Keeping Traditions Alive During an Unusual Holiday Season

By StatePoint Media

 
This holiday season may look a bit different due to social distancing. But just because everyone is not physically together, doesn’t mean your family can’t share its favorite traditions.
The Olesen family of O&H Danish Bakery knows how important holiday traditions are to feeling connected to loved ones. Now in its fourth generation, the family-owned and operated bakery is sharing its best tips for creating holiday cheer from anywhere:

 
•Celebrate virtually: In a survey commissioned by O&H Danish Bakery and conducted by SWNS Media Group and OnePoll, nearly 80 percent of respondents say time with family is their favorite part of the holiday season. Whether your tradition is a Christmas movie marathon, a caroling session around the piano or eating certain foods and baked treats, you can enjoy these activities together over video chat this year.
 
•Share traditional foods: The sensory memories that good food creates are powerful. In fact, 44 percent of people say the holiday spirit wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t have their traditional holiday dessert.
If you are like many families, that favorite dessert is Kringle, a traditional Danish treat made of 36 layers of butter and pastry. Among O&H’s special holiday offerings are Thanksgiving Stuffed Kringle, A Very Danish Christmas Kringle and the classic Pecan Kringle. Over the past 70 years, the award-winning bakery has shipped to more than 100 countries, making landfall in all seven continents, including Antarctica. This year, doorstep delivery makes it easy to order a traditional favorite for your own household or send a gift to family members near and far. Visit ohdanishbakery.com.

 
• Plan ahead: When it comes to ordering gifts and specially baked treats, make sure to account for busy schedules and congested delivery services to ensure all your goodies arrive on time. Take note of shipping times and policies, as well as ordering deadlines for each company. For example, O&H allows customers to pre-order Kringle and schedule a preferred delivery date in the future.
 
•Create hygge: Evoking the sights, sounds and aromas of a typical holiday season will help make this year feel more cheerful. Take a cue from Danish culture and embrace hygge. Pronounced “hoo-ga,” it means creating a cozy atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life, such as the warm glow of candlelight or a steaming cup of cocoa -- and there is no better time of year to do it than the holiday season.
 
This year might be especially difficult for families who are physically separated, but there are many ways to spread cheer and keep traditions alive.
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 
 

5 Tips for a Safer Digital Experience This Holiday Shopping Season

By StatePoint Media

 

Online holiday shopping is booming this year, as more consumers avoid brick-and-mortar stores in an effort to socially distance.
 

According to a national consumer survey by Experian, 62 percent of shoppers will buy from the comfort of their computers. But with many worried about being a victim of identity theft and fraud, it may not be such a jolly experience.
 

In fact, 57 percent of those surveyed feel there’s a greater risk this year of identity theft because of COVID-19, while 18 percent of survey respondents have already been affected by a coronavirus-related scam. However, even though consumers are concerned about identity theft, only 49 percent of those surveyed shop on protected internet connections and only 47 percent check if the websites are secure.
 

“With increased online traffic occurring, the holidays are always a ripe period for cybercriminals. However, this year is even more attractive for hackers,” says Michael Bruemmer, Experian vice president of Consumer Protection. “Consumers need to make sure they’re following good security practices to keep their information and financial accounts safe and retailers should be vigilant so that shoppers have a positive customer experience.”
 

For a safer digital experience this holiday shopping season, consumers should consider the following tips:
 

1. Don’t use public Wi-Fi: Public networks make it easier for hackers to intercept data and steal sensitive information. Consumers should only enter credit card information or other sensitive data on their phones or computers from home or on a private network, or use a secure virtual private network (VPN) connection.
 

2. Consider identity theft monitoring: A product like Experian IdentityWorks helps monitor financial accounts and credit reports to identify possible fraud, such as a credit card account being opened in one’s name. Offering fraud resolution support and real-time alerts, comprehensive identity theft monitoring can save consumers valuable time when it matters most.
 

3. Change passwords: With a password manager, consumers can create strong passwords for online accounts, and change them regularly.
 

4. Use secure websites: Consumers should only shop on websites they are familiar with and that have a URL that starts with “https” rather than “http.” Https indicates the website has a secured connection, making it much harder to hack.
 

5. Don’t use a debit card: Credit cards offer much more protection for online purchases than debit cards. If fraud occurs, the money is not gone from an associated checking account and a claim can be filed with their card issuer.
 

Additional survey data can be found by visiting experian.com/blogs. For more tips to protect against identity theft, visit the Ask Experian blog at experian.com/education.
 

While scams abound this time of year and this holiday season is presenting additional security threats, being proactive can help put a stop to cybercriminals and hackers.

 

 

 

 

 

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