is something that is difficult to study. A doctor can also perform this massage, but an at home one is better. Make sure everything is clean and try to build comfort while doing this. This could be a good bonding experience for both partners as well too.

How To Cleanse and Detoxify Your Prostate

Most likely, your prostate is highly toxic and is in need of a good cleanse or detoxification. As millions of people every year purchase natural health supplements to cleanse their bodies organs, the below prostate detoxification may be beneficial for you.

Prostate Detox-How To Start

For 48 hours you will only eat and drink the following:

Drink 1, 8 oz glass of water (cold or hot) mixed with 4 tablespoons of real lemon juice every hour or two. Use organic lemons if possible, otherwise normal lemons from the grocery store will do. DO NOT add anything else to your water such as sugar! If you do this it will ruin the effectiveness of the detox. The purpose of the water and lemon is to increase the flow of urine which will help to flush out accumulated toxins from the prostate.

Avoid sitting as much as possible. Sitting reduces the flow of blood to the prostate, which as many medical professionals claim are one of the reasons why so many men are experiencing prostate problems at a younger age. The Sitz Bath is also highly beneficial for reducing the build up of toxins so add that into your 48 hour prostate detoxification as well.

Trust Your Doctor

The last time I visited my physician for an epidural injection, as the doctor’s assistant was situating me under the fluoroscope, the doctor was feverishly dictating notes on his previous patient’s procedure. No doubt your physician has a similar work schedule: when not dashing off notes from one patient or burrowing through medical research to diagnose another, he’s performing delicate medical procedures that occasionally run across lunch or past the end of a normal workday.

Good physicians have high standards, an admirable work ethic, and super human fortitude. Sure, to some extent, we trust them because we have no choice—if we need help with complex, sometimes life-threatening medical problems, why would we turn to someone less than trustworthy? Like a lot of people, I’ve gone through several doctors to find the one I trust. I went through a similar elimination process with the man who performed my spinal surgery. I got referrals, cross-checked them, and then talked to the surgeon about what he could do for me. And he wasn’t the first surgeon I’d spoken with. I needed to know that I could trust his judgment, and I needed to know that he felt right. If I don’t trust the feel I get with a doctor, I leave. I’m sure I’m not alone in needing confirmation from my intuition on such an important decision.  I’m sure you have equally high standards and your own system for choosing the right doctor.

How, then, can we possibly ever suspect our physicians of dishonest billing practices? Even if you (or someone you’ve enlisted to help) look over your bills and find that errors and up-coding and inflated drug costs have blown your medical costs through the roof, how can you doubt your physician?

My advice: don’t. Trust your physician.

If you have a good doctor, why ruin a good relationship?

Okay, I know, some folks don’t have good doctors. Some folks get stuck with the bad ones. In every crop of new physicians, there has to be one future doctor who graduates at the bottom of his class. So, yes, bad doctors happen. The system isn’t perfect. If your doctor is one of the bad ones, and you are certain that you’ve been conned or had an inappropriate surgery or an operation made your situation worse when you were guaranteed improvement, you don’t need us—you need an attorney.

If yours is one of the good ones, though, and you have questionable or downright incorrect billing, don’t lose faith.

Let’s think for a moment about how busy doctors get through a typical work day. As I said, my physician dictates his notes. Some just learn to write very fast. Modern medical billing rules require that every detail be clearly documented. If it isn’t documented, goes the mantra, it didn’t happen. For this reason, many hard-working physicians rely on dictation to speed the note-taking process. Dictated or handwritten notes have to be transcribed. That adds a transcriptionist to the billing process. The transcribed notes are then coded by a professional coder to simplify the process. These codes are then turned into bills by a medical biller and submitted to your insurer, who determines what portion of the resulting bill you have to pay. Even if you have no insurance, your bill is the result of data handled by at least three individuals (transcriptionist, coder, biller) between you and your physician. If you are insured, add a claims adjustor or two to the communications.

So, are we saying that your physician—your heroic, unimpeachable physician—might be employing a less-than-honest or less-than-thorough transcriptionist, medical coder, or billing agency? While it might actually be possible, no, that’s not our suggestion.

How, then, do these well-documented errors keep occurring? Despite the utmost care at each stage in the complex billing process, mistakes happen, not just those over-reported errors that seem to be achieving urban-legend status—the woman whose delivery records show that she was billed for a circumcision for her little girl, the $1004 toothbrush, the man whose heart surgery included charges for a hysterectomy—but the two major errors (over $5000 worth) that I just found in my own trusted surgeon’s bill. Nobody knows for sure… because most errors never get caught. But I have heard—and I believe—that the odds are better than 4 in 5 that your bills contain similar errors.

Why? Why should so many errors happen—and all to the patient’s detriment? The best analogy I can offer is two brilliant dancers quick-stepping through a sardine-can-crowded dance hall. Each dancer will take great care to avoid stepping on their own toes and on their partners’ toes. Despite all their skill and care, the odds say that one or both of those quick-steppers are going to stomp on someone’s foot.

In the same way, the transcriptionist, coder, and biller will take great care to avoid erring against their  physician employer. Any error that hurts the doctor potentially damages their livelihood. But aren’t they concerned about the patients? Aren’t patients the real source of everyone’s income? Sure, but most patients will never see a detailed bill, never look at the surgeon’s operating notes, never decode their bills.

Mistakes—expensive mistakes—happen every day. Unraveling your medical bills might save you a bundle. Not sure how? Hire an expert.

In any case, trust your doctor.

But review your medical bills.

Can you get pregnant with the clear watery semen?


All semen will become to a white color and looks like watery and milky after 30 minutes. The milky color with cloudiness in it are the actual sperm in the watery semen that you have seen. In some case the semen will get very clear, thus it can be possible that he may be a low sperm count. But this can’t be a judgement of his semen when you see them coming out.

When coming to this question can you get pregnant with clear watery semen, as we known it won’t get you pregnant if just one sperm. So if the sperm is little in the semen and the chance will be small. On the other hand, most of sperms are defective and they work off each other. Thus this will be much harder to one sperm to your egg. But it is not absolute.

Now if you want to get pregnant quickly, you should know the healthier the more likely to get pregnant. So keep a balance diet and exercise as possible, and get more chances to be pregnant quickly.

 

What Is COPD?

What is COPD? is a question asked by many. In simple terms Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a progressive respiratory disease that causes breathing difficulties to the patient. The ailment results as an occurrence of emphysema (pink puffer: here ) or chronic bronchitis (blue bloater:here) in the lungs resulting in narrowing of the air pipes. This leads to a medical condition called dyspnea, which simply means shortness of breath.

To a clinician the question will result in the definition of shortage of air movement on a lung function test. The disease is similar to asthma apart from the fact that it is very progressive and poorly reversible. Medical records show that in the US alone, about 12 million people have a positive diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

To understand what COPD is let’s discuss its two causes.

  • Chronic bronchitis is caused by the inflammation of the air waves in the lung. This condition leads to mucus accumulation in the air ways contributing their narrowing. Inflammation is preceded by scarring, change in tissues lining the air waves, and thickening of the air waves. Medical reports show that patients with acute COPD suffer from primary chronic bronchitis, not emphysema.
  • On the other hand inflammation and lung damage of the alveoli results in emphysema. This condition is described as enlargement of the alveoli, or air sacs, spaces leading to destruction of the bronchioles walls. The damage of the alveoli space walls causes a reduction in available surface area for gaseous exchange. This condition also reduces the elasticity of the lung and might eventually lead to collapsing of the air waves.

COPD is usually caused by noxious particulates or gases in the atmosphere. The common source of this substance is tobacco smoking which contains toxins that trigger abnormal inflammatory responses in the lungs. COPD progressively damages the air ways, and breathing tubes that facilitate movement of air in and out of the lung. The inflammatory responses in the lung result in air waves being swollen and partiality blocked by mucus. Furthermore, they cause damages to tiny air sacs found on the tip of airways. This precipitates breathing problems.

To answer in detail the question, let’s study the functioning mechanism of lungs. We breathe in air through the nose and it flows down via the windpipe to your lungs. In the lungs there are tiny tubes called airways, or bronchial tubes. These bronchial tubes branch and subdivide into smaller and thinner tubes called bronchioles. The bronchioles end up in tiny air sacs referred to as alveoli. The alveoli are engulfed by blood capillaries making them points of gas exchange between the blood in the capillaries and the lungs. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease results in thinning of the bronchioles by mucus accumulation limiting the amount of oxygen reaching the air sacs. Also the air pipes lose their elasticity reducing their capacity to take in high volumes of oxygen to the air sacs. Advanced Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can affect the functioning of other organs beyond the lungs. For instance it can lead to weight loss, heart failure and pulmonary hypertension.

Nyquil Abuse Treatment

Nyquil
The abuse of medicines containing active ingredients like acetaminophen is on the rise. One such medicine is Nyquil. It is a medicine commonly used in the treatment of symptoms of colds and flu. Nyquil abuse is believed to cause a number of severe side-effects including allergic reactions and seizures. It can also result in liver complications, brain damage and eventual death, particularly in the case of an intense overdose.

When Nyquil is used according to the instructions, it is not only effective, but also safe. However, when used inappropriately, the dangers can be serious and possibly even deadly. Since there are many cases of abuse of OTC drugs and prescriptions that have the ingredient acetaminophen, consumer watchdogs in the United States have warned people against contravening the directions of doctors when it comes to these drugs. This is mainly because there have been so many cases of liver damage among addicts and abusers of drugs that contain acetaminophen.

Please understand that help is readily available for the abuse such as Nyquil with alcohol and there is no need to continue suffering in silence. However, the most important thing is for the abuser to agree to seek treatment for the trauma caused by Nyquil abuse. The dangers associated with this abuse can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

While it is never easy to conquer drug abuse or dependency, recovery is achievable. One of the main reasons why some individuals continue to abuse Nyquil is because they are afraid that the withdrawal symptoms will be unpleasant and at times horrible. What you have to realize is that the dangerous health problems that you are bound to suffer with continued abuse are far worse.

If you are a chronic or heavy abuser of Nyquil, regardless of your original intentions, you do not have to undergo withdrawal alone. Finding medical assistance will require you to be frank and this represents the initial step on the right path. Enrolling for a Nyquil treatment program is usually the best way to recover from the trauma of drug abuse. This is because it is a safe and comfortable way to undergo detox. In addition, it helps to reduce the chances of relapse.

For chronic Nyquil abusers, it is important to go for inpatient treatment. Here, patients undergo detox so as to eliminate all the harmful Nyquil substances from the abuser’s body. In addition, there are a number of other programs in which the recovering person is expected to actively participate in order to learn how to deal with various stressful challenges without resorting to drugs. These include programs like individual counseling, cognitive behavior therapy and group counseling sessions.

Outpatient Nyquil abuse treatment is preferred by many people because of its flexible nature. However, it is only suitable for those who have had a short record of drug abuse, and those for whom there is no history of drug abuse within their family. In many cases the kind of treatment, however, depends on the choice of the affected individual because soberness can only be achieved if the person is fully prepared to enter the program.

How to Save Money on Beef Steak

Beef steak doesn’t have to be unaffordable! These buying tricks will save you a lot of money when you’re buying beef steak.

Buy on sale

If it’s important to you to save money, never, ever buy beef that isn’t on sale. You’ll soon figure out that the cheapest sales always happen at the same times of year. What you’ve really got to look for are loss leaders, where stores sell popular roasts at a loss so that they can pull you in to buy other cuts of beef and other food that’s a lot more expensive.

Buy roasts

Sales on roasts are always cheaper than sales on the steaks you can cut from them. Cut them yourself, and save yourself some cash!

This works best if you’ve got a freezer. Chest freezers are a bit more awkward, but they’re a lot more energy efficient than upright freezers. You’re cooking from scratch, so you don’t have to open and close it all the time.

Buy during promotions

A lot of stores sometimes have special promotions where they’ll give you about 10 percent back if you buy a high dollar value of food. Usually that bonus comes in the form of a “free” Easter ham or a Christmas turkey. If you can find a good steak sale at those times, it’s like getting an extra 10 percent off! That’s also the time to stock up on the stuff which never goes on sale.

For best value, figure out the total amount of your groceries so that they’re just over the promotion minimum, before tax. (Taxes never count towards the promotional total.) That way, you get the best bang for your buck.

Buy a whole side of beef

Lots of places give you the chance to buy a whole side of beef. Sometimes you’ll get a bargain, but always do the math. Buying a whole side of beef isn’t always cheaper than buying steak on sale in the supermarket! There’s no guarantee that you’ll pay cheaper prices just because you’re buying in bulk.

Besides, you’ll also get stuck with a lot of beef parts that you might not want. They’re not bad parts, but if you’ve got the ability to buy what you want for decent prices, why choose an option that forces you to pay for what you don’t want as well?

Don’t use so much meat in your meals!

You don’t really have to serve each person a whole steak for supper. With a little ingenuity, a single five-pound sirloin roast can be stretched to feed a family of four for more than a week, and you don’t have to be eating the same thing every day. Really!

Cold and Sore Throat Home Remedies


For cold and flu, it is best to treat at home. But is it important to know whether it is a cold or an allergy that can cause swollen uvula symptom. Cold usually last for 2 weeks and if the cold crosses this period, it is likely to be an allergy.

When you have a sore throat, runny nose, feel stuffy, the situation indicates you have a cold and sore throat. Often there is a low temperature. Physicians advise to stay away from extreme weather at this time.

The following home remedies help in cold and sore throat:

Steam-shower, vaporizer are great reliefs in the cold. Have a hot shower, and best is to have it in the morning. Change clothes and keep clean, which are prerequisites for a faster recovery.

Have red pepper to get rid of the congestion you have.

Vitamin C enriched fruits are great preventive for colds. Have oranges, malta, guava and kiwi.

Mix up salt and boiled water to gargle and have nasal drops. Gargling has been proved very effective to kill bacteria and germs in your throat. You would feel a great relief from the sore throat after gargling.

Take some menthol salve, such as, Vick’s Vapor Rub, and rub it on your chest. This soothes your feeling of congestion, cold and hard breathing.

Have the Chinese (Oolong) or Japanese (Ocha) green tea. These are natural antihistamine. Green tea boosts up the stamina, which is required when you have cold and allergy.

Take 1 table spoon of both raspberries and honey. Have this in every meal. Raspberries and honey contain cold fighting supplements. Regular intake of honey is great prevention to various diseases, including cold and congestion.

How to make chicken stock from scratch

Chicken stock can be used as a base for soup, gravy or be used in place of water in stuffing. Learning how to make chicken stock from scratch is not difficult and it may be done on the stove or in a crock pot if you want to start it earlier in the day.  There are two different methods for creating broth, the difference is largely what chicken parts you are using.

Ingredients:

Two lbs of chicken parts such as backs, wings or legs(1)
One medium onion
One large carrot
One large parsnip
Two stalks of chopped celery
Spice sack (rosemary, parsley, thyme, garlic powder, bay leaf)(2)
Salt and pepper to taste
One Tablespoon of olive oil
48 ounces of cold water (6 cups)

Place the tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of a large dutch oven.  Add the chicken parts and cook until they are no longer bleeding when pierced with a fork. Drain the excess fat if you prefer a stock that has less grease/fat.

Add cold water, salt and pepper and spices.  Peel the onion, carrot, celery and parsnip (you may elect to not peel the carrot and parsnip, just be sure they are thoroughly cleaned) and add them whole to the pot.

Cover and simmer for one hour.  At that time, remove the bones, onion and parsnip, carrots and celery. Remove any meat from the bones, discard the bones and any skin or gristle. Mash the carrots, parsnip, onion and celery and blend it back into the stock and simmer for an additional half hour.  If you used a spice sack, remove and discard. If not, remove and discard the bay leafs.

This stock is very rich and may be used as a base for soup or may be thickened for soup or chicken pot pie. If you prefer a thinner stock, simply chop the vegetables finely and add them to the broth after the bones have been removed rather than mashing them and adding to the base.

This recipe may also be used for turkey broth or for beef broth simply by changing the spices and bones that you have elected to use. This is a simple broth that may also be steeped in a crock pot if you would prefer to not watch over it all day long.

(1) If you elect to use a chicken (or turkey) carcass versus parts, eliminate the olive oil, combine carcass with all spices and vegetables in a large pot and cook for 3 hours on low heat uncovered. Drain and remove all bones and bay leaf, blend vegetables together and add back to the broth. If you wish to remove fat, you can refrigerate the broth for about an hour and skim the fat from the top of the pot before using the broth.

(2) About spice sacks: you may use a spice sack or simply toss these spices into the pot. Make sure if you toss them in the pot that the bay leaf is removed prior to using the stock.

Etiquette tips for the holiday season

Christmas is the time of year when people tend to think more of others than they do of themselves. They look forward to making others happy, whether it be with a special gift or a simple, yet heartfelt, Merry Christmas greeting. The holidays are time when families and friends gather together to make Christmas memories. As you spend time with your loved ones this holiday season, remember to pay special attention to Christmas etiquette.

If you’ve ever found yourself knee-deep in Christmas muck, then you know how quickly the joyfulness of the holidays can turn sour with offensive words or behaviors. People tend to be more sensitive around this time of year, so even if you weren’t intending to hurt someone’s feelings, you may very well wind up bruising their ego before you even realize it.

One of the easiest ways to hurt someone’s feelings is to show ungratefulness toward a gift they’ve bought for you. Even if the gift is a purple polka-dotted vase with olive green felt flowers bursting from it, it’s important to show gratitude. Remember, it’s not about the gift; it’s about the thought that went into purchasing it, and even if it’s apparent that little to no thought was involved, they still bought you a gift, so smile and say thank you.

Another important thing to remember with regard to Christmas etiquette is that not everyone may be as joyous and merry about the holiday as you are. For many reasons, some people find Christmas to be a depressing time of year. Take this into consideration, and don’t overdo your enthusiasm around people who have good reason to be less merry than you.

Grin and bear it when it’s appropriate. You may not get along with your family, but if there is a communal gathering and you’re invited, go and keep your personal feelings out of it. For lots of families, there are at least a few older family members who may or may not be experiencing their last Christmas on earth. Put your personal issues aside, and enjoy the time you have with these elderly (Or sickly) family members.

If you’re attending a company Christmas party this year, proper etiquette dictates that getting inebriated isn’t a good social move. Keep your alcohol consumption to a bare minimum if you intend to drink at all. Bad things tend to happen, and rumors tend to fly, when there is a lot of drinking at company Christmas parties.

In addition, don’t dress provocatively, and keep your hands to yourself when interacting with fellow coworkers and or their spouses. Office rumors can get started from the silliest of things, and spread like wildfire with the slightest of breezes. Remember, you may be having a good time in the heat of the moment, but you will have to face your coworkers, and bosses, when the morning comes. Don’t do anything at the company Christmas party you wouldn’t do during a normal business day at work.

Christmas is a time of year to sit back, and enjoy camaraderie among family, and friends. Still, it’s important to not forget etiquette during the holiday season.