The ancient trees in a primeval New Jersey forest have seen some things. They're 400 to 500 years old, after all. But now, thanks to sea rise, they're under threat. My colleague Frank Kummer's report on the trees' troubles is a fascinating look at how climate change is impacting our environment. Much, much closer to home, we've got some advice for you this morning about how to deal with your seasonal gut issues. Yes, you can have too much holiday fun, and it could have a bigger impact on how you feel than you might think.

— Aubrey Nagle (morningnewsletter@philly.com)

Scientists estimate that the blackgum trees in an old growth forest surrounded by Bear Swamp in Cumberland County, N.J. are 400 to 500 years old. They're among the most ancient of trees in the most ancient forest of its kind surviving in the Northeast U.S.

For now, that is. Sea-level rise fueled by warmer oceans and sinking lands are pushing saltwater closer to the trees. The change could kill them in the not-so-distant future, along with their flora and fauna neighbors.

Elsewhere on the environmental front, conservationists are calling the Trump administration's proposed rollback of waterway regulations a boon to big business that would make it easier to pollute our rivers and streams.

"Go with your gut" isn't an empty phrase. Your gut is like a second brain: when you've had your fill of Thanksgiving leftovers and Christmas cookies, it knows.

Stress and the shifting diets and schedules that accompany the holidays can literally make us sick. But there are easy ways to combat the vicious stress-and-pain cycle while still making spirits bright.

Something else to avoid this holiday season? Hand injuries. Staying safe in the kitchen can keep you from cuts and burns.

The MLB's winter meetings have proven fruitful for the Phillies so far: on Tuesday they signed five-time All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen to a three-year deal worth $50 million.

Columnist Bob Brookover calls the deal a risky move. McCutchen will likely play either left field or right in a supporting role for the Phillies.

The acquisition of McCutchen doesn't mean the Phillies are out of the hunt for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, either. Both will likely remain free agents after the winter meetings.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

That's berry mature of you, @d_smoove.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

Opinions

December 12, 2018
Signe Wilkinson
December 12, 2018
"I hope to never experience another act of violence in our facilities, but as a realist, I know that being prepared and having a well-coordinated plan is the only way to mitigate harm to our patients and employees. As leaders, we do what we do, so our health-care teams can safely do what they do – save lives." — Joseph W. Devine , president of Jefferson Health-New Jersey on how some medical facilities prep for active shooters.

What we’re reading

Gingerbread Train Kit from Five Below
Kristen Balderas/Staff Photographer
Gingerbread Train Kit from Five Below

Your Daily Dose of | Gingerbread

Want to build a gingerbread house this holiday season? Inquirer reporters tried out kits found at local stores so you could learn from their mistakes. (Hint: Don't smash the box.)