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1. Holiday travel tips when driving short or long distances

The number one thing to remember when driving during this time of year is to drive defensively. Like it or not, other drivers are especially distracted the closer it gets to Christmas – they have a lot on their minds, they may be looking at their phones in traffic, or they may have had too much to drink at a holiday party. Smarter Travel put together this list of Tips for Safe Holiday Driving that we found extremely helpful and their Top 20 Safe Driving Tips is great as well.

2. Will your accident injuries be covered while riding in or driving someone else’s car? 

Between car rentals or using Uncle Bud’s truck to run up to the store for grandma, chances are you might be riding in or driving a car that does not belong to you over the holidays. Accidents can happen in an instant and we see that aftermath every day in our office. Before you get behind the wheel of anyone else’s car or allow your family to ride in anyone else’s car, you must make sure that your auto insurance will cover the unexpected, since sometimes policies only provide coverage if you are in your own vehicle. A simple phone call to your insurance agent or a 15-minute insurance policy review at our office could save your family in the event of an accident. Please don’t risk your safety this Christmas season!

3. Tricks for staying calm when you feel like losing it

We have all been there. Crazy shoppers, kids screaming, road-raged drivers, and people not in the Spirit of Christmas can bring stress and anxiety levels to new heights this time of year. While not much can be done to fix other people, you can use these tricks to help calm yourself in the moment, which can ultimately help calm those around you, or use this list to prevent stress from happening. My go-to is to look at the big picture and ask myself, “Will this matter to me next week? Next month? Next year?” and to also remember all the simple, basic things I am grateful to have in my life – clean water, a warm bed, and a healthy family.

4. Make Santa’s “footprints” near the fireplace (and other ways to help kids believe!) 

Sprinkling baking soda or baby powder around your shoes while standing near the fireplace or wherever Santa might leave his presents is a great way to get a few more years of believing out of your kids, especially if they are on the fence. Using this how-to video for re-creating Santa’s footprints works just as well, too. You can also help them see that Christmas magic is real by using these fun tools, including neat apps that allows you to call Santa directly or create videos of Santa in your house.

5. Send a letter to Santa by December 17th and receive an authentic reply letter mailed back – for free!

Since 1914, The Santa Claus Museum volunteers in Santa Claus, Indiana makes sure that St. Nick himself responds to all letters – in writing – that he and Mrs. Claus receive by December 20th. Simply mail the letter to:

Santa Claus

P.O. Box 1

Santa Claus, IN 47579

According to the U.S. Postal Service’s website, most letters from the Houston area will arrive in time if they are postmarked no later than 5pm on Monday, December 17th using a regular, First Class stamp. Just make sure that the return address is clearly written in the envelope. For more information on the program, check out this link.

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