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This Week's Facts:
  1. Go Online to Find National Christmas Tree History
     
  2. Tips for Taking Stress Out of the Holidays
     
  3. Raise Awareness of Seasonal Depression During Holidays

Follow Easy Steps for Safe Holiday Season

Many Hoosiers will be celebrating many holiday traditions with family, friends, and co-workers.  As festivities will be abundant this season, the Indiana Criminal Justice institute would like to remind Hoosiers to celebrate safely and responsibly this holiday season.  Following some easy steps, drivers and passengers can enjoy a safe and festive holiday season without harming others sharing the road:  Make a plan to arrive home safely before the festivities begin; if you plan to drink, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys; if you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation; and if you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 immediately. Finally, if you know someone is about to drive impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they’re going safely. Remember to enjoy the spirit of the holidays, but enjoy them safely and responsibly so that you can enjoy many holidays to come. 

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian
&
Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana State LibraryFederal Depository Library

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Go Online to Find National Christmas Tree History

National Christmas TreeOn December 24, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge participated in the lighting of the first National Christmas tree, a 48-foot balsam fir from Vermont. It was decorated by 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white, and green, donated by the Electric League of Washington. He started a tradition that has lasted for the past 87 years. You can see the history of national Christmas trees and the lighting celebrations on the National Park Service’s 2010 Lighting of the National Christmas Tree website. President Barack Obama’s remarks from December 9th as well as photos and video of the 2010 event are available on the White House website. The White House blog also features an entertaining Behind-the-Scenes Look: Time-Lapse Of The White House Christmas Tree with all of the beautiful work involved in decorating the official White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room of the White House.

Tips for Taking Stress Out of the Holidays

FCIC: Holiday Stress TipsDon't let stress over the holiday season bog you down. Get back to spending quality time with your family and friends with these guidelines from the Federal Citizen Information Center to lower your stress this holiday season:

  • Traveling this winter? Make sure your car has had a recent inspection and can handle a long road trip safely in inclement weather. If you're heading to the airport, check with TSA so you understand the latest regulations and how they will affect your travel time.

  • It's hard to get a full night of sleep, especially during the busy holiday season. But, even getting a few extra minutes can help improve your mood the next day. Sometimes one small factor like lights or the sound of your furnace can affect your sleep. If you aren't sleeping well, find out why and learn easy ways to get more rest.

  • With so many good deals on the internet, it's hard to know which sites you can trust for buying your holiday presents. Check out these tips from the FBI on how to avoid the stress of scams and fraud this holiday season.

  • Don't let the winter weather keep you down -- or make you sick. Take simple steps like choosing the right over-the-counter medicines for your symptoms and drinking lots of fluids, especially ones with healthy vitamins.

Raise Awareness of Seasonal Depression During Holidays

Seasonal Affective DisorderMany people across the country experience the ‘Winter Blues’.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of winter depression that affects half a million people between September and April each year, especially during the months of December, January, and February. SAD is caused by a chemical imbalance due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight in winter. SAD can be a seriously disabling illness for many people, preventing them from functioning normally without medical treatment. Symptoms of SAD recur regularly each winter, beginning in September and November until March or April. Some symptoms include: oversleeping or disturbed sleep; feeling tired & lethargic, overeating-craving carbohydrates & sweets; depression; feeling irritable & avoiding social contact; tension & inability to tolerate stress; loss of libido; and mood changes. If you or someone you know is experiencing all or most of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. With treatment, the ‘Winter Blues’ can become manageable. 

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