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A holiday survival quiz

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Here's a quick quiz to see if you know how to celebrate the holidays safely and smartly, courtesy of who have posted a web page filled with holiday tips. Don't peek at the answers, below. After you answer, you can see if the ten tips offered by our government on their website are helpful or not.

  1. Which is a good way to avoid overspending on holiday gifts?
    a. buy cards from a charity and pretend you've given money in their name
    b. pretend you shopped online but the gift got lost in the mail
    c. shop online instead of in a store
  2. Which of the following decorating tips can help reduce the odds of a fire in your home?
    a. use only incendiary decorations
    b. use LED lights
    c. keep your artificial Christmas trees in a pan of water
  3. True or false? The holidays can be a great time to start losing weight.
  4. Holiday buffets can be a source of bacteria. Which of the following should you do to avoid getting your guests ill?
    a. cook food thoroughly
    b. serve beer and wine which protect the stomach lining from food poisoning
    c. reheat food in the microwave after two hours on the buffet table to nuke the germs
  5. True or false? Depression, sometimes called holiday blues, isn't caused by spending too much time with your family. Instead, it's often caused by lack of sunshine.
  6. The best way to travel with cranberry sauce and gravy is:
    a. put them in your checked bag
    b. carry them onto the plane carefully wrapped in newspaper
    c. ship them ahead of time.



1. c. Shop online

Don't be a cheapskate! But, don't get caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy many feel in retail stores. Set a budget, check for online promotions and coupons, many of which can be used in stores as well as on websites.

2. b. Use LED lights

According to, "LED (light-emitting diode) holiday lights...are much cooler than incandescent bulbs, reducing the risk of fires." Please, do not put your artificial trees in water, they'll just get soggy. You can add water carefully to a live Christmas tree, which keeps it from drying out and reduces the potential fire hazard. And if you chose a. use only incendiary decorations, here's your word of the day: "incendiary" - designed to cause fires.

3. False

It's hard to avoid gaining weight during the holidays, especially with the one-two punch of office parties and events with family and friends. If you can maintain your weight, you're doing a better job than the rest of us. Besides, what will your New Year's resolution be if you lose weight in December?

4. a. Cook food thoroughly

Keep your buffet portions small and refill with fresh food when empty. Throw out any food that is still on your buffet after two hours. Seriously. And if you think beer or wine could prevent food poisoning, you're drinking too much beer or wine.

5. True

Yes, the holidays can be stressful or lonely for some, but often what we think are the holiday blues can be Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which may be caused by lack of sunlight. If you get depressed in the winter but feel better in other seasons, you may have SAD. If you feel sad for long periods of time and it affects your daily life, contact a doctor, tell a friend, or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website to learn more and get tips on what to do. And for goodness sake, stay away from Facebook, the high school reunion which never ends.

6. a. and c.

Okay, really? The government actually gave us tips on how to transport cranberry sauce and gravy across state lines? Actually, their tip is all about hassle-free air travel and how to get through airport security (TSA). Cranberry sauce and gravy are both considered liquids and can't be packed in your carry-on luggage. Remember, don't wrap gifts, they'll just have to open them; keep liquids and creams in small containers (3 ounces or less) and carry only as many as can fit in a quart size plastic bag; and fruitcake can be considered a weapon by the TSA.

Happy Holidays!



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