HINTS FROM HELOISE
Dear Heloise: It's peak holiday shopping season. The stores may not be as crowded as they were in years past, due to the global pandemic of COVID, but we are still shopping.
What are some hints you can share with your readers for safety in the big-box retail stores? My favorite hint is to buckle my handbag into my shopping basket so no one can reach in and grab it; I also keep the bag's zipper closed. - Helen T. in Texas
Great hint, Helen. Be aware. Pickpockets often work in teams of two or three. One person may ask you a question or bump into you or your shopping cart to distract you, and then a second person will reach in and grab your wallet or handbag. Definitely keep your bag secured in your shopping cart and zippered closed.
Don't focus on your cellphone or shopping list when in the store. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
When you hit the stores, don't carry a truckload of credit cards. Carry just the one or two you plan to use, along with your bank debit card, ID and minimal cash. The less you have with you, the less that can get lost and/or stolen.
Finally, don't dawdle in the parking lot. When you arrive at the store, go right in (experts recommend not putting your purse in the trunk in the parking lot, where this activity is visible to folks), and when you come out of the store, get in your car, fasten your seat belt and leave. Don't sit and make calls on your phone or answer emails etc. - Heloise
TECH TALK TUESDAY
Dear Heloise: When I'm on my social media sites, I am always super-polite and mindful of people's feelings when posting on their page or replying to their post. I can disagree with someone without name-calling and bullying.
It's sometimes fun to engage in a discussion online, but I just express my opinion kindly, and a smiley face emoji or heart can help smooth over any potential bruised feelings. - Kathryn K. in Pennsylvania
HAVE A SEAT
Dear Heloise: Hospital visitations are different nowadays, but I know one hint that "stands," so to speak. When visiting someone in the hospital, I never sit on their bed. It's bad manners, and it throws off the shape of the mattress and can cause the patient discomfort. There's usually a chair in the room. I sit on that. - Wanda S. in Ohio
OH, JUST ONE MORE THING
Dear Heloise: In my family's constant battle to conquer clutter, I have a house rule, which, granted, is difficult to uphold this time of year. My four kids, ages 9 through 16, must donate or throw away one item every day. This gets rid of toys and clothes they are no longer using and frees up space in the house and their rooms. They enjoy letting go of things, especially if the items can go to someone in need. - Mary T. in Illinois
Send a money-saving or time saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.
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