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Happy Thanksgiving! Be careful on the roads, in your kitchen and avoid politics at all costs!

Thanksgiving can be filled with love and delight.

It can also be the trickiest time of year to gather the entire extended gang around the table. Not to mention, possibly one of the most dangerous days of the year.

The National Fire Protection Association says the chances of a cooking-related fire increase nearly 250 percent on Thanksgiving. Almost half of Thanksgiving Day fires occur from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when meals are being prepared and the cooks may be distracted by the guests and the sheer amount of food that needs to be tended to.

The stretch of days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s also sees two to three times the amount of deaths caused by alcohol-related car crashes.

And when your great Uncle Ernie declares in the middle of the appetizer that President Donald Trump is the greatest thing to ever happen to America, well the ensuing argument might just make this a holiday to forget.

Want to make this a holiday to remember with fondness?

First, delegate in the kitchen and don’t try to do all the work yourself. This is a holiday, not a cooking show. Cut back on the number of dishes if you need and instead savor the friendship and love you are welcoming into your home.

If you are deep frying a turkey, review these safety tips provided by State Farm at

Second, if you are traveling this holiday season, follow these safety tips from AAA:

  • Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
  • Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
  • Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
  • If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated.
  • Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road.
  • In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. AAA and many other companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call.

And finally, if you know politically charged conversations are inevitable, take those family members aside and ask them, politely, to avoid controversial topics this holiday. If they resist remind them that on Monday, they can take to social media and spread whatever message they support.

But today, as we gather as family and friends, let’s focus on being together, appreciating what we love about each other and sharing our time together in harmony.

Happy Thanksgiving!  

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