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Practical Holiday Tips
by Kate Forrest

The holidays are supposed to be full of joy and pleasantries. Nothing puts a damper on the holidays more than some mishap, so prevention is key. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for the winter season...

  1. Try to travel outside of peak holiday times. If you can't avoid traveling the day before Christmas Eve, the day after Christmas, or on New Year's Eve, then proceed with caution. Increased traffic mixed with cold and sometimes icy conditions and rushing to get somewhere can be a recipe for disaster. New Year's Eve is prime time for both drivers who have had too much to drink, and for police officers trying to find those drivers.
  2. If you leave your apartment or house for a few weeks of holiday vacation, see if your landlord, a neighbor, or a friend will stop by or double check that everything is in its proper place. I once experienced a break-in while my roommates and I were gone for the holidays. Fortunately, nothing was taken, and it seemed like someone was just trying to stay warm. I know of others who weren't so lucky. Nothing feels quite so violating as finding that your things were taken while you were away, so take the proper precautions.
  3. For you holiday cooks out there, watch your stove tops and ovens. With a busy kitchen, fires become a lot more common. Not only will you be sad if you burn your special thumbprint cookies, but kitchen fires can be dangerous.
  4. If you have a real Christmas Tree, be sure to keep it watered, and to unplug lights when you leave the house. Make sure your lights aren't getting too hot after running for a few hours. Keep wreaths and other potential combustibles far enough away from candles.
  5. For holiday shopping difficulties, save yourself some stress by shopping online, or going to a store that offers free gift wrapping. Both of these options will save you a few steps, and many of the online stores offer shipping options for the before Christmas rush. Sometimes you save enough over regular stores even with shipping costs, and the convenience is priceless.
Enjoy the holidays and have a fantastic new year!

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