"We're keeping it a little more low-key," he said.
Then there's "holiday heart syndrome," a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation brought on by too much alcohol.
It involves irregular contractions in the heart's upper two chambers that patients often feel as palpitations, a funny fluttery sensation in the chest, or chest pain. It's like the heart's rhythm has gone "haywire," according to a report last year in the Harvard Heart Letter.
"People who come in with this, they're shocked that it happened," said Dr. Deepak Bhatt, a heart specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and editor-in-chief of the Harvard Heart Letter. Many aren't chronic drinkers and "may not realize that excess drinking at the annual Christmas party has its own risks," he said.
The condition typically happens in otherwise healthy adults, and resolves within 24 hours, though teens aren't immune. Medical literature includes a "holiday heart" report from doctors at Miami Children's Hospital involving a 16-year-old boy who developed atrial fibrillation after a drinking bout — his blood alcohol level was slightly higher than the legal limit.
Contact AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner at http://www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner