Have a safe and sane Christmas weekend

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Even if you don't celebrate, you'd be a fool not to take advantage of the general expectation that you'll take off anyway. And should you take off BACA president Geovani Bonilla has some pointers if you are heading out of town.

The Bates Area Civic Association Wishes you and your love ones a very safe, happy and joyous holiday season and new year.

As some may be preparing to go away for the holidays, we wish to remind you to take the following safety precautions:


1. Stop newspaper deliveries. Newspapers piled up on your front door make your home a target for break ins.

2. Stop mail delivery. You don't want mail overflowing or the magazines and sales ads letting people know you're out of town.

3. Set your external lights on a timer. Leaving your external lights continuously indicates you're not home during the day to turn them off.

4. Ask a neighbor to hold any UPS/FedEx packages left at your door. Also to remove any flyers or menus left at your door.

5. If it is too late to takes steps 1 - 3, ask your neighbor to do these things for you.

6. Email MPD and let them know you'll be away. You may notify the following [this is for 5D, y'all on the other side of NJ are in 3D]

a. Commander Andy Solberg at Andrew.solberg AT dc.gov

b. Lt. Ronald Wright at Ronald.Wright AT dc.gov

7. Let your alarm company you're away and who the contact person is.

The basic precautions can help your return to a safe home after a lovely time with family.

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The Help and I will be hanging around here this weekend spending time with the local relatives. This will be the first Christmas where the Help is not in the home state of his youth with his west coast relatives. So the stress of the Christmas holiday, with the travel and stuff is zero. Also I did most of my Christmas shopping online with Etsy, Bed Bath and Beyond, a soap maker, a Texas purveyor of British goods, and in person at the market in Penn Quarter and some other small businesses between Penn Quarter and U Street, so I skipped the hassle of big box stores and mall crowds. I made some gifts that were in the hopper long before Thanksgiving, such as the lemoncello, the cherry liquor, the drunken cherries leftover from making the cherry liquor, and some other fruit sitting in vodka combos that just need bottling and giving.

Need a quick idea for a Christmas, under $20 to give your boss, or grab from the kitchen shelf idea? Simple syrup. Take water, take sugar, put them together in pot. Disolve the sugar. Cool. Bottle. Give.

You can use a clean empty twist top wine bottle, just remove the lables with hot soapy water and replace with your own. I've handdrawn mine. You can get fancy by adding flavors to the syrup such as peppermint extract, vanilla, lemon, etc. Also throw in a little vodka to help with the preservation, but it is best if it is stored in the fridge.

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