According to some research out of UC San Diego, there is a startling spike in deaths from natural causes on Christmas, the day after, and on New Year’s. For example, “…there are 4.65 percent more cardiac fatalities and 4.99 percent more non-cardiac fatalities than would be expected for winter.” In all, there were “more than 42,000 extra deaths during the holidays over the 26-year period of the study”.
So, why the higher mortality? The researchers considered travel, stress, changes in diet and alchohol consumption, but concluded that it had to do with people putting off treatment. In other words, people would rather die than mess up their holidays.
It reminds me of that old Seinfeld story about how people fear public speaking more than they fear dying. Put another way, he argues, at a funeral most people would rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy.