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6 Tips for Surviving the Holidays - They Just Might Save Your Life

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Everyone wants to enjoy the holiday season.

Staying safe is one way to ensure that the joy continues into the new year!

Consider praying for your local first responders during the holiday season. Fire, ambulance, EMS, police, and emergency medical personnel get even busier and it can be more emotionally taxing to respond to car accidents, fires, or medical emergencies during what should be a time of joy.

You might even visit local first responders with a thank you or encouragement gift.

The best way to support first responders is to keep you and your loved ones safe. If you are home for the holidays, these holiday tips may just save your life.

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Prevent Christmas Tree Fires:

As this WNYW video demonstrates, Christmas trees are notorious causes of house fires resulting in loss and tragedy every year.

According to Ask Dr. Walt and The National Fire Protection Association, you can prevent a fire in your home by remembering:

  1. Choose a flame-retardant artificial tree.
  2. If choosing a live tree, choose one with fresh, green needles. Discard once it is dry.
  3. Cut 2″ off the base of the tree and keep in fresh water away from any heat source or candle.
  4. Choose working lights certified by an independent testing lab and don’t keep the tree plugged in overnight.
  5. Be sure your tree does not block any exits.

Check Christmas Tree Before Bringing Indoors:

In holiday movies, it can be hilarious to watch scenes where a squirrel or other unexpected wild guest jumps out of the live Christmas tree. In real life, it can be distressing and potentially harmful.

It’s always wise before bringing in the treasure your family has found to inspect it while it’s still outdoors.

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  1. Be on the look out for snakes or squirrels. One family in South Africa was alerted by their two cats to an intruder in their tree. According to the New York Post, upon inspection, they discovered a snake, and not just any snake, a venomous one! “A quick internet search revealed that the reptile was the nation’s most venomous snake, the deadly boomslang.” Eventually, it came down from the tree and “made a break for it,” at which point the homeowner used tongs to get it safely away from his children.
  2. Birds can sometimes be resting in your tree. The Western Journal reports that a baby “Saw-whet owl, the smallest owls we have in the northeast” was discovered in the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Fortunately, the worker made sure the little guy was kept safe and delivered to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center.
  3. Not dangerous to you, but important to spot, according to The Western Journal, are “walnut-shaped” masses hidden in live trees that could contain hundreds of praying mantis eggs. Simply snip off the branch to which the eggs are attached and place it outside.
  4. Pay attention to your pets’ reactions to any tree. One family in Australia didn’t expect to find an intruder in their artificial tree, but apparently a koala wandered in through an open door. As reported in The Guardian, the family was alerted to the furry invader by their dog.

Avoid Allergies:

For some, ’tis the season to be sneezing, wheezing, and possibly reaching for the epi-pen!

Fox News has several tips for preventing potentially dangerous allergic episodes during the holidays including:

  1. Wipe down your Christmas tree before bringing it inside to reduce mold spores.
  2. Eliminate scented products including cleaners, lotions, and perfumes.
  3. Read labels! Christmas treats may contain ingredients that cause serious allergic reactions for children or other guests so know what you’re serving.
  4. Use air purifiers or “scrubbing” plants like “aloe, spider plant, English ivy, Chinese evergreen, bamboo palm, rubber plant, peace lily, golden pathos, Gerber daisy, and certain dracaenas” to keep the air breathable for all.

Keep Safety in Mind When Choosing Gifts:

Toys have age ratings for safety reasons. Small toys can be choking hazards or contain toxins as this one family discovered when their 9-month-old, Kennedy Jane, ingested a water bead and wound up fighting for her life. Kennedy is now home but faces a host of medical issues going forward. Friends set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses.

Respect age ratings on toys. Talk with parents before purchasing gifts to ask about safety concerns, especially if you’re not currently raising small children. Read warnings and labels, follow instructions, and remember that a toy may be appropriate for an older sibling but could still be a concern for younger ones in the family or visiting.

Beware of Home Invaders Disguised as Carolers:

Sadly, home invasions are on the rise in many areas. Some even come dressed as carolers to entice homeowners to open their door.

WANE in Fort Wayne, Indiana reported on an incident where “homeowners told police someone came to their door while caroling and knocked on the door.” When they didn’t answer at first, the caroler brought another person to the door. Police were called after the potential intruders fled.

Know who is at your door before you open it.

Watch Out for Porch Pirates:

We love when our doorbell cameras catch delivery drivers helping others or doing kind deeds but they’re also great help in discouraging and identifying thieves.

WJW in Euclid, Ohio is warning residents to keep an eye out on their delivered packages and don’t leave them outside for long.

“Unfortunately, it’s that time of year,” said Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer. “And because it is the holiday season, there are people that are going to take advantage of this and look for packages on porches.”

Look out for one another. This is a great time of year to get to know your neighbor and show you love them by working together to keep one another safe.

There is much joy to be had over the holidays! By observing these safety tips, the joy will spread without any visits from first responders (unless they drop by for some Christmas cookies).

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Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a writer, speaker, Christian coach and disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored five books with a sixth on the way. Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, Lori learned the most from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. Rhode Islander. Wife, mom, grandmom, retired homeschool parent, part-time giant-slayer. Visit her at www.loriroeleveld.com.
Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a writer, speaker, Christian coach and disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored five books with a sixth on the way. Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, Lori learned the most from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. Rhode Islander. Wife, mom, grandmom, retired homeschool parent, part-time giant-slayer. Visit her at www.loriroeleveld.com.




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