Christmas Tree Mona's Farm George's House IMG_1618

Christmas is a great time of year. There’s so much joy to share for the yearly celebration with family and friends.

Americans plan to spend $832.84 per person on gifts and other holiday items this year, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation. That’s a 6 to 8 percent increase over last year.

I hope the holiday season isn’t stressful for you and your family this year. Cut down your list of things to do and ask for help if your anxiety level is going up.

Be sure also to follow the recommendations of health officials. Wear a mask in crowded places and inside. Stay home if you’re feeling ill. If you’re sick, don’t cook for other people. It spreads germs and increases the chances that you’ll give your flu or covid to others.

Check to see if the covid level for your county is high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following if it is:

  • Wear a high-quality mask or respirator.
  • If you’re at high risk of getting very sick, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for getting very sick, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact, and consider wearing a high-quality mask when indoors with them.
  • Stay up to date with covid-19 vaccines, including recommended booster doses.
  • Maintain ventilation improvements.
  • Avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed covid-19.
  • Follow recommendations for isolation if you have suspected or confirmed covid-19.
  • Follow the recommendations for what to do if you are exposed to someone with covid-19.

As of Dec. 15, 2022, there were 295, 9.2 percent, counties with a high covid-19 level; 1,124, 34.9 percent, counties with a medium covid level; and 1,789, 55.6 percent, counties with a low level.

In addition, remember food safety tips. Don’t leave food out at room temperature for more than two hours.

Don’t make stuffing ahead of time then put it in the turkey or bake it separately. If you want to make it early, mix up the dry and liquid ingredients separately then combine them just before cooking. You also can freeze the stuffing if you make it ahead of time, then cook before serving.

After your Christmas dinner, put leftovers in the refrigerator right away.

The merriest of Christmases to you and your loved ones if it’s a holiday you celebrate. I hope you have much happiness and joy.



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Rita Robison Consumer & Personal Finance Journalist

For more than two decades, Rita R. Robison has been a consumer and personal finance journalist making her living by finding the best bargains, calling out the crooks, and advocating for regular people just like you and me. In that time, Robison has talked to so many people who feel like their money just isn’t getting them what they want, where they want to be, or the life they thought it would.

The purpose of her blog is to help you get what you want from your money. Robison covers financial goals, budgets, debt reduction, saving, smart choices for buying goods and services, and retirement planning. You’ll also find articles on safety, such as avoiding scams, looking out for rip off companies, and getting informed on the latest recalls.

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