Q Why are colds more common in the winter?

A: That’s a good question. Some people believe that colds are more common in winter and wetter months because we spend more times indoors, breathing stagnant, germ-infested air. Others believe it has to do with the fact that cold viruses tend to live longer in colder temperatures. Some blame the cold temperatures (and the lack of bundling up correctly); however, this may not be as big a cause as staying inside, where it’s warm and toasty, sharing the air that others have been breathing. Whatever the reason, winter is the time that colds seem to flourish, so make sure you wash your hands often, get enough rest, and try not to spend too much time indoors with other sick people.

Q What was the biggest snowstorm to ever hit during a Christmas holiday in the United States?

A: Unfortunately, we don’t have at hand any specific records for the western part of the country. We do know that the snowstorm that hit the Northeast on Christmas 2002, dumped up to 2 feet of snow, and was one of the biggest snowfalls for that part of the country on Christmas Day.

Two other “post-Christmas” storms are worth mentioning. Dec. 26, 1947, is when the greatest snowfall in New York City’s history occurred. The city got hit with 26.4 inches of snow in 24 hours, and some nearby suburbs received up to 32 inches. Traffic came to a halt and it cost $8 million dollars to remove all of it.

Q How do you make eggnog?

A: Eggnog has long been a tradition during the holiday season. Many sources say it came to America from England, and has been concocted with everything from wine to rum to whisky, but can also be made nonalcoholic.

While the original recipes don’t call for heating the eggs, it is recommended that you do so when making your own nog. Commercial dairies pasteurize the eggnog so it is safe.

If you decide to purchase premade eggnog, you can always add toppings and flavorings, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, candy canes, chocolate, alcohol, or whatever other favorite toppings or ingredients you might want.

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