New Crash Data Highlights Need for Better Rear-Seat Protection

New Crash Data Highlights Need for Better Rear-Seat Protection

Consumer Reports | Jen Stockburger & Benjamin Preston | Dec 13, 2022 | Crash Data | Auto Insurance

IIHS pushes for proven front-seat safety technology to improve rear-seat passenger safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its first crash ratings for a rear-seated dummy in its moderate frontal overlap crash test, a scenario the nonprofit has been running for some time. The rear-seat results mark the first frontal crash-test ratings in the U.S. focused on rear passengers, and the next step as IIHS continues to push for improved crash safety. However, the first round of the new testing showed that there is still work to be done to better protect rear-seat passengers.

“In our rear-seat safety features ratings, we reward manufacturers that put proven front-seat safety technologies in the rear seats,” says Emily Thomas, manager of auto safety for CR’s Auto Test Center. “The new ratings from IIHS have the potential to expand the implementation of these technologies, which can improve crash outcomes for rear occupants.”

The update IIHS has made to its moderate-overlap frontal crash test includes a Hybrid III crash-test dummy that represents a small adult or a 12-year-old child sitting in the rear outboard seat. The moderate-overlap test in combination with the small-overlap frontal and side-impact tests are key crash-related elements of a vehicle’s IIHS crashworthiness score.

The first round of testing covered 15 small SUVs, showing an overall imbalance in protection between front- and rear-seat passengers. The new testing focuses on the dummy’s potential for head, neck, chest, and thigh injuries; head contact with the vehicle interior; and the potential for seat belts to move from proper belt placement to higher injury risk areas on the dummy.

Among the models tested, IIHS found that only the Ford Escape and Volvo XC40 protected the rear occupant well enough to earn a Good rating overall—IIHS’ highest score. The Toyota RAV4 earned a second-tier Acceptable rating, while the Audi Q3, Nissan Rogue, and Subaru Forester received the second-from-bottom Marginal rating. Another nine SUVs—the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-5, and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross—received the lowest rating, Poor. (Note that these tests were conducted on the previous generation CR-V, HR-V, and Tucson.)

The new IIHS test data complements Consumer Reports’ existing rear-seat safety features ratings, which combines CR’s longstanding work in evaluating a vehicle’s potential for child safety through child car seat and booster seat fit with crash-protection features intended for rear occupants of all ages and sizes. In its scoring, CR evaluates the presence of features already proved to provide benefits for front occupants, such as head restraints of adequate height and advanced seat-belt features that improve both fit and crash performance. Features that have become nearly universal in the front seat—namely adjustable upper seat-belt anchors and seat-belt pretensioners and load limiters—have been slow to become standard features in the back seat. In its new testing, IIHS illustrates those features’ potential to improve a vehicle’s rear-seat crash scores.

“In the front seat, crash tensioners (pretensioners) tighten the seat belts the instant a crash begins so that the occupant’s body begins to slow with the vehicle. Then, as the tightened belt stops the occupant from flying forward, force limiters allow some of the webbing to spool out to reduce the risk of chest injuries,” says IIHS.

Although this is the first time Hybrid III crash dummies are being used in the rear seat in frontal crash testing in the U.S., they have been part of safety testing in Europe—in the European New Car Assessment Program, or Euro NCAP—since 2015. In Europe, manufacturers moved quickly to include advanced seat-belt technology in rear seats as standard equipment to improve the injury outcomes for rear passengers.

“Manufacturers have been slower to include this technology in U.S.-market vehicles, but these new ratings should spur huge safety improvements for rear-seat passengers,” says Thomas. “Over the years, IIHS and Euro NCAP have shown the significant influence consumer crash-testing programs can have on the marketplace.”

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10 Things You Need to Know About Social Security

10 Things You Need to Know About Social Security

Answers to frequently asked questions about your retirement benefits

AARP | Andy Markowitz | Updated June 21, 2022 | Social Security | Life Insurance

Social Security provides benefits to more than 65 million people, and those monthly payments have an enormous impact on older Americans’ financial health. According to Census Bureau data:

  • Social Security accounts for at least 50 percent of income for more than half of households headed by someone 65 or older.
  • It provides nearly 80 percent of income for 1 in 5 such households.
  • It keeps more than 26.5 million people from falling below the poverty line.

An institution that looms so large in American life is bound to generate questions about what it does and how it works. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Security. You’ll find more detailed information on these issues in AARP’s Social Security Resource Center.

1. Is Social Security just for retired workers?

No. As of April 2022, 72.7 percent of beneficiaries were retirees. The remainder were spouses, ex-spouses and children of retirees (4.3 percent); disabled workers and their families (14 percent); and survivors of deceased beneficiaries (9 percent).

2. At what age can I start collecting Social Security benefits?

You can begin receiving retirement benefits at age 62, but your payments will be more significant if you wait until your full retirement age (66 years and 4 months for people born in 1956, gradually rising over the next few years to 67). If you are eligible for survivor benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you can start collecting earlier.

3. How do I sign up for Social Security?

You can apply for retirementspousal or disability benefits online, by phone at 800-772-1213, or at your local Social Security office. For survivor benefits, you can apply by phone or in person. Local offices reopened to walk-in traffic in April after being largely closed to visitors for more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the Social Security Administration (SSA) strongly recommends calling ahead to make an appointment.

4. How long do I need to work to become eligible for benefits?

For retirement benefits, at least 10 years. Social Security uses a system of credits, which you collect by working and paying Social Security taxes. You can earn up to four credits a year, and you need 40 credits to qualify for retirement benefits. The credit threshold may be lower for disability benefits.

No, you can receive benefits while working. But if you are below full retirement age and earn more than a certain amount, your monthly benefits will be temporarily reduced. Once you reach full retirement age, the reduction is eliminated, and your benefits will be increased to make up for what was lost over time.

5. Must I stop working to collect retirement benefits?

No, you can receive benefits while working. But if you are below full retirement age and earn more than a certain amount, your monthly benefits will be temporarily reduced. Once you reach full retirement age, the reduction is eliminated, and your benefits will be increased to make up for what was lost over time.

6. How much will I get from Social Security?

That depends on a number of factors, most crucially your lifetime earnings from work in which you paid Social Security taxes. Social Security takes your 35 highest-earnings years, calculates an inflation-adjusted average, and plugs that into a progressive formula that determines your “basic” benefit. The amount will also be affected by how old you are when you claim benefits. You won’t know it for sure until you file, but you can use the AARP Social Security Calculator to get an estimate.

7. What’s the maximum monthly Social Security benefit? 

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There's a shortage of vets to treat farm animals. Pandemic pets are partly to blame

There’s a shortage of vets to treat farm animals. Pandemic pets are partly to blame

NPR.org | SCOTT NEUMAN | December 19, 20225:00 AM ET | Farm Animals | Farm & Ranch Insurance

One night last spring, Andy Berry, a livestock farmer in Mississippi, was working the phone. One of his cows was experiencing a life-threatening breech birth and his regular veterinarian, 40 minutes away, was unavailable.

Berry, who is also executive vice president of the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, spent two hours calling around for help, finally reaching another vet, who immediately made the one-hour drive to his farm in rural Jefferson Davis County.

By the time she arrived, it was too late. “Ultimately, we ended up losing both the cow and the calf,” Berry, 48, says. “Between the time it took to get to the farm and the complications of the labor, it was too much.”

The death of the cow and calf cost him about $1,800, he says.

Experiences similar to Berry’s are becoming more common across the country. For decades, farmers have endured a shortage of rural veterinarians – the kind who specialize in care for animals like cows, pigs and sheep. But the problem is now at an all-time high – with 500 counties across 46 states reporting critical shortages this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Some counties have no vets to treat farm animals

“We are losing animals because we just have no one to come to the farm in time to save them,” said Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) in a Dec. 6 hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “We have counties in Mississippi that don’t even have a large animal veterinarian.”

The shortage is mirrored by a growth in the number of veterinarians that Americans are much more familiar with – those who take care of the family pet. Since at least the early 2000s, more veterinarians have chosen the better pay and more reasonable work hours that go with a practice that focuses primarily or exclusively on “companion” animals. With the COVID-19 pandemic-driven spike in pet ownership, demand – and salaries – for companion animal veterinarians have increased rapidly, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, or AVMA.

The implications of this shortfall go beyond the farm. Some farmers and the AVMA warn that without enough vets on the front line, the food supply chain is vulnerable to diseases such as foot and mouth and swine flu.

“Food-animal veterinarians are a front-line defense in the surveillance, prevention, treatment, and control of animal diseases,” AVMA President Dr. Lori Teller wrote in an email to NPR. “Veterinarians help to protect the health and welfare of animals that produce eggs, milk, meat, wool, and other protein and fiber products,” she says.

Teller says that among veterinary school graduates, nearly half are choosing to work exclusively with companion animals, with another 8% selecting mixed practices, where they might treat a dog and cat one day and a cow the next. Fewer than 3% of recent graduates choose to work exclusively with food animals, with others deciding to pursue advanced degrees or go into specialties, such as horse care.

The burnout problem

Despite the clear need, many who start out working with food animals find that the grueling and sometimes dangerous work leads to burnout.

Dr. Remington Pettit, 37, has seen both sides of the profession. She grew up in rural Oklahoma, and attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University. When Pettit graduated, she chose to work in mixed practices, focusing on the treatment of horses and cattle in her native state.

“I worked the sale barn,” Pettit says, referring to cattle auctions. “I did spay-neuter. I did farm calls. I did emergencies. It was all hours of the day, 365 days a year.” In the rural area she covered, a considerable amount of driving to appointments made the days even longer.

About five years ago, she hit a breaking point. Pettit, 37, was still carrying university debt, and just starting a family. For her, it was mainly exhaustion and the physical toll of working with large animals that prompted a switch to companion animals – where she says she makes double the money she did just a few years ago. But the physical demands of the job and its inherent dangers were also factors in her decision, she says.

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10 Wellness Trends From 2022 That Experts Say You Should Keep In 2023

10 Wellness Trends From 2022 That Experts Say You Should Keep In 2023

From fitness to trauma healing to your “villain era,” here are the wellness trends experts say are actually useful.

HuffPost.com | Jillian Wilson | Dec 14, 2022, 12:24 PM EST | Trends | Shield Health Insurance

A lot of things trend on social media, and many of those trending topics aren’t good. In fact, they can be pretty harmful (looking at you, NyQuil chicken). But, like all trends, they capture attention for a reason — some of these popular topics even prove pretty useful.

In the wellness world, including fitness and mental health, hundreds of trends have come out this year or simply grown in popularity. From hot girl walks to healing your inner child, many healthy trending topics are in the zeitgeist for a good reason.

And just because they’re trending now doesn’t mean they need to end in 2023. If anything, they should be continued and explored more. Lindsay Monal, a yoga teacher at YogaRenew Teacher Training, said that it’s important to follow the trends that you like and that will keep you consistent in your practice, whether mental health or fitness.

Here are the most useful fitness and mental health trends of 2022, according to experts:

Mental health trends

End of people pleasing and entering your “villain” era

The simple search “villain era” on TikTok brings up thousands of videos that showcase people putting an end to people pleasing and embracing their so-called villain era.

But while boundary setting and putting an end to people pleasing are both valuable for your mental health, there is something wrong with this being phrased as villainous behavior, according to Sarah Sarkis, an executive coach and senior director of performance psychology at Exos, a corporate wellness company.

“The ‘villain era’ is really an inaccurate depiction of people setting healthy boundaries,” Sarkis said. “While the trend means well, we shouldn’t be vilifying taking a step away from pleasing others to prioritize our own needs and well-being.”

She asked: “If we are always pleasing other people but never addressing our own needs, who are we actually being a villain to? Ourselves perhaps? Is that OK?” The answer: No, it is not.

She noted that burnout (think: holiday stress, work stress, family pressure and more) is a significant driver of this end of people pleasing. “We’re starting to see this shift to reverse years if not generations worth of conditioning to put others’ needs before our own,” Sarkis said.

Healing your inner child

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How to Avoid the Hidden Health Hazards of Travel

How to Avoid the Hidden Health Hazards of Travel

Experts offer tips to help prevent injury and illness on your next trip

AARP | By Jaimie Seaton | December 22, 2022 | Health | Shield Health Insurance

This past summer I traveled to London and then to Scotland to attend my daughter’s college graduation. It was a jam-packed two days of garden parties, family dinners, and cocktail hours following the commencement ceremony. 

On the day I traveled back to London, a shortage of taxis forced me to wheel my large suitcase and carry-on bag about a mile over cobblestones to the train station — my purse and shopping bag slung over my shoulder. In Edinburgh, I carried my bags up a flight of stairs in order to make my connection, and at Heathrow airport, there was walking and moved my bags through a security line for more than an hour. 

Once seated on the plane, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my right elbow. Over the next week, the pain got worse and extended down my arm. I went to an orthopedist, who diagnosed tennis elbow. He surmised that dragging and carrying my heavy bags was the cause. 

​The pain only lasted another week or so, thanks to ice and stretching, but the whole experience left me wondering what other dangers might await me on my next trip. So I asked some experts. 

​“I frequently hear stories like yours,” says Sajida Saeed Chaudry, M.D., a primary care physician who specializes in preventive care at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. She added that her patients, especially those age 50 and over, tell her tales of getting lost while on vacation and having to walk for miles, causing foot injuries, or hurting their back by putting a heavy bag in an overhead compartment or taking it off a conveyor belt.

​“There’s an element of stress and rushing, creating the perfect storm for things to go wrong,” Chaudry says. 

​Before you go | health

​Chaudry has some simple tips to help prevent injuries or health emergencies during travel, beginning with comfortable footwear. She also recommends establishing an exercise routine prior to traveling and ramping it up if you’re planning on doing a lot of walking. “If you’re routinely walking and suddenly go from 5,000 to 20,000 steps, those extra steps won’t bother you as much,” Chaudry says.

​Another travel tip: Pack extra must-have items in your carry-on bag. “I always tell patients, when they’re traveling, to have a back-up pair of glasses or hearing aids, and to keep them (close). Don’t put them in checked luggage,” Chaudry says. “It’s also a good idea to have your medical history and list of medications handy.” 

Health in the airport and on the plane

​Traveling light and using elevators when possible can help lower the risk of injury. If you notice pain from walking or carrying a suitcase, Chaudry says to follow the RICE regimen: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. And she cautions against ignoring pain and pushing through, especially for those at greater risk of fracture, such as those with osteoporosis. “If the pain isn’t going away after a few days, that’s really a sign to check in with the doctor and make sure that there’s an evaluation,” she says.

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Merry Christmas from all of us at Shield Insurance Agency

30+ Best Christmas Poems For Kids!

LoveLivesOn.com | Christmas | Shield Insurance Agency

Merry Christmas from the entire staff at Shield Insurance Agency!

We hope you enjoy these holiday poems with your family and friends.


Looking for Christmas poems for kids?

Look no further with our ultimate collection of holiday poems that have been specially curated with children in mind.  (We’ve also organized the poems by age group to make your life a little easier over this busy holiday season.

You are sure to find Christmas poems that your kids will love, whether they are using it in a craft activity, school or church performance, or simply to enjoy reading aloud with you.

Christmas Poems for Kids Aged 3 to 5

This first Christmas poem is perfect for kindergarteners and easy to memorize.

I Like to See Christmas

Author Unknown

I like to see the stockings
I like to see the gifts
I like to see the bells
I like to see the tree
And I like to see Santa
Looking at me!

~

When it comes to Christmas poems for kids, this one is a favourite!  It is also easy to incorporate into craft activities.

Peppermint Stick

Author Unknown

I took a lick
Of a peppermint stick
And oh it tasted yummy!

It used to be
On the Christmas tree
But now it’s in my tummy!

~

This is a childhood classic when it comes to holiday poetry.  The analogy in this Christmas poem is that little children are like little pine trees, waiting to grow up.

Little Pine Tree

Author Unknown

I’m a little pine tree
As you can see,
All the other pine trees
Are bigger than me.
Maybe when I grow up
Then I’ll be
A great big merry Christmas tree!

~

Does your family have a special angel that sits on the top of your Christmas tree?  If yes, then this Christmas poem written for children in kindergartener is sure to delight!

A Christmas Angel

By Denise Burke

Oh, I wish I was an angel on the tree
Oh, I wish I was an angel on the tree
I’d give every girl and boy
Lots of Christmas peace and joy
Oh, I wish I was an angel on the tree

~

No collection of Christmas poems for kids would be complete without this next poem.

It would be a wonderful poem for a group of five children to recite at a Christmas concert, either at school or elsewhere.

Have the group of five kids recite lines 1, 7, 8, and 9 of the poem in unison.  Also, have each child recite one line on a solo basis (for the remaining lines – lines 2 to 6).

Five Little Reindeer

Author Unknown

Five little reindeer playing in the snow
The first one said, “Can you see my nose glow?”
The second one said, “Listen to me sing!”
The third one said, “I can hear the bells ring.”
The fourth one said, “Let’s eat the pie!”
The fifth one said, “I’m ready to fly.”
Then clomp went their hooves
And the snow fell white
As the five little reindeer flew out of sight.

~

This next Christmas poem for kids reminds us how much fun the holiday season is!

Christmas is a Day Full of Joy

Author Unknown

Christmas is a day full of joy,
Ask any girl or boy.

Santa’s reindeer fly up high,
By the twinkling stars in the sky.

Children love a snowball fight,
Although its freezing day and night.

~

Did you grow up having this next poem read to you on Christmas Eve?  Children all over the world love this Christmas poem, with its promise of reindeer, Santa, and presents.  It is a classic for a reason!

Magic Reindeer Food

Author Unknown

Be sure to take this magic food
and sprinkle it on the lawn.

On Christmas Eve, Santa’s reindeers
travel miles before the dawn.

The smell of oats and glitter
will guide them on their way.

And you’ll wake up to Santa’s gifts
on merry Christmas day!

~

Who doesn’t love Santa?  This next Christmas poem is beloved by kindergarteners and older children alike.

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Here's How People Celebrate Christmas All Over the World

Here’s How People Celebrate Christmas All Over the World

Turns out, Santa Claus doesn’t visit the entire world for Christmas.

GoodHousekeeping.com | BY LIZZ SCHUMER | Dec 11, 2020 | Christmas | Shield Insurance

Every culture that celebrates Christmas also has its own festive ways to make the holiday special. Some of those involve dishes or treats that only appear once a year. Others give gifts that carry a particular meaning, and still, others decorate in a particular way, and hold festivals, parades or parties to ring in the season. Growing up, I know my family’s holiday season just wouldn’t have been the same if we didn’t hang the Christmas pickle on the tree, if dad didn’t read A Visit From St. Nicholas to my brother and I before we went to sleep on Christmas eve — or didn’t enjoy the Feast of Seven Fishes. In some countries, people can say the same about a visit from the Krampus, eating KFC, or pulling a Christmas cracker.

This year, the holiday might look different for a lot of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep many of our most treasured traditions. Maybe you’ll even want to try out some of the most beloved Christmas traditions from around the world in your own home. You might just find a new cherished activity that your children and grandchildren (and their grandchildren!) won’t be able to do without.

1Japan: KFC for Christmas Dinner

In Japan, celebrating Christmas is still relatively new. It’s only been widely recognized for the past couple of decades and is typically seen as a time to spread joy and cheer, or even a romantic couple’s day, instead of a religious holiday. Many order KFC for Christmas dinner, or make a reservation at a restaurant instead of cooking a big feast.

2 Poland: People Share a Pre-Dinner Christmas Wafer

In Poland and many Polish communities worldwide, Christmas Eve dinner or (Wigilia) begins with sharing the Oplatek. The paper-thin square wafer is made of flour and water and has an image of the Nativity on it. Everyone at the table breaks off a piece and shares a holiday greeting before passing it along. Sometimes, even pets get in on the fun.

3 Slovakia: Carp for Dinner

All over Central Europe, people enjoy carp for Christmas Eve Dinner, according to NPR. But rather than picking it up from the supermarket, traditionalists let the fish live in the bathtub for a couple of days before preparing and eating it. Legend has it, the scales bring luck and good fortune for the coming year.

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38 Best Christmas Ideas for a Festive Bash

38 Best Christmas Ideas for a Festive Bash

Guaranteed to keep your Christmas party rockin’ around the tree all night

CountryLiving.com | BY JULIA LUDLAM | UPDATED: DEC 1, 2022 | Shield Home Insurance

Are you planning on having a merry little Christmas with your loved ones? Invite friends and family over to celebrate the holiday season with these festive Christmas party ideas! We’ve rounded up some of our best ideas to make prepping for parties just as fun as throwing them. So, settle in for a holiday decoration derby or Christmas movie marathon. Just don’t forget your favorite winter drink recipe and a slice of fruitcake.

For those with a crafty holiday spirit, you’ll love our crafter-noon parties. From making Christmas wreaths to hosting a fun (and helpful) gift-wrapping party, we have enough ideas to last you the entire season—and then some! Relax and make ornaments with your friends (with our favorite DIY Christmas ornament ideas and tutorials to get you started, no less) or kick it old school with a salt dough crafting extravaganza. You can even throw a cookie swap party where guests are invited to bring their favorites and share Christmas cookie recipes.

If your friends aren’t the crafty type, which we can totally understand in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we’ve got ideas for you too. Throw a fun holiday soiree inspired by your favorite Christmas movie, go for a classic holiday dinner party, or get competitive with a Christmas gift exchange. Start the evening by serving your guests some delicious Country Living-approved Christmas appetizers. You can even throw together a hot chocolate bar if you’ve got a slow cooker to keep things warm and toasty. If you’re in the mood for something savory, fondue can feed a crowd and keep everyone entertained all evening long. All your friends will need to do is bring their Christmas cheer!

1 Ice-Skating Christmas Party

Gather your friends for some winter revelry. Embrace the cold weather and serve up some Hot Buttered Rum with Vanilla Ice Cream Balls and your favorite Christmas cookies for an ice-skating party. No snow? No problem. Throw on a scarf and make it a porch party.

2 Movie Marathon Christmas Party

Build a fire, curl up with your family and friends, and get in the spirit of Christmas with your favorite holiday classics, like The Polar ExpressHome Alone, and Miracle on 34th Street. Serve fresh popcorn with optional popcorn seasonings like parmesan black pepper, cinnamon sugar, or everything bagel for a holiday treat. Don’t forget the toasted marshmallow hot cocoa and the theatre candy brownies. To make things extra fun, ask guests to play Binge-Watch Bingo using buttons or popcorn to mark the squares.

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3 Candy Cane Crafting Party

Invite friends over to craft fresh holiday decor out of peppermint sticks and candy canes. The season’s most ubiquitous treat is more versatile than you think! Besides candy canes, peppermint sticks and peppermints, hot glue gunsred cotton stringglass pillar candle holders, and festive ribbons are just a few must-haves.

4 Holiday Snack Exchange

Like a cookie exchange, invite your pals to come over with their favorite savory holiday snack like these sweet and spicy coated nuts. Turn on your favorite holiday playlist, sip on some hot cocoa, and send everyone home with a cute container of treats like these hexagon jars adorned with a cinnamon stick and striped ribbon.

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How 25 Christmas Traditions Got Their Start

How 25 Christmas Traditions Got Their Start

Learn why we decorate trees, swap cookies, and hide pickles and elves, among other Christmas traditions.

History.com | by LESLEY KENNEDY | UPDATED:DEC 22, 2021 | ORIGINAL:DEC 17, 2019 | Shield Insurance

From its Puritan roots to complaints of rampant commercialism (“What is it you want?” Charlie Brown asks Lucy in A Charlie Brown Christmas. “Real Estate.”), Christmas in America has been filled with traditions, old and new. Some date back to 16th-century Germany or even ancient Greek times, while others have caught on in modern times.

Here’s a look at 25 ways Americans have celebrated the Christmas season, from singing songs and reciting poems to decorating trees and swapping cookies to drinking eggnog and wearing ugly sweaters.

Christmas Trees

Decorated trees date back to Germany in the Middle Ages, with German and other European settlers popularizing Christmas trees in America by the early 19th century. A New York woodsman named Mark Carr is credited with opening the first U.S. Christmas tree lot in 1851. A 2019 survey by the American Christmas Tree Association, predicted that 77 percent of U.S. households displayed a Christmas tree in their home. Among the trees on display, an estimated 81 percent were artificial and 19 percent were real.

The Rockettes

Since 1925, first known as the Missouri Rockets, this iconic dance troupe has been kicking up its heels, officially becoming the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes in 1934. From performing at movie openings to entertaining troops to making TV appearances, they’re perhaps best known for their annual Christmas Spectacular.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Decades later, it may be hard to imagine that this beloved TV special inspired by Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip was first rejected by CBS executives. But when it finally aired on December 9, 1965, almost half of all U.S. TV sets were tuned to the broadcast, and the show went on to win an Emmy, a Peabody, an enduring following, and even a trend of “Charlie Brown” Christmas trees. “I never thought it was such a bad little tree,” Linus says in the special. “It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”

Christmas Pickles

If there’s a pickle among your snowman, angel, and reindeer ornaments, you’re likely taking part in the American tradition of hiding the green ornament on the tree, so that the first child to find it wins a gift, or gets to open the first present Christmas morning. The practice’s origins are a bit murky (or should that be briny?), but, it’s likely it grew from a Woolworth’s marketing gimmick from the late 1800s when the retailer received imported German ornaments shaped like a pickle and needed a sales pitch.

Elf on the Shelf

Love it or loathe it, since 2005, moms and dads have either joyously or begrudgingly been hiding a toy elf each night from Thanksgiving to Christmas. More than 13 million elves have been “adopted” since 2005 when Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, published the book Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition that comes with the toy. Social media has even inspired some parents to set up elaborate scenarios for their elves—as in He TP’d the tree! She filled the sink with marshmallows!

Yule Log

Yule logs were part of ancient winter solstice celebrations, but it was Americans who turned the wood burning into must-see TV. Back in 1966, WPIX-TV in New York City aired a continuous 17-second loop of a fireplace for three hours along with holiday music. That led to eventual better production and nearly 20 years of annual viewing. Today, you can view the yule log on demand and on the web. (In fact, HISTORY offers its own yule log themed to the series Forged in Fire.)

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What’s Covered in Worker’s Compensation?

At Shield Insurance Agency, we’re providing worker’s compensation to the people of Michigan. As a worker, this form of insurance will create a sense of financial security in the event of a workplace injury or an illness. Whether you’re dealing with medical bills or a loss of income, you have the right to file a claim at our agency.

What Policies Are Covered in Worker’s Comp?

Your compensation plans will be based on the type of insurance that you buy. Some customers will buy full or partial packages, while others will have their insurance policies tailor-made to suit their needs. In a worker’s compensation package, you should search for whether the package contains policies for income loss, medical costs, or disabilities caused on the job.

You’ll also want to know whether your worker’s compensation insurance covers specific situations. There are medical claims, temporary disability claims, permanent disability claims, and compensation for workers undergoing vocational rehabilitation. If a worker dies as a result of a workplace incident, his or her family members may be entitled to file a worker’s compensation claim with the insurance agency. Knowing what type of file to claim will help you during your time of distress.

Purchasing Worker’s Comp Insurance in Michigan

If you’re looking for quality worker’s compensation, the Shield Insurance Agency is available for business. In addition to worker’s compensation for workplace injuries, we also offer home insurance, auto insurance, contractor’s insurance, business insurance, and more. To get in touch with one of our agents, contact Shield Insurance Agency today. We’d be happy to schedule an appointment with you right away to discuss your options.

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