The season is upon us once again! The time when we are rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off. When we don’t have time to do everything and therefore we forget some of the important items around the house.
The Christmas tree will be going up soon. Make sure if you are purchasing a “real” tree that the tree is fresh and not dried out. You should saw off the base of the tree six inches so the trunk can draw up liquid. Pick up some ginger ale; trees love the sweet taste of it. Pick an appropriate spot for the tree, do not put it next to the electric baseboard or forced air register where it will dry out. A dried out tree is a big fire hazard! When putting up Christmas lights, plug them in a surge bar so the wall outlet doesn’t resemble an octopus and start a fire. Also, it will be easier to just unplug the surge bar. Be sure you use pet friendly ornaments – or keep them away at all times. For example, hold off on the tinsel, the family dog cannot digest it.
It is a good time to start putting up your outside lights when there is no snow or ice to tend with. Check the ladder before you start – make sure it isn’t in need of a repair. If it is, don’t use it. Also, don’t do the job alone, get a helper so it is easier and safer.
While you’re out in the shed or garage, be sure you have some salt and sand for that unexpected snow storm. Also, check that the shovels are easy to get at and still useable. They seem to go quickly at the stores after the first snow storm or it could happen during those Christmas holiday hours when stores are closed. If you got a snow plow, start it and run it for a few minutes. Lubricate the parts that need oiling. As for the shear pin, make sure you have a spare, just in case. If your snow plow is you and your shovel, remember don’t overdo it. If we haven’t worked out all year, we can’t expect our bodies to perform 100 percent. Take on the snow drifts a little at a time. Go back in the house and have a glass of water, relax then return to the clearing the driveway. Or better yet, pay one of the neighborhood children to clean it!
We seem to use more electricity during this holiday season. You can cut down by turning off lights you are not using. The computers can be turned off. You would be surprised the amount of power they draw just by keeping them on overnight. Simple habits that could be good for the whole year but at this time of year, saving that extra money can help!
Now is a good time to change all the batteries in the house. Alarms, wall thermostats, etc. whatever takes the Duracells.
This time of year, the Christmas parties will be starting soon. The Police will be out in full force. So make sure you have a designated driver, or take a cab, or call a friend. Just don’t drink and drive. If you are hosting a party, remember that you are responsible for anyone that leaves your house impaired. So if you are serving alcohol, make sure you collect everyone’s car keys and don’t let them drive if they have had too much. They can sue you as well as their family if they get in an accident and are paralyzed for life. A best friend could become your worst nightmare. Another reminder is at those parties, there are a lot of calories being served. Remember they are easy to put on but a lot tougher to take off.
When you do open up the presents, resist the temptation to burn that colored wrapping paper in the fireplace. Creosol builds up and can cause chimney fires. Another bad habit is lighting candles and leaving the room. Talk with any Fire inspector and they tell you most fires at Christmas are caused by unattended candles. So keep your candles lit only in the rooms you are in!
As we get closer to Christmas our routines will go off track and we will be doing extra activities. Between office parties, children concerts, shopping, decorating and cooking, we will be challenged to stretch our limits. For some of us, the slightest little thing can trigger our emotional clock. Don’t let the stress of the long line ups, the constant tug of people wanting our money and time turn us into Mr. Scrooge or Ms. Scrooge. Stress is the number cause of many illnesses. We must remember the true message of Christmas is love and giving.
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