When I was twelve years old, my grandfather choked to death on a piece of ham at our family’s Christmas dinner. My dad unsuccessfully tried to dislodge the meat from Grandpa’s throat with his fingers, then a spoon, but by the time the paramedics arrived, Grandpa was dead. My entire family was running around the house, screaming and crying, and my grandmother fainted. (We momentarily thought she had died, too.) Merry Christmas, indeed.