Ho! Ho! Hello everyone! Saint Nicholas here, or you can just call me Santa - most people do. I want to clear up a few rumors about me. People are always talking about how I'm "making a list and checking it twice, trying to find out who is naughty or nice..." Well, it is true I'm an avid list maker, but I'm not just keeping records of naughty and nice children. I'm much more concerned with making sure you all have a safe and happy holiday with your loved ones. I recently made a list of ways you can be safe and avoid extra stress and trips to the emergency room this holiday.
Please look over this list so you can safely enjoy the magic of the season. (Just so you know, I checked it three times!)
1. Please Don't Feed the Reindeer. No matter the species, feeding your pets leftovers or letting them get a hold of chocolate and other holiday sweets can make them very sick. Pets can also become ill by ingesting festive plants like Holly and Mistletoe. I can't have my reindeer down for the count on Christmas Eve, and you'll need to make sure your furry friends are feeling their very best this holiday too. For more great pet tips, visit the ASPCA Holiday Pet Safety Tips Page.
2. Make Sure The Lights are Right. Decorating for the holidays is half the fun, just ask Mrs. Claus! Holiday lights make your tree and your home more festive and unique. Make sure you always check all strands of lights and extension cords for damage before you use them. Remember to turn off all indoor and outdoor lights before you leave the house or go to sleep. Putting your lights on a timer is an easy way to make sure they turn off, especially if you're going to be out and about this holiday like me. I'd hate to see you end up as one of the 860 home fires caused by holiday decorations that happen each year. I can't wait to see your holiday decorations when I stop by your house Christmas eve! For more lighting and safety tips, click here.
3. Please Play Only with YOUR Toys. My elves and I work very hard to make sure that our toys are not only exactly what you want, but also the safest toy for you. Each year I bring you a toy that is age appropriate, I remove all of the plastic wrap and dispose of it while you are still sleeping to make it even safer. So play with the toys we so carefully created for you. Don't go after your older brother's toys - it may have smaller parts and pieces that could be a choking hazard. To learn more, my elves at Fisher-Price put together a great list of toy safety tips.
4. Be Very Particular About Where You Roast Your Chestnuts. An open fire is actually a really bad place for chestnut roasting. Four of the most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Think about using flameless candles this year. Another major fire hazard around the holidays? A dry Christmas tree. Keep your tree well-watered and at least three feet from all heating sources. Do you need some more fire safety tips?
5. Make Sure Your Sleigh is Ready To Go. I always prepare before my big trip. I plot my route, I make sure I have my AAA card and my spare reindeer before I leave. I've actually just upgraded to a newer model sleigh with a built in GPS and anti-theft system - what can I say, I'm a safety first guy. Before you leave for your holiday road trips make sure you prepare your vehicle, pack emergency supplies and check the weather so you can plan the best route.
Have I forgotten anything? If so, tell me quickly because I've got to prepare for my world-wide trip! I hope you have a safe and relaxing holiday with the ones you treasure most.