How many of you out there love to decorate for the holidays? We just wanted to share a few tips with you, prior to the holidays, that may help keep you from experiencing a devastating loss. We have seen too many people lose items this time of year that simply cannot be replaced.

Many of us try to place our Christmas tree in a location close to a window or door where it can be easily viewed by guests or a passerby. If you worked hard on making it look perfect, you want everyone to see it, right? This is probably one of the worst things you can do. If your tree is visible, then so are the gifts that are under it. If you must place your perfectly decorated tree in a location where it can be seen from outside, consider putting the gifts in the garage or unused room until Christmas Day. There are many more people out there, other than family members, curious about what is located in those brightly wrapped packages. Don't lose one of those impossbile to replace gifts to a thief, and leave your family member devastated on Christmas. Hide your packages until the big day.

Do any of you travel for the holidays? We all love seeing the photos of our friend's and family member's trips on social media. Advertising you are away from your home is like sending an invitation to visit your home directly to a burglar. You can certainly post those photos, but please wait until you are home. Nothing is worse than coming home and finding someone else has enjoyed your home for the holidays.

Boxes......We all end up with a ton of them at Christmas. Unfortunately those boxes have big pictures on the front which let everyone know exactly what awesome gifts were received on Christmas. Please do not set them out for the garbage without tearing the boxes down, and trying to make sure those pictures are not visible from the road.

Shopping! Who doesn't love it. I'm not a fan, but it must be done. I was recently in a Walmart parking lot waiting on a prescription when I witnessed a man walking around the parking lot. He was looking in the back of trucks, and inside vehicles. It appeared he was looking for items that he could remove easily before the shopper returned to their vehicle. Try to keep all of your packages hidden from view if at all possible. Carry a blanket to cover them, or put them in the trunk if you have room.

Our ultimate goal is to keep you from having a loss during the holidays. No one needs the added stress of that. The holidays already have enough stress. We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Written by: Christina Knox

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