Christmas Tips Don’t Have to Be Glum
Everyone loves Christmas. But not everyone loves all of the Do’s and Don’ts that come out this time of the year. The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, but they do come with their own set of dangers.
But do we have to be so finger-waggy self-righteous about it all?
Instead, let’s do some fun tips that will help you have a blast this Christmas – while avoiding a potential insurance claim.
Christmas Tip 1: Get Rid of Your Cat
You: “What? Not Fluffy! Anything but Fluffy!!!”
Sorry to break it to you, but Fluffy is a massive pain in the Kris Kringle. Cats of all ages find Christmas trees and other decorations irresistible, probably because they are aliens from the planet Felinious who worship a god of mischief and mayhem*.
*this does not reflect the views of Alliance Insurance Services, only the jerk who wrote the article.
In all seriousness (at least half seriousness) consider the following:
- Cats enjoy climbing Christmas trees and can tip them over if not securely fastened to the base.
- Cats love electrical cords for lights and will tug, claw and chew them, pulling the tree itself or fraying the wires underneath.
- Cats may knock over candles and other hot or flaming decorations onto a tree, causing a fire hazard if the tree is dry.
- Cats just, like, really, really, really hate Christmas trees.
Cat reading this blog.
If for some reason after reading this you aren’t loading up Fluffy into a carrier and taking him/her/it/they to your nearest shelter or gullible friend, then check out the following article from PETA about cat-proofing your Christmas tree.
Christmas Tip 2: Be the Scrooge on Your Block and Don’t Hang Christmas Lights
And then my neighbors sued me.
You: “No lights? But how will other people know we’re festive?”
Trust me Glenda, they know. Hanging thousands of lights from dangerous heights that might cause a fright instead of delight isn’t about what’s wrong or what’s right but about a neighbor you’re trying to fight – metaphorically.
As we all learned in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the real reason we do this is to compete against our neighbors and show off. But is it worth it?
Consider the dangers:
- Hanging lights from your roof or trees is hazardous, especially in bad weather.
- Electrical cords – especially with extension cords – can fray, kink, spark or get wet, resulting in fire and electrocution risks.
- Really, really tacky.
- Lights can pull a massive amount of power from your house, putting a strain on breakers and old wiring.
- Really, really tacky.
Don’t believe me? According to Quartz, “Accidents while putting up or taking down decorations are the top cause of Christmas-related injuries.”
Instead of hanging lights, why not go to a great light show where you live? Examples include:
If you absolutely have to put lights up (bah humbug), then follow this helpful guide to make sure you do it artistically and, most importantly, safely.
Christmas Tip 3: Don’t Visit Grandma (Or Anyone Else)
You: “But it’s tradition to visit Grandma Lucy and and drive back regretting it!”
Traveling during the Holiday Season is the worst. Everybody and their Momma is out on the road, scrambling to get to somewhere and eat some bland food (more on that later).
And what’s worse, it’s a crazy dangerous time to travel. Lot’s of travel + winter conditions + alcohol + admit it you’re always late = AUTO ACCIDENTS.
Do you really want to risk life and limb just to get to your in-laws? Aren’t they just going to tell you how you should REALLY be living your life? And won’t they mention the big pay raise you just missed?
And UNCLE CARL YOU’RE CUT OFF FOR THE REST OF CHRISTMAS.
Instead, be rational and use one of these brilliant excuses to stay at home this year:
- Fake a cold.
- Invent a tradition that keeps you at home (“Mom, we now open presents in the back yard at dawn to mark the rise of Sol Invictus.”)
- Fake car trouble.
- Say your cat knocked over your Christmas tree (see above).
- Say your insurance agent won’t let you (pick one to blame).
- You have tree complication…
If you absolutely have to drive somewhere (or face a full scale riot and/or divorce), check out these amazing tips from the CDC about to get there safely.
Christmas Tip 4: Order Out
You: “But Christmas won’t be the same without turkey! Or ham! Or a Christmas goose!”
Okay, so maybe no one has a Christmas goose that isn’t in a Dickens novel. But cooking a big Christmas meal in general is a pain. Especially if you’re hosting.
Turkey is still the most cooked holiday treat of choice (didn’t we just have Thanksgiving?!), but it comes with a bunch of obnoxious risks that are often ignored.
The biggest one is food poisoning. Can you believe that most people don’t thaw their bird correctly or commit other culinary atrocities?
What crimes against the Art of the Knife are committed, you ask?
Here is how to ruin your food and invite food poisoning into your holiday festivities:
- Don’t thaw the turkey, ham, or whatever. Just pop it in the oven and assume it will cook all the way through.
- If you do thaw it, let it defrost uncovered on the counter. What’s the worst that could happen?
- Don’t check cooking instructions and just wing it. Does the outside look done? Good enough.
- Washing vegetables is for the weak.
- You do know all of this is satire, right?
Now that you’re on your way to the emergency room for an upset stomach, you may be thinking about what you could have done instead of cooking.
The answer? Order Chinese food!
More and more people are ordering Chinese food for Christmas meals. Most Chinese restaurants are open on the holiday and happy to decorate your holiday table with food that is lovely, well cooked and delightfully different.
I’m not kidding. Look, here is a whole article about this. I’m not making this up!
But if you absolutely have to make your bland, flavorless turkey (dry brine for the love of God), check out this article on how not to poison yourself with your own food.
Christmas Tip 5: Forget Presents
You: “WHAT?!” *throws something at the screen*
I know, it isn’t very American of me. But hear me out. Presents are lame. They cost money, and you can get hurt wrapping them in the process.
I wish that last bit was a joke, but every year people go to the emergency room for, wait for it, Christmas present wrapping related injuries.
Are you still laughing? I’ll wait.
The most common injuries while wrapping presents include:
- Cutting yourself with scissors.
- Back pain.
- Cutting yourself with a knife.
- Therapy for HOW DO I FOLD THIS CORNER?!
- Cutting yourself with scissors.
- Swallowing glue/tape/ornament
You can even get hurt opening presents!
Why not try an alternative to Christmas presents this year? Options include:
- Donate to a charity of their choice (comes with a side of moral superiority)
- Make someone food (see above)
- Homemade art (yikes)
- Photographs of your children (because that’s not obnoxious AT ALL)
- Groupon to an event (also called “phoning it in”)
- Offer to do chores or another activity (if you think this works on your wife, you’re wrong)
If you are a slave to tradition (or capitalism) and you absolutely HAVE to give gifts, check out this article on how to wrap them safely and perfectly every time.
All Jokes Aside, Be Safe Out There
Christmas is one of the best times of the year. No matter where you go, what you do, who you do it with or why you do it, enjoy yourselves and be safe in the process.
Travel to see your loved ones, wrap all of your amazing presents, and even keep your cat (yuck). Just make sure you do it the smart way and don’t take too many silly risks.
One of those smart thing? Make sure you have the right coverage.
You: “Oh I KNEW this guy was going to bring up insurance!”
And, yeah, it’s my job.
But it’s also a good reminder to make sure you’re covered if you are in an accident in the snow (auto insurance), or if Uncle Carl eats an under cooked bird and sues you (Homeowners Liability coverage), or if you get electrocuted on your roof while hanging lights and fall off (Homeowners and/or Health Insurance).
Why not fill out the form below and let’s make sure you’ve got the coverage you need. We might be able to save you from a season of disaster.
And for once, I’m not joking.