Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Post 2010: The Basics

We have almost made it to the end of 2010, and we have made it to the holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, Festivus, or some other holiday (or you just enjoy having time off at this time of year), may you have a peaceful and safe time. As I have done in previous years (here is the one from last year if interested), here is my small gift to my three readers where I go around and collect interesting, amusing, or just miscellaneous things that may be of interest this holiday season.

Once again, I have enough for a series of posts. So, we will start today with The Basics. I will also make a post for readers and another one for humor and lists. So, stay tuned this week. 

The Basics
  • One of my favorite links this season is NORAD's Santa Tracker. For years now, we enjoy keeping track of Santa as he makes his way around the world. This never fails to make me smile. Apparently, they now even offer options to track Santa on your mobile phone (please, just don't do it while you are driving).
  • I can always count on the U.S. Census Bureau to put together a set of facts and figures about the holiday season. Here is their 2010 Holiday Season fact sheet.
  • And wow, PNC Financial Services is still doing their annual calculation of the Christmas Price Index. This year marks their 27th year doing it, and I always find it very entertaining. Here is the 2010 edition. Small note: the site does have an auto-play this year, so you may want to adjust volume accordingly. It does have a very interactive element I think kids will enjoy (as well as kids at heart).
  • You want to be safe this holiday season. From GovGab, here are some fire safety tips for your home.
  • GovGab also offers some tips and advice on "Drinking and Driving During the Holidays." The idea here is to be safe and responsible when you drink during the holidays. A drink here and there is a very traditional thing to do (if you choose to consume alcohol. If you do not, that is cool too, and you should not feel pressured to do so), but please, as the ads say, "enjoy responsibly." Do simple things like planning ahead before you go out and having a designated driver. If a designated driver is not an option, programming the number of a taxi cab company or two into your cellphone before you go party may be a good idea as well.
  • Did you send out Christmas greeting cards? Do you need or would like some last minute e-cards to send to friends? Of all places, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a set of winter holiday cards you can send that feature small health tips and some light humor. It never ceases to amaze me the little things that the federal government comes up with to educate people. 
  • Now some folks may want more traditional or classic Christmas cards. From Forgotten Bookmarks, a small online display of antique Christmas cards
  • The National Park Service has a page where you can learn more about the National Christmas Tree, the big one they put up every year in Washington, D.C. 
  • I hope you got your Christmas lights up. If not, odds are good  you may take a drive around your neighborhood and see what your neighbors did. Or you can just sit back, relax, and watch these clips of  "World's Most Outrageous Christmas-Light Displays" according to The Daily Beast.
  • The Daily Beast also has a list of "Holiday Songs You Haven't Heard." A part of me is thinking, after listening to a few of these, that there may be a reason they haven't been heard.
  • Now the holidays can be stressful. One of the stress factors can be money. You want to buy gifts, or you splurge a bit more than you should have, and then stress follows. Here are some ways to "have less holiday financial stress." Maybe you can also consider doing other things like giving the gift of time, or be creative with something homemade. Via AlterNet.
  • Now, do you know your holiday traditions? From Reader's Digest, here are "13 Things You Didn't Know about Christmas Traditions." The list is not comprehensive (I mean, where are things like Winter Solstice? Or even Hanukkah?), but it is nice. 
  • Now, when you go out, or stay home, for the holiday dinner, you need to mind your manners. Also from Reader's Digest, her are "5 Holiday Dining Etiquette Tips." The most important tip? Put the smartphone/Blackberry/iPhone away. 

    If you are traveling, may you have a safe and peaceful trip. If you are staying home, and people are coming over, I hope you have a peaceful time with little stress. However, if you have cats in the house, this may happen (Click to see video on YouTube).

    No comments: