Get into the Safety Spirit this Holiday Season by Johanna Hicks

by Front Porch News 0

 

 

Get into the Safety Spirit this Holiday Season

               While fall harvest is recognized as one of the busiest times of year on the farm, the holiday season ranks right up there as another hectic time for most families.  The month of December always seems to go by in the blink of an eye.  Many look forward to the holiday season all-year-long, but between shopping, decorating, cooking and baking, entertaining, cleaning, traveling, and the holiday gathering and parties, stress levels can be at an all-time high.  Often, these are the times we tend to lose sight of our safety focus.

               The kitchen serves as a special gathering place for holiday traditions and memories.  However, the accessibility of knives and other sharp utensils, along with hot surfaces on the stovetop or oven can prove to be hazardous if distracted.  Talk with the youngsters about some of the dangers in the kitchen and always be close by to supervise.  Ensure that you have a working smoke detector and fire extinguisher nearby.

               When decorating, be sure to practice safe lifting and safe use of a ladder.  Outside, watch for slippery surfaces or tripping hazards.  You don’t want to spend your Christmas in a hospital bed or secluded to the couch.  Check for any frayed or pinched wires on decorations, keep flammable items at least 3 feet from open flames and heating sources, and avoid stringing together extension cords or running under rugs.

               Holiday travel can also lead to high stress levels.  Whether traveling a short or long distance, the weather can be unpredictable this time or year.  Always give yourself plenty of time to arrive safely.  Avoid making up for running late by speeding or taking shortcuts around roadway safety.  Get your car serviced regularly, ensure your tires are in good condition, have an ample supply of gas, and purchase an emergency kit (first aid items, flashlight, etc.)  This would make a great gift for a loved one.

               And lastly, take care of yourself!  You are taking care of so many others, don’t feel guilty about treating yourself.  This may include selecting a little something for your self while shopping, taking a relaxing bubble bath, or curling up on the couch to watch your favorite holiday movie.  Also, avoid the slump that seems to happen following the New Year.  Move or plan a party in mid-January.  This may be a welcomed change by friends or family.  Otherwise, a mini vacation or other event will give you something to look forward to as the excitement of the holiday season fades.

               Most of all, remember the true reason for Christmas.  Beautiful lights, colorful packages, delicious food, and laughter are all wonderful, but the heart of the matter is Jesus!  He is with you all year long!

4-H Sewing Fun Day

               I’m excited to announce that Hopkins County received a mini grant from Joann’s Fabrics.  “Quilts Across the County” is the theme for our 2020 4-H Sewing Fun Day.  I  will have instructions for two simple quilt blocks and will guide the 4-H’ers in using a rotary cutter, measuring tools, sewing techniques, pressing methods, and assembling the quilt blocks.  All fabric will be provided (these will be scrappy blocks), and nine sewing machines will be available for those who don’t have one.

               No sewing experience is necessary.  We’ll have Master Wellness Volunteers and quilters on hand to assist the youth.  Here are the details:

  • When:  Saturday, January 25
  • Who:  4-H members
  • Where:  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office
  • Address:  1200 Houston, Sulphur Springs
  • Time: 10:00 to 2:30
  • Bring: sack lunch, sewing scissors, pins, seam ripper
  • Call 903-885-3443 to reserve a spot

Closing Thought

The best things are nearest…breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you – Robert Louis Stevenson

Article by Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent