We’ve officially entered the silly season.
No longer can scorn be thrown at those who hum Christmas carols under their breath – November is so last month, it’s now the season to be jolly.
But with great cheer comes great responsibility.
In the lead up to December 25, social calendars start to fill up.
There’s work break-up parties, family get-togethers, and balmy evenings that lend themselves to time outdoors with friends.
Many of the events in the festive season come hand-in-hand with alcohol – a sparkling wine to celebrate, a cool beer on a hot night.
And unfortunately, it’s then that the silly season can take on a whole new meaning.
It’s a sad part of modern society that warmer weather events are more likely to produce acts of drunkenness, violence, and car crashes.
Emergency services and hospital presentations soar – more than doubling – on summer weekends, compared to weekdays.
The increase can be attributed to severe intoxication.
More assaults occur in December than any other month, and alcohol related-incidents peak with the influx of public holidays.
The last traditional working day before Christmas marks the start of a busy period for ambulance and emergency service personnel – they’ll see an increase of about 50 per cent throughout summer, compared to the rest of the year.
Of course, most people are able to keep their behaviour and alcohol intake in-check. But there are so many opportunities for mistakes.
It can range from over-indulgence at the office Christmas party that leads to an embarrassing moment in front of the boss, to a physical blow-out with a stranger, a colleague, a friend, or even a spouse.
Many times, we see the result of intoxication reflected on the roads, in serious and fatal car crashes.
Not only do alcohol-related incidents damage the individual victim and perpetrator, and their social circles, it darkens what is meant to be one of the happiest times of the year.
This festive season, and into the new year, it’s up to every individual to keep their behaviour in line.
There’s the silly season, and then there’s just plain stupid. Don’t be the latter.