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December 12, 2014     Post-Gazette
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December 12, 2014
 

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POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 12, 2014 Page7 The 62"d Annual uincy Christmas ,Day Parade It was a great day for the parade with sunny skies and warm temperatures. by Sal Giarratani Due to his increasing popularity and several suggestions from readers (and after much negotiating on our part with his huge salary demands), our friend Freeway has consented to try to answer readers' questions concerning him or any of our little four-legged friends. tingle Bell... Jingle Bell top 10 holiday pet hazards from tabIe scraps to tinsel on the tree, certain items around your house may be perilous to your pet during the holiday. Winter holidays are a busy time for the nation's veterinarians. That's because holiday pet hazards overlooked by busy owners can spell di- saster for your dog, cat or other pets. Keep your contact num- ber for your vet handy. Holiday Hazard #1: Chocolate: Any chocolate is off-limits for pets. The darker the Chocolate, the more dangerous it is to pets. Holiday Hazard #2: the: Tree: Curious dogs may sniff and paw and pull the tree over on themselves, cats like to get up and try out this strange outdoor tree. Anchor it, you can use wire to secure the top of the tree: therl run the wire up to the ceiling or the wall and secure it. Watch out, too, for the tree preservative often put in the Water around the tree trunk, so your dog or cat doesn't lap it up. It can cause gastrointestinal problems. Holiday Hazard #3: Seasonal Plants: Poinsettias. get the bad rap as the most poisonous, when actually they are fairly low on the toxic scale. But eating them may still cause some gastrointestinal upset. Other problematic holiday plants to keep out of reach: Christmas cactus, mistletoe, holly, cedar, balsam, and pine. Holiday Hazard #4: Table Scraps: Rich, fatty foods are of- ten holiday favorites, but they can result in life-threatening pancreatitis. Anything salty, spicy or greasy qualifies. Bones from chicken or turkey can splinter in the stomach. Keep table scraps out of reach, and be sure the garbage isn't ac- cessible to your pet.. Holiday Hazard #5: Ornaments: Tinsel can be too fasci- nating for a cat to pass up as a snack. Small decorations hanging low on the tree can be gobbled by both dogs and cats, and intestinal blockage can result. Holiday Hazard #6: Holiday Cheer: Slipping a dog, cat or other pet alcoholic beverages to see how they act when in- ebriated isn't funny, and could be very dangerous. It can make them very sick, with vomiting and diarrhea. Holiday Hazard #7: Dangerous Foods: Certain foods on the dangerous list all year may be more plentiful around the holidays or your guard may be down. Be sure your pet has no access to coffee grounds, grapes, raisins, onions, chewing gum or'mints with Xylitol. This sweetener, also used in baked goods and candy, is associated with liver failure and death in dogs. Holiday Hazard #8: Socially Shy Pets: Some pets simply aren't comfortable around a lot of people. Some get scared, others get hostile. Whatever way your pet's. party-shy per- sonality tends to turn, put it in a spare bedroom with food and water, out of the way of guests. Holiday Hazard #9: Escape Artists: Pets can be like little kids, they like to get out too, so you've got company maybe guests who aren't used to keeping track of pets and some- one leaves the door open and out they go. Besides alerting guests to your furry escape artists, make sure you have a way of.finding your pet. That means either a microchip, or, at the least a rabies tag or ID with your contact information, the vet's contact information or both. Holiday Hazard #10:.Aluminmn Foil: Crumpled up, with food sticking to it, aluminum foil can be irresistible to a pet. If swallowed, though, it can cause puncture wounds in the gastrointestinal tract. The holidays can be a busy and stressful time, but it's also a. time to reconnect with your family, friends, and of course, pets. So be sure to take-the proper precautions to ensure everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. TO all my pooch friends and human companions and my c~workers at the Post~tzette and to ALL my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The POST-GAZETTE newspaper is a paper of general circulation. We arequalified to accept legal For information on placing a Legal Notice in the POST-GAZETTE, please call (617) 227-8929; or mail notice to: POST-GAZE'FEE, P.O. BOX 135, BOSTON, MA 02113 Attn: Legal Notices Students from Quincy Catholic Central School rode in their school's Christmas float at the Annual Quincy Christmas Parade. Santa Claus brings the parade to. its joyful conclusion. as usual every ,year guarded by a lucky Quincy fireflghter. The Cycling Murrays. Who wants to marry this clown? (Photos by Sal Giarratani) Host Your Holiday Party Like a Pro Tips and Trends from Boston's Top Event Professionals Make this year's holiday party one to remem- ber with tips and trends from New England's International Special Event Society. From menu ideas to playlist suggestions, there is some- thing for everyone on our list. FOOD Cocktail parties are gaining more popu- larity versus a sit down dinner in 2014. Guests enjoy having a variety of choices when it comes to food. Kristin O'Connor, Senior Sales Manager for Capers Catering, told us "mini portions are still trending this year because it is easy to eat and festive. Ais0, paired 'snacks and sips' such as mini milkshakes with our homemade Oreo cook- ies or spicy hot chocolate shooters with cider donuts are always a hit." DECOR Transform your venue, whether it is at home or in a restaurant, with shades of cop- per, metallic and mixed metals. Savannah Sousa, Product Development Manager for Rentals Unlimited, suggested mixing metallics with deep purples and reds. Add a touch of faux fur and mercury glass votive candles to complete the look. Sousa assured us to bring the wow factor while sticking: to your budget. "Focus on a statement piece such as a beautiful linen on the dessert table or colored goblets to add a pop of color to your table. You do not need to deck' outan entire ballroom for an im= pact; sometimes just replacing one item with another can change the entire 10ok of an event." ENTERTAINMENT We know that it is always better to give than to receive, that is why we loved Carolyn lacovelli's, Event Planner at Lombardo's, idea. On your invitation, ask guests to bring an unwrapped gift or make a donation to lo- cal children's organizations rather than the usual Secret Santa or Yankee Swap gifts. If you do not want to hire a professional DJ, you can create your own playlist with tips from Ashely Gordon, Sales and Events Manager for Howl at the Moon. "The key to a great holiday play list is making sure you have something for everyone. An eclectic mix of music definitely helps engage all of your guests and can really help set the tone for your event. Starting the event with some- thing a bit quieter such as "My Way" by Frank Sinatra or "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith gives guests a chance to socialize and grab a drink without the music monopoliz- ing the party. As the drinks start to flow, so can the music. Anything by Journey is al- ways a crowd pleaser and you can't go wrong dancing to "Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift." BEVERAGES Spice up your bar with recipes from 'mixologist on the go' Mike Spiegel of Revo= lution Cocktails, "Cocktails featuring spar- kling wine are a staple of any festive sea- son but they are moving beyond the basic Champagne Cocktail and French 75 this year. By combining seasonal flavors with emerging spirits like Plantation 3 Star Rum, a blend of light rums from Barbados, Ja- maica and Trinidad, you are able to bring approachable flavors to your guests, while exposing them to spirits they may not have thought to try." Bubbly Pi!grim Recipe 1 oz. Plantation 3 Star Rum .75 oz. Cranberry Spiced Simple Syrup .5 oz, Lemon Juice 2 oz. Brut Sparkling Wine Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup 2 Cups natural [unsweetened] 100% cranberry juice 6 Star anise 40 Allspice Berries 2 Cinnamon sticks Combine all and simmer for I0 minutes. Remove from heat and add 10 swaths of orange peel and 2 cups of sugar. Stir until (Continued on Page 14)