Seth Brown | The Pun Also Rises: 'Tis the season for holiday ailments


NORTH ADAMS — I don't mean to diss this season, but dis' season? Is diseasin'. A change in weather is often accompanied by sickness, and moreso in winter than any other time. So, while the holiday tinsel goes up, we remember that every silver has a cloud lining, and I present for your consideration a list of common holiday ailments:


Like its cousin tonsillitis, this is another painful mouth experience. It is mainly caused by ubiquitous tinsel that has gotten in everything, including your food. Chewing too much tinsel can require serious dental work, including fillings or in some cases a little crown of Bethlehem.

Santa Claustrophobia

Fear of going to enclosed spaces like malls where you might be forced into contact with someone dressed up as Santa. There are books you can read on overcoming these issues, which are available in the Elf-Help section.

Winter's Cold

Not only a truthful two-word sentence, but also a common illness toward the beginning of winter. Not yet cold enough for snow, which means your nose is still raining off and on.

Missile Toe

Filled with enthusiasm and perhaps too many holiday spirits, your toe becomes laser-guided at high speed toward the foot of a nearby table, causing an impact with great destruction — mostly of your toe. Also helps you get in the decorating spirit, since it usually leads to "colorful" language.


Like when your dog gets the mange, only even more so.

Chanukah Cheadache

Should only last for one night, but miraculously, lasts for eight nights in a row. When this finally ends, a traditional celebration involves copious imbibement, otherwise known as going out and getting shamashed.

Egg Noggin

Your head feels full of a thick yellowish liquid, generally making you feel as if god has yust played a bad yolk on you. This condition may persist all day and albumin night.

Jingle Balls

(Seth, you have two choices: We can print this one in the newspaper, or you can keep your job. Let me know which you'd prefer. — Editor)

Menorahl Surgery

Necessary when someone has attempted to swallow an entire menorah. This may sound illogical, but keep in mind that Hanukkah also has a lot of shiny metal coins that are actually made of chocolate. So people see a shiny metal menorah and think, "I bet this is made of chocolate too, and I should eat it!" And it does not go well.

Noel Typing

Athough this affiction is technicay not bioogica, but mechanica, it is a difficuty with od keyboards missing an essentia etter.

Christmassive Head Trauma

The most common and dangerous holiday affliction, this is caused by smashing your head forcefully into hard objects after being forced to hear "Little Drummer Boy" for the 17th time this month.

Seth Brown is an award-winning humor columnist, the author of "From God To Verse," and is currently suffering from a bout of Hanukkah Flu. His website is


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