KN, p. 129 “Christmas Shopping and Home Safety”



‘Tis the season for shopping, shopping, and more shopping! Even with Black Friday, online stores, the Pandemic, and Cyber Monday thrown into the mix, the malls are still more crowded at this time of year than at any other. The Pandemic slowed things down a bit last year, but the crowds are back this year, masked in most areas, but unmasked in some.


Wait 30 minutes for a cold cup of coffee in the mall, crowded.


Unfortunately with the crowds, come a few pickpockets and pocketbook snatchers and package thieves. So, what can you do to cut down on the chances of getting robbed after you’ve slaved at your job to earn the Christmas money? Here are a few easy tips.


  • Gals, I know this is a tough one, but if you can…leave the pocketbook at home. If that can’t be worked out, take a pocketbook that can be worn with the strap across your body. Under no circumstances should you carry a pocketbook dangling from your hand while walking through the mall. At the very least, use a shoulder bag and rest the straps on your shoulder while holding onto it securely.


  • Guys, don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. That’s a pickpocket’s dream.


  • Don’t leave the cash register until you have put your cash and/or credit cards away. People behind you in a rush? Too bad. Give ‘em a big smile and let ‘em wait until you have put the money stuff away and your pocketbook is closed.


  • Try to do your shopping during the day – lunch hours are good and the stores are less crowded. If you are shopping after dark, go with a pal.


  • If you are buying lots of gifts and need to make trips to the car to unload packages, put them in the trunk. Bags in the backseat are an open invitation for a thief.


  • Use the restrooms in the stores where you are shopping (and have bought something). Much safer.


  • Stay off the cellphone in the parking lots. You need to stay alert to people that might be following you. If someone is following you, head straight back to the closest mall entrance and report the incident.


  • Park as close as possible to the well-lit entrances of the stores. If it’s after dark when you leave, ask a security guard to walk you to your car. Once you’re in the car, lock it right away and leave.

About those cellphones. Most people I know carry their cellphones with them everywhere. Did you know that the phone can be cloned by the new tech thieves? If someone is walking near you for too long – zig-zagging in step with you around the food court or through a big store – turn the phone off and change your direction. It only take a minute of close proximity to copy your entire phone contents. That means photos, texts, contact information, credit card info, etc.


You’re done shopping and you’re home. What should you do to reduce the chances of getting burglarized?


  • Don’t put your Christmas tree in the front window for all to see. At least turn off the Christmas lights and close the curtains when you’re not home. Burglars case the neighborhoods this time of year for likely targets.


  • If you’re going skiing or to a beach for the holiday, cancel the paper and the mail. Either one of those piling up is a clear signal that nobody is home.


  • Contact the police department and let them know you’ll be away on vacation. Many towns have a neighborhood watch program and will check on the house while you’re gone.


  • Don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges.


  • Don’t post information about your trip on Facebook or Twitter or any other Social Media site until after you return. We’d love to see your photos of the trip, not the photos of the missing new TV and the burglarized house.

Above all, use common sense, stay safe, and enjoy the holidays!


*Photo by Patti Phillips





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KN, p. 268 “Christmas Thoughts for 2020”


Christmas will be quieter and smaller at our house this year. No masks required, because it will be just us. A woof in the background reminded me to tell you that Hammett will be here as well.


Bridget went back to Texas after three months, when the hotel chain she likes instituted safe-zone protocols. She packed plenty of masks, disposable gloves, antibacterial spray, and cleaning cloths just in case conditions were not as promised. They were, but she felt safer having been prepared. She packed food for the two days on the road, in case restaurants weren’t open. Her usual cross country rest stops had restrictions on the number of people allowed in at a time – food selections were limited, but gas was plentiful and cheap. She arrived home safe, but tired. We’ll miss that big smile and warm heart and the roar of the Mustang.


What we, and many others will miss are the large friends and family gatherings, the crowded church services with all the singing and hugs, and food aplenty to be had at everyone’s house.


Sheila and I live by this idea: “We may not be able to control what goes on in the world, but we can control our reaction to it.” We looked back through earlier holiday posts and noticed that some of our ideas of living out the reason for the season would not be possible this year because of the Pandemic, but others still work.


  • Try cooking/quilting/book clubs with friends, via GoToMeeting. Sheila misses her cooking group and had a ball when they each stood in their own kitchens and worked on cookie recipes together.
  • Be less critical of each other. Your way might not be the only way to get the job done.
  • Smile. Often. Maybe in reaction to a beautiful sunset. You’ll feel better.
  • Give the gift of forgiveness. Soften your heart and forget the small stuff before it becomes the big stuff.
  • Write a letter sharing your week and snailmail it to the older people in your life. Not everyone has email.
  • Call people that you might normally be meeting at your favorite bistro for lunch. They miss you, too.
  • Give the gift of time. Memories are made when people laugh and giggle together, whether online or on the phone, or if you’re lucky, face-to-face.

Above all, have the best holiday season you can arrange, and a much better 2021, when life just might resemble something approaching normal again.


In Hope and Peace,
Patti & the Kerrians



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KN, p. 250 “Dashing Through The Store”


Dashing through the store,

With a big list in our hands,

O’er the aisles we go,

Searching all the brands.

Songs on speakers jest,

Cheering with delight,

How great it is to find the best

Food for Christmas night.


Oh, mushroom caps, turkey wings,

Garlic, salt, and wine,

Oh, what fun it is to baste

And make the dinner shine,

Oh, mushroom caps, turkey wings,

Garlic, salt, and wine,

Oh, what fun it is to baste

And make the dinner shine.


An hour or two before,

I looked both high and low,

Saw lots for the pie filling

But nothing for the dough.

I quickly drove the car,

Out through traffic tore,

The crowds had come from near and far

Determined to buy more.


Oh, mushroom caps, turkey wings,

Garlic, salt, and wine,

Oh, what fun it is to baste

And make the dinner shine.

Oh, mushroom caps, turkey wings,

Garlic, salt, and wine,

Oh, what fun it is to baste

And make the dinner shine.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Please take time to remember the reason for the season.  🙂


Sweet Potato Pie recipe

Shrimp Cream Cheese Baked Potato recipe




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