Monday, December 14, 2009

Share the joy

Ah……it’s that time of year again…..snow on the ground, Christmas trees decorated and children waiting for Santa’s arrival. Parents work hard to make the holiday a wonderful memory and to instill traditions into their family lives.

Christmas gives us time for reflection. We look back over the year at all the things that have happened. For some families, a new baby was born. Every time we see a new baby here at the office, it just delights us to see a new life filled with possibilities and is a new gift to the world. Babies represent a time of innocence and great joy.

For other families, this was a year of challenge. Job loss, foreclosure, or maybe a health problem happened. Just getting through each day was stressful and filled with worry.
If you’ve been blessed with good things this year and know a family who has endured such challenges, now is a wonderful opportunity to help make Christmas a time of joy for them too.

Spread good cheer to someone in need by:

Leaving presents on the doorstep for children in the home

Shoveling a driveway for someone who has a health problem or is elderly.

Give a grocery gift card for Christmas dinner.

Send over a plate of cookies.

Invite someone to Christmas dinner.

Choose a bill you can pay for someone such as an electric bill.

Take someone’s kids to a movie, ice skating or sledding.

Bring a meal over.

If you are invited to a holiday meal, offer to bring a dish to make it easier on the cook’s time and budget.

Be vigilant about keeping the Christmas season safe for everyone. Some things to remember:

If wrapping presents for your pet, remember that the gift wrap can contain lead or other chemicals. Be sure they don’t swallow the paper.

Never give chocolate to your dog. It can make them extremely sick.

Christmas lights should be inspected each year to make sure there are no exposed wires or open light sockets that could shock a little one should they put their finger in it.

Keep real trees well watered, away from fireplaces and heating elements. Make sure they are held tightly by a stand to avoid easy tip over.

Never leave candles unattended. Children should not be left alone in a room where there are lit candles.

A child’s favorite ornament should be within their reach to prevent them from trying to climb the tree and risk tipping it over.

Make sure toys for young children do not have small detachable parts that could be put in their mouth, nose or ears.

Avoid projectile toys that can cause injury.

When baking with children make sure they know to stay away from the stove and never touch hot pots.

If you haven’t chosen an outside family meeting place in case of fire, now would be a good time to choose one. Choose an area far enough away from flames and cinders. This is especially important so everyone can be accounted for easily.

Make sure your fireplace is cleaned of creosote buildup. Fireplaces should also never be left alone or to burn all night while everyone’s asleep.

Should you have a fire, grab your pets on your way out the door if possible. Never go back in to rescue a pet. Loss of a pet is very sad but loss of your life would be far worse for the family to endure.

Change the batteries in smoke alarms and test them to ensure proper working order. They can save your life in a fire.

Lastly, from our families to yours, we wish you a safe, happy and enjoyable Christmas season!

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