For most of us Christmas is the time the entire family spends together… grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, all gathered together in one designated place. Oh the happiness and joy of it all. But for that to happen, logistics are involved. In almost all families there is the “traveling family”. You know, the one who comes from afar. The one who comes by land, sea or air. The one who is met joyfully at the door by grandma. The one with the mama that has the exhausted faux smile on her sweet face, passing out hugs, but secretly thinking, “If you only knew what happened on the way here.” The whining, and crying, the countless “Are we there yet’s?” and “Stop touching me’s!” The flying french fries and literally, spilled milk. The detour that added an extra hour to the trip in an SUV that now seems like a cave! Then you see it….GRANDMA’S! The kids jump out, run to the door, “Grandma, Grandma, Grandma!” “Guess what, guess what, guess what?”
Then with a sudden panic you think….. “Did I remember to ……” you become awashed with “what if’s”. To relieve some of the anxieties of the “what if’s” here are some things to do before leaving for Christmas:
1. Make all the beds: I would rather return to a tidy home after a long trip than a home left in chaos.
2. Take out the garbage: Trust me on this.
3. Wash and dry all towels: This will prevent wet towels from mold and mildew while you’re away. If there is time, do any laundry before leaving, this will reduce the amount you’ll need to do after coming home from the journey.
4. Wash the dishes: No need to explain.
5. Unplug all small appliances: Toaster, toaster oven, coffee pots (even the Keurig), fans, heaters, Christmas tree(s), and other Christmas lighting, both indoor and outdoor and any unnecessary lamps.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011, approximately 47,700 house fires reported in the U.S. were the result of an electrical failure or malfunction.
6. Set the security alarm.
With these few simple steps, the “what if’s” will be no more and you can enjoy the Norman Rockwell Christmas you’ve been dreaming of…..(wink, wink).