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East Texas Agency Offers Tips for a Safe New Year’s Eve

Got your fireworks yet? There are just two opportunities each year to buy fireworks in Texas - near the 4th of July, and new New Year's Eve. Business is good right now at local fireworks stands.

Even though there has been some recent moisture, it's been another dry year. And fireworks and piles of dry leaves don't mix.

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When Do You Take Down the Christmas Tree?

Now that Christmas is over, it's probably time to take down the tree. For most of us anyway. One percent of the population leaves the tree up all year! You know who you are.

How long is too long? Most people take down the tree by early January, and some of us ripped it down as soon as the last present was passed out.

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Gift Cards
iStockphoto, Thinkstock
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Today is Gift Card Exchange Day

Gift cards are more popular than ever it seems. They were an easy gift this year for many of us, and quite a few of us received them too.

The research firm CEB TowerGroups says around $110 billion worth of gift cards were sold this year in the United States, up ten percent over 2011.

But if you received one you don't want, you can exchange it for cash.

Here's how it works.

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Guys are Most Likely to Christmas Shop at the Last Minute

If you had to take a wild guess which gender hasn't even started their Christmas shopping yet, you might in inclined to pick guys. And you'd be correct.

Conclusion-jumpers assume that women are better-known for hitting the stores early, armed with credit cards and looking for the best deals right after Thanksgiving, and in some cases all year long. If anyone is going to have a "Christmas closet" stuffed to the gills with random gifts picked up at different points during the year, it will be someone of the female persuasion. When it comes to shopping, guys are better known for being dragged along to the mall when they'd rather be at home watching a Cowboys game.

That may be stereotypical, but sometimes the stereotypes turn out to be right on.

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J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images
J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images
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January Is Divorce Month

June may be a big month for weddings, and December may be a big month for quiet, happy moments with family, but the experts say be very leery of January. That’s Divorce Month.

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Category: Lifestyle Tags: ,
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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If We Spend Too Much, Blame It On The Christmas Music

Chances are, if you’ve strolled through Lufkin Mall lately, you’ve heard Christmas music piping through the speakers as you shop.

Maybe you’ve thought nothing of it. Tis the season after all, and we expect to hear the Christmas music in our favorite stores. In fact, not hearing it would be an odd thing.

Some say hearing the Christmas songs can make us spend more money in that store. No way! And then we add up our receipts from the shopping season and realize how much we’ve spent, and it would be kinda nice to blame our lack of control on something.

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Edy's Pumpkin Ice Cream
Edy's
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Wild New Ice Cream Flavors Are In The Works

Seasonal flavors of coffee, ice cream, and even potato chips are all the rage. We get those, right? It's not too hard to understand that pumpkin ice cream might be kinda good, maybe tasting a bit like pumpkin pie. Pumpkin coffee is yummy too. Those who have tried the pumpkin-flavored Pringles say they're surprisingly good too. The sweet-salty combination works.

Some researchers say pairing a vegetable with fat helps the body process vitamins. And that is clearing the way for more wild and wacky flavors...like mushroom ice cream. Believe it!

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Getty Images
Getty Images
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It’s Cool to Be Green in 2013

Note to guys; be a fan of a green team in 2013.

Note to gals; buy green clothing. (And there's your Christmas hint fellas.)

People get paid to sit around and think about what colors should identify a particular year or a particular season, and then they declare it to be true, and people buy those colors. Amazing!

The color company Pantone has issued their annual color forecast, and if we want to be hip next year, this is the color we should buy.

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Category: Lifestyle Tags: ,
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flickr
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Christmas Spending is at an All-Time High

The amount we fork over for Christmas gifts has gone up every year since 2008.

The iPads, flat screen TVs, and video game must-haves ain’t cheap! When you add up the hot electronics, the ugly sweaters, and the popcorn tin gift sets, we’re spending just shy of a thousand bucks on Christmas.

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Self-Gifting is Bigger Than Ever

While you’re out doing the holiday shopping and buying gifts for everyone else, are you tempted to splurge on something for yourself?

This idea of self-gifting was actually part of the sermon I heard at church yesterday, so I did a little more investigating and dug up some interesting facts.

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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Top Baby Names of 2012 Revealed

America has a fascination with boys’ names that end in the letter N.

And with girls’ it’s all the rage to end the name with an A.

Babycenter has revealed their Top 100 Baby Names of 2012, and judging by the list, kindergarten classes in five years will be well-populated with Aidens and Sophias.

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East Texas Flea Market Expected to Draw Huge Crowds This Weekend

It's the Christmas shopping season, the weather will be warm and gorgeous, and flea markets are just plain fun. All of those things are expected to factor into huge crowds this weekend at First Monday Trade Days in Canton. It might be worth the drive.

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