****Jacqui/Willie: please provide web address or link for F&F (see last paragraph). Thanks!
As December arrives, it's often abundantly clear that the holidays are upon us. Whether it's the retail shop signs screaming "Only three more Saturdays until Christmas!" or the mass of Christmas decorations that those same stores have displayed since Halloween, by now, there's no mistaking it: Christmas is coming and the planning will be endless.
The good news is that the Internet offers several yuletide-friendly Web sites, designed to make your holidays a little happier.
The first plans often include the traditional Christmas tree. For information about types of Christmas trees (which shed, which don't...) and tree farm locations, check out the University of Illinois Extension Web site, www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/trees/index.html. It's a fun site, with wacky tree facts (did you know that 73 million new Christmas trees will be planted this year?), Christmas tree cookie recipes and instructions on homemade tree ornaments. It even offers tree care tips and a nifty idea for easy tree watering.
And speaking of plant care, U. of I. Extension also offers poinsettia care tips at www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/poinsettia/.
If a roadtrip is in your holiday plans, check out the winter weather section of the same site, at www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/winter/. You'll find current information on weather, airport conditions, and Illinois' forecast by county and winter driving conditions.
And, if you have a flair for Clark Griswold-like outdoor lighting productions, you'll want to visit www.SafeElectricity.org to make sure you don't burn your house down. This site offers several tips and ideas for make your dazzling holiday lights less dangerous.
Finally, for easy last minute gift ideas, visit the Farm & Fireside section of our Web site. Click on the button at the left or go to Farm and Fireside.
And from all of us at Prairie Farmer, a peacefully Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!