Tips for a Safe New Year’s Eve and Day

2018 Happy New Year

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are both widely celebrated. The new year invites new perspective and a fresh outlook. It allows us to reflect on the last year as we celebrate our accomplishments and consider all that we have learned through the year’s experiences in addition to planning new goals for the year to come.

While some enjoy any reason for a celebration, others also enjoy the new opportunities that come with the new year. It is no wonder that so many people are out celebrating both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. People begin with New Year’s Eve and linger well into the next day.

New Year’s Day itself involves breakfast, brunch and any other meal that will contribute to the celebration. That means there are many vehicles out, both on New Year’s Eve and Day. It is important to be aware of what that means for drivers.

Be Prepared

There are a lot of people out and about during this celebratory holiday. It is crucial to understand what that means for all of us drivers. We must be aware of the possible circumstances in order to prepare for every situation.

The best way to prepare is to ensure that the right car insurance is already purchased. We cannot see into the future and have no idea what kind of accidents are waiting to happen. We can prepare for it by covering our vehicles for any and every situation.

Stay Close to Home

Consider staying near or at home for this New Year holiday. A celebration in the home could be an exciting, yet relaxing way to celebrate. It guarantees a great night’s rest in your own bed. You will avoid the hustle and bustle of being in traffic.

Pack Heavy

If you do travel this New Year holiday, consider everything that you will need when packing. Do not forget phone chargers or phones for that matter. Make sure emergency kits are packed along with extra food, water and blankets. Check out “Items You Should Have in Your Car During Winter” for more information.

The new year is always a cause for celebration. Drive safely. Be prepared. Relax and have a good time. From all of us at Bob Johnson Insurance, have a safe and wonderful New Year’s celebration!

Simple Changes to Lower Your Heating Bill

Simple Changes to Lower Your Heating Bill

The weather is starting to cool down, which means that we are bundling up and turning the heat on. If you are like us, then you love staying warm in the fall and winter, but who likes seeing their heating bill go up? We don’t, and you probably don’t either.

Did you know that there are some simple and effective changes that you can make around your home to lower your heating bill? Let’s take a look at some easy ways that you can save energy and money on your bills.


If you haven’t checked the insulation in your attic, that should be one of the first things that you do. Warm air rises, and when you turn on the heat, where do you think it wants to travel? Right up through your attic.

Go up in your attic and make sure that it is well insulated so that you aren’t losing valuable heat through the ceiling and the roof. Adding insulation will keep more hot air in your house, so your heater doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature.

Seal the Cracks

This is especially helpful if you live in a house that is older and if you haven’t had your windows replaced in a while. Go around the edges of your windows and doors to see where you may have cool air seeping into your house. If it is around your windows, use a little caulk to seal up the cracks to keep warm air in and keep cold air out.

If you have prominent cracks underneath your doorways that lead to the outside, you can grab sliders that fit just underneath your doorway so that you can keep the cold air out of your home. It is easy for cold air to sneak in under your doorway, so make sure that you are using some kind of padding or matting to block the warm air in.

Schedule Your Thermostat

If you are leaving your thermostat on high 24 hours a day, you are wasting a lot of money and energy. Turn your thermostat down anytime you and your family are out of the house. If you have a smart thermostat, set it to lower during the times of day that you are out of the house.

Bundle Up

You don’t have to keep your heater running on high when you are in your house. You can save a significant amount of money by just making the choice to bundle up more when you are at home. Throw on some sweatpants and a sweatshirt when you’re home so that you can let your heater rest a little. You can even throw on some more blankets at night when you are asleep to save on heating costs.

17 Holiday Activities for a Family Christmas

17 Holiday Activity Ideas for a Family Christmas

The holiday season is here! Gather around your loved ones and celebrate this year’s family Christmas with these fun activities.

We’ve broken it down into 5 categories: Christmas indoors, Christmas outdoors, Christmas with kids, Christmas with teens, and Christmas with the whole family. Whatever the occasion, this list can get you started.

Here’s 17 fun activities for every family’s Christmas!

Indoor Christmas Activities

1. Create homemade Christmas cards. Break out the construction paper, scissors, glitter and stickers! Custom made cards are a fun, unique activity for families to share.

2. Bake holiday snacks. Gingerbread houses, cookies, fudge brownies – the sweet treat possibilities are endless. Don’t forget to share them with friends and family.

3. Watch Christmas shows. Share your favorite holiday movies and TV specials with your family.

4. Decorate the entire house. Christmas decorations are more than just the tree. Put up wreaths – real ones or ones you make with paper. Hang mistletoe and paper snowflake chain in doorways. And don’t forget the lights!

Outdoor Christmas Activities

5. Take a holiday sightseeing tour. Drive around and see christmas light displays in your neighborhood. One of the largest of its kind is Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland near exit 407 (Sevierville/Pigeon Forge exit) off I-75.

6. Build a snowman or scatter reindeer food. No matter your climate, there’s a fun outdoor Christmas activity for your family. If you can’t build a snowman, you can sprinkle magic reindeer food on Christmas Eve!

7. Hot chocolate and a backyard fire. Get a few logs and build a small bonfire. If a real fire isn’t possible, there’s always the yule log to compliment your coco.

Christmas with Young Children

8. Establish special ornaments. Purchased or handmade, make special ornaments that your children can look forward to each Christmas and remember fondly as adults.

9. Trace your child’s handprint for holiday paper crafting.

10. Start a family Christmas tradition. The best holiday traditions are unique to the family. Invent something original this year.

Christmas With Teens

11. Decorate the family Christmas tree. A simple reminder of the holidays and a great excuse to hang out with you teen.

12. Volunteer. Christmas isn’t easy for many people. Soup kitchens, coat drives and other charity events need your family’s holiday help.

13. Black Friday Shopping. Whether you go shopping with them or just drop them off, help your teen child score the best holiday deals.

14. Go to the movies with your teenager. Christmas activities don’t always need to be holiday themed. Catch up with your kid during a matinee this holiday break. The key is to spend time with them.

Christmas With The Whole Family

15. Host a Secret Santa gift exchange. The larger your family the better!

16. Go to local Christmas plays and performances. Most communities present all kinds of holiday events – check them out!

17. Donate to a toy drive. Pool your family resources together and help unfortunate children have a better Christmas.

What’s Your Favorite Family Christmas Activity?

Did we talk about your favorite holiday activity? Want to mention something we missed? Leave a comment about what Christmas activities interest your family!