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Christmas is a magical time: twinkly lights, family get-togethers, and festive songs. What could be better? The only issue is, lots of services slow down or shut around Christmas. This means that if certain situations or emergencies crop up, it can take much longer than usual to get sorted. Along with the two bank holidays on Christmas and new year’s day, many companies and tradespeople take additional time off too. Bearing this in mind, here are some of the ways you can avoid emergencies, and what to do if any occur over the festive season.


Winter causes an influx in illnesses like colds and flu. While these can be treated at home, in turn, they can lead to things like ear or chest infections which you may well need a doctor for. Most surgeries close for four days over Christmas, and if you struggle to get an appointment with yours at the best of times, you’ll have even more trouble around this period. Many illnesses are unavoidable, but maintaining good hygiene such as regularly washing hands (or using antibacterial gel if you’re out and about) can help prevent picking up germs. Be especially aware of things like handrails, shopping carts and cash machines when you’re out in public as this is where many people’s hands and therefore germs will have touched. There’s no need to become a germaphobe, simply remembering to wash your hands when you get home and not touch your face or mouth can help to prevent most things. If you do start feeling ill over Christmas and your doctor is closed you have two options. If it’s a milder illness, you could speak to your pharmacist and purchase some products to treat at home. If it’s more serious, or you already have medical issues that an illness can make worse then visit a walk-in clinic. The same applies to your dentist; your regular may be closed for a few days over Christmas. You can find the name of an emergency dentist on a website like this. The last thing you need when you’re trying to be festive is to be crippled with tooth pain! If you get the chance, book in for a check up while it’s still early in the month. That way anything that might cause issues can be addressed.


Winter weather can cause a range of things to go wrong with the home. If your gutters haven’t been cleared of fallen autumn leaves, then you can experience leaks in the home. Pipes freezing and expanding can cause them to burst causing floods. And with your central heating being fired up pretty much all day every day over Christmas it might stop working if your boiler is on the blink. Since we’re still fairly early in the month, it’s worth addressing these things now. Check over your home to make sure everything is winter ready. See if you can squeeze in a boiler service, it will be much less expensive to do it now than to have to call out an emergency plumber on a festive bank holiday. Buy some pipe insulation from a DIY shop and cover your pipes to prevent bursting. Make sure that your home insurance policy covers you against flooding, at least if the worst were to happen you won’t end up completely out of pocket. They’re not difficult things to do but could save you a lot of hassle later down the line.

Roads and Public Places

When the roads and paths are slippery, and there’s a lot more people out in public than normal, it can be an accident waiting to happen. However, there are a couple of ways you can help to avoid this. If it’s icy outside, only make journeys that are absolutely essential. Getting all of your Christmas shopping done early means no last minute dashes to the shops when the weather is bad. Make sure the tires on your car are up to scratch. Ideally, you will have snow and ice tires fitted at this time of year. Drive carefully, bearing in mind the stopping distance is likely to be further than normal. Unfortunately, there are also more drunk drivers on the road around Christmas so take note of this too. As a pedestrian, keep your wits about you. Wear sturdy shoes which offer a good grip, being extra careful around roads. If you experience inclement weather in the run up to Christmas, you could opt to stay home and have your groceries delivered to you and order your Christmas gifts online too. Just keep in mind delivery dates, most places will make it clear when they last order date is for guaranteed Christmas delivery.

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