Researchers in London have found that kissing on the cheek is far more hygienic than shaking hands. This may be good or bad news for you this holiday season, depending on how close you really want to get to your relatives.
“Debrett’s warns people to observe proper etiquette by kissing others on the cheek instead of the lips and to avoid touching the person being kissed except on the shoulder or the upper arms,” reports Yahoo.
If you’re sick, you’re likely to be sneezing, handling tissues, rubbing your eyes, and basically, a lot of germs end up on your hands. Then, if you shake hands with someone, your germs end up on their hands, and consequently in their eyes, on their silverware or even on their food. So, keep your hands to yourself.
If you’re not feeling well, you should probably just stay home this year, lest family members hear you coughing and suddenly don’t want to talk to you. If you’re healthy and hamthrax-free, remember to wash your hands often and go for the cheek kissing to stay safe.
And speaking of Europe, if you’re traveling internationally, check out Times Online‘s guide to how many cheek kisses are appropriate in various European countries.