This is the time of year when traditions overtake everyday life. We splurge on retail purchases, fill our houses with colorful lights and decorations, and spend much of our time eating and merry-making with the ones we love. Over the years, many people have come to believe various myths about the Christmas holiday season – some of which are true, and some of which are downright false. So how do you know what to believe and what not to? Continue reading as we cover some of the most common misconceptions and reveal the truth behind them.
True or False: Leaving Your Christmas Tree Lights On Could Start a Fire
Many of today’s artificial Christmas trees come pre-lit, whereas others have warnings about the number of strands that should be used on a particular tree. Most of today’s indoor lights contain safety fuses that prevent wall outlets from being overloaded. Therefore, leaving the lights on alone is not a hazard, but a damaged cord could be. However, a combination of faulty electrical wiring and a dry, dehydrated real Christmas tree could spell trouble. In 2003, lights on Christmas trees started 130 house fires. Far more dangerous, however, is the use of candles during the holidays. That same year, burning candles caused more than 2,500 fires during the holiday season.
True or False: Car Insurance Covers Gifts Stolen from My Vehicle
If you purchased an affordable car insurance policy with comprehensive coverage for theft and vandalism, you might assume any valuable items stolen from your vehicle would be covered. The truth is that comprehensive insurance typically covers theft or damage to the vehicle itself – not the personal belongings inside of it. However, that does not mean you are out of luck. In most cases, these items are covered under the personal belongings protection on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. If you currently lease a home or apartment and do not have renter’s insurance, talk with your independent agent about the benefits of this essential coverage and how bundling it with your car insurance could result in package insurance discounts.
True or False: You Should Set Your Turkey Out to Thaw at Room Temperature before Frying or Roasting It
Turkey may be the official food of Thanksgiving, but it is also part of many family’s Christmas and New Year’s traditions. If you plan to cook a turkey this year, you’ll need to thaw it first. However, setting it out at room temperature is unsafe and can allow bacteria to multiply rapidly. Instead, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends using either the cold water thawing method or allowing your turkey to thaw in the refrigerator at a sustained temperature. It may take a little longer, but it could help prevent food poisoning later.
True or False: Party Hosts aren’t Responsible for the Behavior of Guests
Answer: True AND False
When party-goers get out of hand, the behaviors that ensue can lead to injuries to others and damage to their personal belongings. If all of this occurs in your home, it is possible that you could be held liable. The same is true if an intoxicated guest leaves your home and causes an accident. Not only could you be found responsible in part for injuries to the drunk driver, and it is also possible that a third-party could sue you for property and bodily injury damages.
If you decide to host guests over Christmas or New Year’s, be sure to offer plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages in addition to any alcohol you serve. Make sure that anyone who has been drinking has a designated driver or some other form of transportation home.