NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP?
Reynolds Turkey Tips Hotline: 1-800-745-4000 or www.turkeysuccess.com
Butterball Turkey Talk-Line: 1-800-BUTTERBALL (lines open Mon-Fri through Christmas) or www.butterball.com
Crisco Pie Hotline: 1-877-367-7438
WHEN TO FLY?
2012 BEST DAYS TO FLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
MORE AFFORDABLE DAYS TO FLY AROUND CHRISTMAS
DECEMBER 17, 18, 25, and JANUARY 1.
Other moderately priced days to consider are December 15, 16, 19, 23, 24, 27, 31, and January 2.
But be ready to pay more than last year, no matter what day you book. The average domestic Christmas flight is running about $430, which is $10 more than it was in 2011.
WHEN TO BOOK?
First, determine where your preferred airline's home office is located. Find out the time zone for its home office's location. Log on to the airline's website shortly after 12am (in the airline's time zone) on Tuesday night/ early Wednesday morning. This is the best day and time of the week to book a flight because this is when most airlines purge their computerized systems of any airline reservations that were not booked.
Of try to book your flight on Thursday night if you're traveling on the weekend. Most airlines release their weekend specials on Thursday evening. The worst time to book is Saturday or Sunday. It's common for airlines to raise rates on these 2 days.
Keep in mind: Airlines normally aim at selling the most number of plane tickets at the highest rate possible. They start at the top and progressively lower the rates as it gets closer to the flight's date.
TSA REMINDERS FOR HOLIDAY AIRLINE TRAVELERS
Keep gifts unwrapped, whether they are in your carry-on or checked luggage. TSA officers may need to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. Either ship wrapped gifts ahead of time or wait until you arrive at your destination to wrap them.
TSA does not permit snow globes in carry-on baggage because they contain an undetermined amount of liquid. Snow globes are permitted in checked baggage.
Before you pack that hostess gift or favorite holiday treat in your carry-on, remember liquids, gels, and aerosols in containers larger than 3 ounces are not permitted through the security checkpoint. Never fear, cakes and pies are permitted.
SOME THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT MALL SANTAS
73% of Mall Santas say a child coughs or sneezes directly in their face at least once a day.
Mall Santas usually work 12-hour shifts and listen to about 30,000 kids a year!
Getting into the business isn't cheap. A good Santa suit can cost between $400-$2,000. A good wig & beard set (made out of YAK HAIR) can cost about $1,500. Plus, a lot of Santas keep an extra suit on hand, just in case there are accidents (like the next thing.....)
1 in 3 Mall Santas say they've been peed on.
A Mall Santa can easily make up to $15,000 in 2 months of work. The best ones bring in about $80,000.
Almost 90% of Mall Santas have a college degree. On top of that, some get special training at professional 'Santa Schools' that can cost up to $1,000.
Mall Santas have a quota. The mall makes money off the photos Santa takes with the kids. A lot of Mall Santas either get a bonus, or a cut of the photo fees if they see a certain number of kids each day.
Private visits from Mall Santas can range from $50-$300 an hour. The peak times to book are weekends & Christmas Eve.
For many kids, there is nothing better than lining up at the mall, heart full of anticipation, waiting to jump on Santa's lap and read their list of toys they hope to get for Christmas. Others aren't quite as thrilled.
When you click above, you can't help but laugh at their miserable time!
FREE CALLS TO SANTA
As we approach the North Pole's busiest day, Vonage customers will once again be able to dial 1-700-CALL-SANTA (1-700-225-5726) from Vonage home phone or Vonage Extension to hear a message from Kris Kringle himself. Now through Christmas Eve, the number will connect directly to a holiday greeting from Santa where they will have the opportunity to leave a message for Santa about what they'd like to see under the tree. The recorded message will be sent to the Vonage account holder's email address so Vonage customers will know exactly what their loved one wished for this year. The audio attachment can also be forwarded to other family members and friends, or even set aside as a keepsake. Best of all, you can still call Santa even if you are not a Vonage customer. Simply visit www.vonage.com/northpole and follow the instructions. Callers will also be able to track Santa's whereabouts as he delivers presents around the world. Starting at 5 p.m. December 24th, Vonage customers can dial
1-700-CALL-SANTA to hear where Santa and his reindeer have been and where they are headed next!
TOP SIGNS SANTA'S MARRIAGE IS IN TROUBLE
Everytime Mrs. Claus hears the song, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", she kicks him in the shin.
The only list he's checking twice is his Match.com inbox.
Mrs. Claus just smashed the back of his sled with a nine-iron.
LeAnn Rimes & Angelina Jolie have been spotted hanging around his workshop.
Santa just responded honestly when Mrs. Claus asked if her new parka made her look fat.
Santa thought the best way to "surprise" his wife was by trading in the family sleigh for a Corvette.
Whenever they go to bed, Mrs. Claus is mystified that Santa's not turned on by her sexy wool bodystocking.
Santa finds Ashton Kutcher's digits in Mrs. Claus' phone.
While Santa is at the mall shaking like a bowl full of jelly, Mrs. C is in the club, shaking it like a Polaroid picture.
Yesterday, Santa came home early and found a men's size 4 pointy shoe next to his bed.
Santa spends most of his free time online chatting with girls from the naughty list.
Santa's got OJ, Tiger Woods, & Jesse James on his nice list.
Despite all the time they spend together, Mrs. Claus says she and Frosty are "just friends".
Santa has suddenly lost 50 pounds and shaved his beard into a goatee.
IS SANTA CONSIDERING A PET THIS YEAR?
ALL ADULTS CATS ARE FREE UNTIL JANUARY 1ST!
Stop by the Bay Area Humane Society's main shelter on Radisson Street in Green Bay, the PetSmart adoption center & Petco East.
FIND YOUR NEW PET-JUST CLICK HERE!
ALL ADOPTABLE PETS INCLUDE:
De-Worming & Flea Treatment
Feline Leukemia Testing (for Cats) & Heartworm Testing (for Dogs)
Free health exam at participating vets within 10 days of adoption
Free bag of food
PLUS much, much, much more!!!
KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
WITH THESE SIMPLE TIPS
-- Secure the tree to avoid the tree falling on your pet if they decide to climb. Sweep up needles to avoid health problems and always cover the tree stand so your pet does not ingest the water.
-- This decor should not be used as pets love to play with it and if eaten, can cause serious injury to the intestinal tract and may require surgery.
-- These should be made of safe material. Glass ornaments often break and may cause injury to your pet.
- Mistletoe & Holly are toxic to your pet so keep them out of reach.
s- Many cleaning products can be toxic to pets. Sunshine Conentrate is an all purpose cleaner that is tough on grime, dirt, and grease, yet safe for your pets.
HOLIDAY TIPPING AND GIFTING SUGGESTIONS
For this year, you might want to think about a token gift, such as a small box of chocolates or homemade cookies.
A gift certificate for a particular store you think they would enjoy also works well.
Here's a rundown of the service providers to keep in mind -- and a recommended tip:
Babysitter -- Two nights' pay
Nanny -- One week's salary during the first year, more for each additional year.
House Cleaners -- One week's salary
Dog Walker -- One day's pay
Newspaper Deliverer -- $5-$20
Personal Grooming -- Cost of one session
YOU CAN SAVE AN AVERAGE OF $150 IF YOU ARE WILLING TO REGIFT
Pretty sure the stigma attached to regifting is gone. As long as you don't accidentially regift something to the person eho oriiginally gave it to you. According to a new survey, 92% of Americans now say it's totally acceptable to regift. 87% of people have received a gift that was thought to have been regifted and 62% of people plan on regifting to people this very year. There is a good reason for that. The average person who regifts says they'll save about $150 on presents. Also women are three times more likely to regift something than men. So why not? Give it a shot this holiday season and check out how much you can save on gifts.
HOLIDAY GIFT-GIVING PRICE GUIDE FOR
DIFFERENT STAGES OF A RELATIONSHIP
The online dating site Lavalife did some research into how much you should spend:
#1.) If You've Been Dating a Few Months, and It's Going Well . . . Spend Between $25 and $100. If you buy something too expensive, the other person might get freaked out. Ideally, it should be something that's not too extravagant and shows you've been paying attention. However, if you're not entirely sure how well things are going, they suggest putting an upper limit of $75 on the gift.
#2.) If You've Been Dating Between Six Months and Two Years . . . Spend Over $100. That's enough to buy something nice, but not break the bank. They say to pick something that will remind them of you on a daily basis...like jewelry, sunglasses, or a new watch.
#3.) If You've Been Together Longer Than That . . . It kind of all depends. If you're been married for any length of time past 2 years, just make sure you get SOMETHING, and that it's within your budget. The one thing you don't want to do is spend $500 on something that really wasn't in your budget and you'll both struggle with bills the next few months.
If you're the GUY, and you've been together for years but HAVEN'T gotten married, here's one suggestion: Don't buy anything small that looks like it could be a ring . . . unless of course it IS a ring.
#4.) If Your Relationship Is on the Rocks . . . Don't Spend More Than $25. This one's kind of weird, but the logic is . . . you shouldn't try to win them over with your wallet. And at this point, it's really the thought that counts. So buy something that shows them you still care. If it's more that $25, that's fine, but don't spend just to spend. Don't be purchasing an iPad 2 an expect it to fix anything.
10 WORST TOYS OF 2012
The consumer toy watchdog group, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has issued its annual “10 Worst Toys” list naming toys with the potential to cause childhood injuries or even death. This year’s list:
Magnetic Fishing Game, $1.77, by Kole Imports (choking hazard)
Inflatable Bongo Ball, $49.99, by Toys R Us (impact injuries)
Dart Zone Quick Fire 12 dart gun, $19.32, by Prime Time Toys Ltd. (eye injuries)
Spinner Shark 4-Wheel Kneeboard, $59.97, by FuzionNextsport (impact injuries)
Explore & Learn Helicopter, $15.99, by V Tech (strangulation hazard)
N-Force Vendetta Double Sword, $19.99, by Hasbro (impact injuries)
Water Balloon Launcher, $21.99, by Water Sports LLC (choking hazard, facial injuries)
Power Rangers Super Samurai Shogun Helmet, $29.99, by Bandai (puncture wound, impact injuries)
Playful Xylophone, $29.99, by P’Kolino (choking hazard)
The Avengers Gamma Green Smash Fists, $16.99, by Hasbro (impact injuries)
WATCH’s website, www.toysafety.org, includes a “report card” that documents some of the changes that have come about as a result of the organization’s concerns.
2012 HOT TOYS LIST
Doc McStuffins "Time for Your Checkup" doll
Fisher-Price Jake and the Never Land Pirates Jake's Musical Pirate Ship Bucky
Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Star Doll- Harmony B. Sharp
Gelarti Designer Studio
Micro Chargers Time Track
Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Lair Playset
Yvolution YFliker F1 Flow Series Scooter
Hot Wheels R/C Terrain Twister
LEGO Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle
1D Collector Dolls
Skylanders Giants Starter Pack
DOES YOUR NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE LOOK LIKE THIS?
Click the picture to see more ugly Christmas decor and to submit your neighbor's house, too!
PICKING & MAINTAINING THE PERFECT LIVE TREE
If you are cutting your own tree down this year -- or even if you choose to purchase a live tree from a lot -- here are some important things to remember:
When choosing a tree, use your senses and even shake your tree to gauge its condition. If it doesn't look, smell and feel hearty, move along and choose a different tree.
In general, freshly cut trees last longer than those purchased from a lot. And, unlike live trees sold at stores, the trunks of freshly cut trees do not necessarily need to be recut before going in the stand.
Be sure to water your live tree daily throughout the holiday season. For each inch of stem diameter, trees need up to a quart of water daily.
Take special care when decorating your tree. Use electric lights in good condition, don't overload outlets and turn off the lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
WHAT YOUR CHRISTMAS DECOR REVEALS ABOUT YOU
White lights -- You ask houseguests to remove their shoes.
Multi-colored lights -- You're an extrovert.
Blinking Lights -- You have attention deficit disorder.
Homemade ornaments -- You have lots of children.
Strung Popcorn -- You have too much time on your hands.
Red balls only -- You wish you lived in a department store.
Cutoff top -- You didn't measure the tree. More than likely, you never read directions either.
Vague evergreen smell -- You bought a healthy tree.
Strong evergreen smell -- You sprayed your tree with Pine-Sol.
Just plain smelly -- There's probably a dead bird in your tree.
WHAT YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY MOVIE REVEALS ABOUT YOU
If your favorite is ...
How The Grinch Stole Christmas:You are the type of person who believes that you can heal anyone with kindness and love, and you probably work in the humanities or arts. You also have a silly streak and a soft spot for anything that breaks with convention.
It's A Wonderful Life: You are a softie through and through. You love all this sentimental especially at the holidays.
Elf: You are a kid at heart who believes there is magic in everything!
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: You appreciate a healthy dose of dysfunctional family life, and you might be a little accident prone yourself -- especially if you have a real soft spot for Clark Griswold.
Bad Santa:The holidays might bring out the sarcastic Scrooge in you, but deep down, and away from prying eyes, all things Christmas make you smile!
6 THINGS THAT COULD RUIN YOUR HEALTH DURING CHRISTMAS
According to the CDC, about 6,000 people will go to the emergency room this year from falling while they put up Christmas decorations. Here are 5 more things that could ruin your health this Christmas:
EGGNOG: Unlike most drinks, you have to worry about salmonella. So if you're making your own this year, the FDA recommend heating the eggnog to at least 160 degrees to kill off any potential bacteria.
A DRY CHRISTMAS TREE: According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are about 250 Christmas tree fires every year. And 13% of those are caused by faulty Christmas lights. You can reduce the risk by keeping your tree watered. But the BIGGEST fire threat is actually CANDLES. Each year, they cause over 15,000 residential fires. So if you have holiday candles burning, make sure they're on a steady surface. And blow them out when you leave the room.
A BLOCKED CHIMNEY: If you haven't used your fireplace since last year, make sure the chimney's not clogged with leaves or anything else. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends having your chimney inspected once a year. Also, you're not supposed to throw wrapping paper in the fire. It's so light, it can float up and out of the chimney while it's still on fire. In other words, you could burn down your whole neighborhood. We're serious!!!
A HEART ATTACK: According to at least one study, more people have heart attacks on Christmas Day than any other day of the year. Potential triggers include stress, over-eating, and too much alcohol.
DRINKING AND DRIVING: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-related deaths spike on Christmas and New Year's Day. So if you've been drinking, call a cab, have a designated driver, or stay put.
MAILING DEADLINES FOR CHRISTMAS SHIPPING
November 14th – APO/FPO Parcel Post Military Deadline
December 3rd – Priority Mail International
December 10th – Priority Mail Military
December 11th – Express Mail International
December 14th – Parcel Post
December 17th – Global Express Guaranteed
December 20th – First-Class Mail
December 21th – Priority Mail
December 22nd – Express Mail
CHRISTMAS....THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT
Here's a rundown of some stress-busting and helpful Christmas apps for your smartphone:
Sleeps to Christmas -- Counts down the days to December 25th with festive animations and even some Christmas carols.
Christmas Shopping iList -- Track the gifts you plan on buying your friends and family as well as monitor how much it's costing you. It even has password protection so you can ensure nobody is snooping to find out what they're getting.
Coca-Cola Christmas Snow Globes -- Lets you create a festive snow globe, which you can put yourself or your friends and family in and then add your Christmas wish.
Where is Santa? -- Lets you know where Santa is at particular times during the day, month and year. The closer you get to Christmas Eve, the closer he gets to you.
4 WAYS TO MAKE THE HOLIDAYS MORE AFFORDABLE
December can be one fo the most expensive months of the year, for obvious reason. "Real Simple" magazine put together a list of ways to take the stress off your wallet. Here are the Top 4:
BUY A TREE AT THE LAST MINUTE -- The prices start dropping as Christmas gets closer, because on December 26th, they're worthless. So if you hold out until Christmas Eve, you can save up to 30-40%. Just ask how long the tree has been on the lot before you buy it. If it arrived before Dec. 10th, it might not last the month. Also, don't be afraid to barter. If you are nice and it's late in the season, they'll likely lower the price.
When it comes to buying an artificial tree, wait until After-Christmas sales kick in.
SAVE ON POSTAGE-- Shipping rates are determined by 3 things: the weight, the destination, and the size of the box. So make sure you use the smallest box or envelope you can. The "Flat Rate" boxes at the post office cost between $5-11 and you are allowed to fill them with up to 70lbs. of stuff. AND... if you're mailing presents to somewhere close (like within the same state), you might not have to send it "next day" to get there on time. Even if it's a few days from Christmas--but that's at your own risk!
DON'T BUY RED OR WHITE FLOWERS -- Things like roses and lilies can cost up to 30% more in December because red and white are the popular holiday colors.
SEARCH THE INTERNET FOR BETTER PRICES ON WINE --Instead of going to closest store, check this website. It has a database of thousands of stores nationwide. When you enter the vintage and your zip code, it tells you the best price in your area. You can also save a lot if you buy wines that originate from less prestigious areas. Look for wines in Oregon, Santa Barbara, and France's Loire Valley. They're up to 50% cheaper than wines from more famous spots.
If you don't care much about having a hoity toity wine, Laura recommends Mogan David. It's sweet and cheap. If you want something sweet and don't care about the price, Laura recommends an "ice wine". The bottle is teeny weeny and it's pretty expensive for the amount you get, but it's awesome!
IS CHRISTMAS MAKING YOU SICK?
Fresh Christmas trees may be responsible for epidemic peaks of respiratory illness that occur in the weeks around the Christmas holiday, researchers say. Lead researcher Dr. Lawrence Kurlandsky, formerly of Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, provided clippings from their own trees. The study found the samples contain a variety of molds, most of which are identified as potential allergens shown to increase the risk of wheezing, persistent coughing and allergic sensitization in infants. However, Kurlandsky suggested the allergens may not affect all families. “If you and your children don’t have any obvious allergies, then it is probably not going to bother you,” Kurlandsky said. For those who are susceptible to allergens, Kurlandsky suggested checking with the nursery where you purchase your tree to see if it offers tree washing services. If the nursery is not able to clean the tree, use a garden hose to spray off the tree and allow it to dry before bringing it into the house. A household air purifier in the same room as a tree can help remove allergens from the air. Artificial trees, if not stored properly, can also introduce mold and dust into the home, aggravating allergies.
WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT MISTLETOE
Signs of affection shared under the under the plant have origins in ancient Druid and Norse cultures. But it wasn't until much later-during the 18th and 19th centuries-that it took on its modern-day part in Christmas celebrations. Around this time, British households started hanging mistletoe in their homes during holiday celebrations. Slate reports that in an 1820 story, writer Washington Irving hints at the saucy nature of the decor, writing, "the mistletoe, with its white berries, hung up, to the imminent peril of all the pretty housemaids." But what else is there to know about this festive plant?
Mistletoe is a parasite, sort of. Most types of mistletoe are "hemi-parastic" because they take root in already existing trees or shrubs and pull nutrients from their host's root system.
Keep Fido away! The plant is toxic to pets.
For centuries, mistletoe has been used to treat various ailments and illnesses. Though despite lots of speculation and attention, there is not strong evidence to support its efficacy in treating cancer.
Mistletoe was believed to be a charm against bad luck.
The bird is the word. Mistletoe is spread from, um, bird droppings. After birds ingest the seeds and leave behind their waste on unsuspecting twigs or branches, mistletoe sprouts up!
Traditionally, folks looking for a smooch would pluck a berry from the sprig and present it as a gift to potential partner in exchange for a kiss. But once the white berries have all been plucked from the plant, its role as a make-out instigator apparently expire.
It's a symbol of the great state of Oklahoma. While the official state flower is the Oklahoma rose, mistletoe is the state's floral emblem.