You’ve survived Thanksgiving Dinner and Black Friday Mania. Let’s make sure the same is true as we start the countdown to Christmas! You and your car are probably going to spend a bit more time together than usual as you wrap up the end of the year, so we’ve rounded up some of the biggest holiday challenges and highlighted some tips to help get you through Christmas without any added stresses.
Tis the Season for Giving – and giving back. Every year, The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve -Toys for Tots program, sets up local collection stations for the donation of new, unwrapped toys with the hopes that children all across the country experience the magic of Christmas. Giving a gift to less fortunate children goes beyond a toy, and brings the message of hope and love. We here at Osceola Garage love our community and giving back, and we’ve accepted the challenge. We are collecting new, unwrapped toys on behalf of Toys for Tots, for those kids in our area that could use a little magic and we need your help! Together, Let’s make sure every child in our community has a present this Christmas. While you’re out shopping, please keep us and Toys for Tots in mind.
Transporting Christmas Trees – Don’t Pull a Clark Griswold. Plan before you go and talk with the folks at the tree farm for advice on transporting. They help thousands of customers every season and have been doing it for years. Choose a Tree that you can transport. Get your Christmas tree netted before leaving the lot to make it more manageable. If you’re placing the tree in your cargo area, bring a tarp to catch the pine needles, and make sure the tree does not block your view. If the tree is going on the roof, Bring Cordage for tying down and securing your tree to the roof racks or cargo hooks. Load with the trunk facing the front of your car. Before you leave, give the tree a good tug in all directions to make sure it’s secure. Avoid highways and drive slowly as additional weight can affect your vehicle’s center of gravity and emergency handling. We do not recommend tying a tree to your car without roof racks or cargo hooks as there are too much line and wiggle room for the tree to move.
Christmas Shopping Car(t) –Have fun while you shop, but remember you have to take all these items home (and Toys for Tots), so be mindful of your car’s cargo area and weight limits. (Read our previous post about overloading your vehicle here) Remember riding around with a full trunk poses the risk of not being able to access your spare tire in the event of an emergency so unload frequently and we’ll take some toys off of your hands.
Shopping Safety – Crowded malls seem like a safe place to shop, but Police and Security Officials say they are harder to secure due to the amount of traffic coming and going. Park in well-lit areas close to your destination or at least spaces with open views on all sides. Be mindful of your surroundings and don’t render your arms useless by carrying too many items, or get distracted by your cell phone. Remember E.L.F.S, Enter the car, Lock the doors, Fasten seat belts, and Scram. Whenever possible, do not leave your shopping visible inside of your car. Parked cars loaded with gifts, are too tempting and an easy target for thieves this time of year. Holidays are also the time when theft is at its highest.
Christmas Car Rentals – Bought the perfect tree, hung the stockings, Christmas cards mailed, and you’re officially ready for the holidays. Except you haven’t booked your holiday rental car yet. Early December is the best time to look at car rental rates and get the best deals as companies monitor demands. Don’t forget to book the extras too, like car seats or GPS. As demand decreases your rate will likely go up and if you don’t pre-book, you could be left without a rental.
Don’t Forget about your Car – You’ve checked your list, maybe even twice, and everyone is covered; but, what did your car ask you for? Does the windshield while in the rain, maybe a new pair of wiper blades are just the ticket. Heaters blowing lukewarm air? A Check-up maybe needed. Or your car may not show any signs of needing maintenance, but you can help keep it that way, with our Winterize Maintenance Package. How you drive your car and how you care for it determines how long it will last. Our Winter package is a great value for parents with college kids home on break. We’ll change the oil and give the car a full check up, so when your student heads back to college, their car will get them there safely. Be sure to book your appointment early before the “after holiday” crowd.