Take care when carving your Christmas ham this year - it was responsible for 35 injuries last holiday season.

Hams brought 35 claims to ACC from December 24 to January 5. Thirty people were injured in chicken incidents during the same period. ACC said it didn't have details on how the injuries were sustained.

But, with claims peaking on Christmas Day, carving accidents were likely to be the main cause - unless people had left them too late to defrost and dropped the ham on their toes.

Peter Blakeway from Deli on Devonport, in Tauranga, said a sturdy, sharp knife was key to avoiding injury.

"A knife that bends can also move to where your fingers are," he said. "Electric knives also have a nasty habit of bending when you're cutting ... and that happens to be where your fingers are."

He advised standing a whole ham upright and holding the "trotter end", while cutting downwards away from your hand.

"The other really important thing is, sharp knives and alcohol don't mix," he said. "We can get very brave when we've had a few glasses of wine.

"Carving before the wine is a good move."

Brydon Heller from Hellers Smallgoods added that the safe way to carve was to cut away from yourself.

"If you slip you can easily cut your hand," he said. "Keep your hand behind the knife and cut away."

It was best to secure the meat on a carving stand, or hold firmly to the hock, Heller said.

Festive decorations went awry for 46 people injured during the holiday break. Christmas trees were to blame for 21 accidents, while 11 people were hurt in incidents with lights.

Overall, holiday season injuries peaked on January 5, with more than 5300 claims.

A total of 55,000 claims were made from accidents during the holiday period, with road accidents accounting for 1377.

Most dangerous days on the road were December 24 and January 3.