‘Tis the season

Portrait of Santa Claus carrying huge red sack with presents


It’s Friday afternoon in the middle of the holiday season, a perfect time to offer a seasonal serenade – a medley of songs and carols for your amusement!

If you’ll be shopping on or offline this weekend, be sure to check out our post from last year on seasonal fraud: Scam-apalooza! Don’t let fraud ruin your holiday

Thanksgiving 2016: Best times to travel

Traffic jam

What’s America’s favorite Thanksgiving pie? If Google searches are any indication, then it’s pumpkin pie followed by apple. Unless you live in Alabama, Louisiana or Mississippi, where pecan pie is the favorite. At Google Trends, you can find out pie popularity by state, most searched for recipes, food and drinks and many other facts about what people are searching for this Thanksgiving. Popular searches include traditions like football, parades, and Black Friday shopping. The concept of “Friendsgiving” is gaining traction too.

One of the biggest searches is “best and worst times to travel” over Thanksgiving, and Google offers this handy infographic:

best driving times Thanksgiving

AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year.
Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving – 89% of those who travel will drive.

According to GasBuddy’s 2016 Thanksgiving Travel survey, 52% of those traveling this year will be on the road for at least 4 hours; 20% of which will be driving 10+ hours. While these won’t be the cheapest gas prices we’ve seen int he last decade, they are stil pretty low. Gas Buddy says, “Over the Thanksgiving travel period, Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 27, motorists will be collectively spending nearly $1.7 billion less at the gas pump than the five-year average.”

Although Thanksgiving dinner is the focal point, it’s also a huge weekend for shopping. Check out our post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza safety tips. Whether you’re shopping online or in stores, we offer pointers on how to avoid scams, pickpockets and thieves!

Veteran’s Day 2016: Deals & Meals & More for Vets


Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, a national day to recognize and honor those who have provided military service to our nation. See the video below for an interesting history of the holiday. It’s a federal holiday so most federal offices are closed. Most state and local government offices are closed too, along with banks and schools. If in doubt, check with local officials and businesses about whether they are opened. Most retail operations are open.

Here’s a good way to spend the day: All national parks and public lands are free on Friday for Veterans Day; some also waive any parking fees. Find parks that normally charge a fee by state here.

Many businesses offer veterans free meals, discounts, sales and deals – you can find an updated list at the link.

Wondering how to honor a veteran? Military.com suggests 8 ways to express appreciation on Veterans Day

Boston Marathon Monday 2016 Toolkit

Marathon runners on the run in cityThis year will mark Boston’s 120th Marathon and the forecast is sunny and warm. If you plan to attend, we’ve gathered some links and tools to help you prepare … or if you’re an armchair observer, we have links to mobile devices, social media sites and online streaming. Remember. Marathon Monday coincides with Patriots Day, which is  a legal holiday in Massachusetts – one of only two states to commemorate the day as a holiday.

Boston Marathon Event Information

Get a route map or download a mobile app to track runners

Policies for 2016 Boston Marathon Spectators (PDF)

Mile-By-Mile Guide To The Boston Marathon

Your guide to the 2016 Boston Marathon route, start times and more

Transportation in the Greater Boston area on Marathon Monday

Follow on social media: Boston Marathon Twitter and Boston Marathon Facebook

Watch online: Official Online Streaming site

Spectator Guidelines – what not to bring (click link for larger)

Boston Marathon security - what not to bring

Security: If you see something, say something

Cats & Dogs Christmas: Holiday videos just for fun

Many people say Christmas is for kids, but the real truth is that it’s gone to the dogs… and the cats. Come the holidays, YouTube is inundated with cute, funny pet videos. Here’s our take on the picks of the litter for 2015 – with a few classics thrown in.

The first is an ad, but it’s cute and well done.

Then we have the Animals of YouTube singing carols

In a slightly different vein, we see how wildlife celebrate the holidays

However you celebrate the holidays, have fun but stay safe!