Tips for Enjoying the Holidays with Furry Friends

The holiday season brings all sorts of joys, like catching up with family and friends, eating favorite foods and exchanging gifts. The whirlwind of holiday activities, however, is no excuse to forget about Fluffy and Fido.

The makers of Teddy’s Pride, a probiotic oral care product specially designed for cats and dogs, offers the following pet-friendly tips for the holiday season:

•    Keep up regular care. No matter how busy you are, make sure that you stick to your pet’s regular schedule as much as possible. Remember to keep dogs exercised – taking time for walks will not only keep them healthy but also help you work off that extra eggnog.

Does Your Mouth Feel Dry? Winter May Not Be to Blame

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Holiday Shopping? Experiences Trump Boxes This Season

As the holiday season approaches, shoppers face the annual challenge of finding the perfect gift in the right size at the best price. Shopping online can save both time and money but can also overwhelm consumers with the endless list of options to choose from.

This year, experts recommend harnessing the national trend of collective buying to ease shopping woes and save money in the process.

Collective buying sites streamline the holiday shopping process by connecting users with creative gift suggestions at unbeatable discounts. It has become just as easy to give someone the gift of a great unique experience as it is to send them a sweater.

This Holiday, Give a Personalized Photo Gift

There’s a reason that photographs are such popular gifts; they preserve a moment forever and remind viewers of good times. But why settle for just a frame? Today, you can transform a memorable photograph into personalized photo gifts of all shapes and colors.

Snappy Photo Gifts, a company that prints photographic images onto a wide variety of items, offers the following suggestions:

•    Customized jigsaw puzzles. If you have puzzle fans in the family, why not allow them to assemble a favorite photograph? They’ll have fun putting it together, and, when they finish the puzzle, they’ll have a unique, framable piece of art.

Don’t Let Holiday Sweets Go to Your Teeth?

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Budget-Friendly Holiday Baking Tips

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Your SSN Might Not Be So Secret, Santa

div img class=”category-img” src=”http://ftper.newsusa.com/Thumbnail/HolidayID.jpg” alt=”Five words or less” width=”180″ //divdiv class=”category-listcontent”div class=”category-body” id=”ArticleBody” style=”display: block” (a href=”http://www.newsusa.com”NewsUSA/a) – Holiday shopping means flashing plastic — you put gifts on credit cards with nary a thought. But identity thieves also enjoy the holiday season, …/div/div

How to Host an “Open House” Party

div img class=”category-img” src=”http://ftper.newsusa.com/Thumbnail/OpenHouse.jpg” alt=”Five words or less” width=”180″ //divdiv class=”category-listcontent”div class=”category-body” id=”ArticleBody” style=”display: block” (a href=”http://www.newsusa.com”NewsUSA/a) – Look at your holiday calendar, and you’ll likely see a tight schedule of mixers, parties, cookie exchanges and other holiday events. And it’s the …/div/div

How to Host an “Open House” Party

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Look at your holiday calendar, and you’ll likely see a tight schedule of mixers, parties, cookie exchanges and other holiday events. And it’s the same way for your friends and family members, making it difficult to get everyone together for the holiday party you want to host.

The solution? Instead of throwing a party with set hours, which will run into conflict with prior obligations, consider holding a holiday open house — a party that runs all day, allowing guests to arrive at their leisure.

A holiday open house also puts less stress on the hosts. With a little decorating, holiday libations and some simple snacks, you can easily plan an all-day get-together that allows you to mix and mingle, rather than watch the oven or shake cocktails.

Not sure where to start?

Pottery Barn offers the following tips to help you plan a successful holiday open house:

– Create a festive mood. Get your guests into the holiday spirit before they even enter your home by lining your walkway with Arches lanterns and pillar candles and hanging a wreath on your door. You can also decorate trees and shrubs with lights.

Use candles to infuse your home with warmth and light. Wrap garlands around banisters, and drape them over doorways.

– Set up a buffet. Use your dining table to present an array of delectables that do well at room temperature. A cheese board, for example, along with Marcona almonds, dried figs and sliced baguette, looks elegant without requiring anything more than the occasional refill.

– Create a bar. Pottery Barn portable Modine Bar lets you set up drinks anywhere in your home. Keep ice on hand for cold drinks and an electric kettle for hot ones. Select two or three drinks, and print out the recipes on cards, so guests can mix their own cocktails.

– Provide entertainment. No matter what time guests arrive, make them feel like they’ve experienced the best of the party by focusing the merriment on a few activities. For example, invite guests to bring a toy to donate to a local organization, and put all of the toys on one table, so guests can see the pile grow. Set up a craft table for children, giving them supplies to make paper snowflakes, simple tree decorations and homemade wrapping paper. And before the fun is over, hand out party favors, like ornaments, that your guests can take home.

For more entertaining ideas, visit www.potterybarn.com/stylehouse.

Your SSN Might Not Be So Secret, Santa

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Holiday shopping means flashing plastic — you put gifts on credit cards with nary a thought. But identity thieves also enjoy the holiday season, for it presents plenty of opportunities to nab credit card and social security numbers.

Identity thieves obtain personal information through several different methods, including shoulder-surfing in lines, skimming devices, dumpster diving and hacking into online retail sites. What can shoppers do to protect themselves? LifeLock, a company that helps protect its members from identity theft, supplies the following tips:

* Be aware that your information is probably already out there via data losses or on public Web sites, and understand the proper procedures if someone begins using the information.

* Don’t give out personal information via email or on social networking Web sites.

* Make sure your computer is updated and protected from viruses and malware. Also refrain from using any peer-to-peer software. These programs could provide openings for criminals to steal documents from your computer without you knowing.

* Consider using one-time-use credit cards, paying with cash or setting up a special holiday shopping bank account that isn’t linked to your everyday accounts.

* Pay attention to who is around you and what is done with your information when you apply for store credit cards.

* Shop online only on secure Web sites, and never send personal information to sellers on eBay or other sites directly. Use a service like PayPal.

* Consider your defense options. With reports of identity theft and fraud at an all-time high, now is a great time to determine whether there is a defense system that would work for you. Consider all the options, and find a service that can search for your information and provide the the means to keep others from using it. And since nothing can stop all forms of identity theft or fraud, it’s important to find a service that can provide the peace of mind you would want if something happens.

LifeLock recently introduced its LifeLock Identity Alert system to help consumers protect themselves during the holidays. LifeLock will alert members by e-mail, postal mail or phone when it detects personal information being used to apply for many credit cards, wireless services, retail credit, utilities, check orders or reorders, mortgage loans, auto loans and noncredit-related payday loans.

For more information, visit www.lifelock.com.