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Exchange Virtual Gifts Instead of
Germs this Holiday Season

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December 13, 2011

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We hear it all the time. The wreaths are hung, the tree is lit, the refrigerator is full of family favorites, and alas… you come down with a cold. Nothing can put a damper on the holidays like getting sick.

This year, it’s more important than ever to do what you can to stay healthy. Read on for field-tested tips to protect your family and your holiday guests from germs. From online gifts and virtual gift ideas to proactive ways to reduce the spread of germs, we’ve got you covered.

How to Protect Yourself From Germs During the Holidays

Fighting the risk of illness from germs starts with taking care of ourselves. We all know by now what we can do to prevent ourselves from getting sick, but here’s a refresher just in case.

Sleep is KING!

Sufficient sleep helps with brain function, as well as heart and blood vessel function. It can also improve immune cells known as T cells, which fight the germs known to cause colds and flu.

Drink More Water

Drinking sufficient amounts of water is important for keeping your immune system healthy. A good rule of thumb for proper hydration is roughly an ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. If you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink about 70oz of water per day.

Stress? What Stress?!

Stress weakens your immune response, making you more susceptible to bacteria and viruses. Minimize holiday stress by keeping your social scheduling and holiday spending at a minimum to maintain a healthy mental and physical balance.

Keep it Moving

It’s a challenge, but when you stay active during the holidays, your immune system gets a germ-fighting boost. Even if you’re not an avid exerciser, taking up the habit during the holidays not only increases your immunity, it helps keep that dreaded holiday weight gain in check.

With the ongoing pandemic and the approaching flu season, your holiday get-togethers might not be the traditional celebrations you’re used to. To keep social contact to a minimum, consider exchanging virtual gifts this holiday season. Online gifts aren’t anything new, but they take on even more relevance under the circumstances.

From monthly beer subscriptions to gift certificates for goods and services, virtual gifts can be meaningful while still respecting social distancing. Here are a few virtual gift ideas to get you started:

  • Online courses or classes
  • Beauty box subscriptions
  • Audio books
  • Digital music or movie gift cards
  • Meal delivery gift card
  • Plants or flowers
  • Maid service gift certificates

How to Fight Germs at Your Holiday Get-Togethers

But what about preventing your holiday guests from spreading germs throughout your home? Even if you exchange virtual gifts, you may decide to have a holiday get-together. Use these simple cleaning techniques before, during, and after your holiday gatherings to keep viruses and bacteria at bay.

  • Wash your hands regularly in warm, soapy water as your first line of defense. Place antibacterial hand sanitizer in plain view for your guests to use. Make an effort not to touch your mouth, nose, or eyes without first washing your hands.
  • Spray disinfecting spray on a cloth and wipe all hard surfaces—door knobs, appliance handles, remote controls, light switches, phones, keyboards, facial tissue box covers, tables, chairs, and counters. Viruses can live for up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.
  • Keep germs at bay in the bathroom by stashing disinfecting wipes near the toilet and sink for easy, quick cleanup whenever needed.
  • Hosting overnight guests? Wash towels and bedding in hot water with soap. Be sure not to share these items until they are thoroughly cleaned.
  • To keep children safe, an effective way to clean and sanitize toys is in the dishwasher. Make sure the items are dishwasher safe and are placed securely on the racks away from the heat source. Turn off “heat dry” and run the wash cycle as usual.
  • One of the easiest ways to pick up germs is by sharing glasses, plates, and utensils. Keep a grip on your dishes to avoid accidental contamination from family and friends.
  • Food that sits out too long can contain bacteria that cause illnesses. Skip the buffet-style holiday meal and serve individual portions instead. You’ll avoid the germs from sharing the buffet with others, and you may even end up eating less!

No one wants to add another item to the checklist this time of year, but a few quick and preventative measures can help save the holiday from disaster. Too busy to clean for the holidays? The Maids is the only residential cleaning service to specialize exclusively in cleaning for health by removing more dirt and dust and allergens than when conventional cleaning practices are used. They are uniquely qualified to help you enjoy a healthier home this holiday season. Find out more when you get your free estimate online.

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