Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Shopping

(the following from Carolyn, my BBO Friend in Louisiana)

This reminder, I needed, since SEARS isn't always my first choice. It's amazing when you think of how long the war has lasted...and Sears hasn't withdrawn from their commitment. Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?  What commitment, you ask?  How does Sears treat its employees who are serving in our military?
By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more.
Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being on active duty.
Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining medical
insurance and bonus programs...for all employees who are 'serving'.

I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.  So,  I suggest we all shop at Sears at least once this year.  Be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there, so the company gets the positive reinforcement & feedback it well deserves.  I decided to check this before I sent it forward.  I sent the following e-mail to Sears Customer Service Department:

“I received this e-mail and would like to know if it is true.  If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company.  I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a similar item...even if it's cheaper at that store.”

This was their reply!  “Dear Customer:  Thank you for contacting Sears.  The information is factual.  We appreciate your positive feedback.  Sears regards service to our country as one of the greatest sacrifices our men and women can make.  This is the 'least' we can do for them.  We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.”  Bill Thorn ~ Sears Customer Care.

Please pass this on ~ Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans and Canadians, we do appreciate what they are doing for our Military!!!

How to Select a Christmas Tree
(Article courtesy of

A few simple procedures can make the selection of a fresh, real Christmas tree easier:

Determine, where in your home, you will display your tree.  With this in mind, you will be able to tell how tall a tree you will need and whether all four sides must be suitable for display.

Freshness is an important key when selecting your tree. The needles should be resilient.  Take hold of a branch about 6 inches from the tip, between thumb and forefinger.  Pull your hand towards you allowing the branch to slip through your fingers.  Needles should adhere to the branch and not fall off in your hand.

Bend a needle between your forefinger and thumb.  The needle should form a 'U' without breaking unless the tree is frozen.

Lift the tree a couple inches off the ground, then bring it down abruptly on the stump end.  Older outside needles should not fall in substantial numbers. (Inside needles shed naturally every year.)

The tree should have a fragrance and a good green colour.

A fresh tree will retain its moisture content and thereby keep its fragrance and needles if kept in a stand that has good water-holding capacity.

Note:  Some people keep the memory of their Christmas alive by buying trees that come with their roots wrapped in a ball of soil and burlap.  After the festive season is over, live trees can be planted outside...where they will remain beautiful for years to come.  They cost much more and are difficult to handle because the ball of soil is very heavy...weighing as much as 68 kilograms.

Most Christmas trees must receive special care
over the holiday season, or they will die.

How to Care for Your Christmas Tree

Remember, a Christmas tree is a living thing;
look after it as carefully as you would a cut flower.

If you buy your tree several days before you plan to set it up, store the tree outdoors or on a cool porch or patio until you are ready to decorate. An area that protects it from the wind and sun will help to retain its moisture.

If storing for several days, make a straight cut across the butt end of the tree about one inch from the end.  This opens the tree stem so it can take up water.  Store the tree upright and place the butt end in a container of water.

When you bring the tree into the house for decorating, make another fresh cut across the trunk about an inch from the original cut. Use a tree stand that holds plenty of water.

Trees are thirsty.  They may drink up to 4 litres of water per day, so be sure to check daily and supply fresh water as needed.  A stand that holds at least 4 litres is recommended. If you allow the water level to drop below the bottom of the tree, a seal will form just as it does on a cut flower...and new cut will be necessary for it to 'quench its thirst'.

Place your tree away from the fireplace, radiators, television sets and other sources of heat.  Turn off the tree lights when you leave and before you retire at night.

Avoid the use of combustible decorations.  Check all electric lights and connections.  Do not use lights with worn or frayed cords and N-E-V-E-R use lighted candles on a Christmas tree!
Follow the above care and precautionary  measures
to ensure an attractive tree that stays fresh indoors for 2 to 3 weeks.

Christmas Riddle (an oldie!)
What does a cat walking through sand remind you of?
“Sandy Claws!”

Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted November 20, 2014
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