Techlifetoday guide to a happy holiday season

7 stories to help you make the most of the season

For many of us, the holiday season is like a year's worth of fun packed (and wrapped up with a bow, of course) into a few short weeks. Santa isn't the only one who's busy this time of year.

But you don't have to do it alone – is here for you with a collection of previously published content that's perfect for the holidays. From finding the perfect tree to achieving holiday zen to keeping those festive finances in check, we've got tips that just might make this Christmas that much more memorable.

Happy holidays from the techlife team!

1. The secrets of Christmas tree selection and care

christmas treesNothing says classic Christmas like the scent of a real spruce, pine or fir in the house.

Head to the nearest tree lot to take part in a tradition that predates picking through plastic ones at the local department store. But don't go without having checked out the advice from our Forest Technology expert, including:

  • why tree lots can be the best places to buy from
  • differences between the varieties
  • how to pick a good one
  • how to keep it alive
  • and more!

2. Holiday safety tips for your pet

holiday pet safety, naitThe phrase "a good time was had by all" should apply to pets, too.

To make sure Fluffy and Fido enjoy the festivities as much as you do, we asked the advice of Elaine Degrandpre, senior medical officer for NAIT’s animal health programs.


  • don't give in to those puppy-dog eyes at Christmas dinner
  • make sure decorations don't become snacks
  • pets aren't party animals, so give them their space when guests visit

Read more to find out why.

3. The shocking difference between LED and incandescent Christmas lights

How much money can you save by switching to LED? More importantly, since you've likely already given up the old incandescent lights, how many more bulbs can you run on a single circuit?

“The old lights use a ton of electricity,” says Electrician instructor Matt Charlton (Electrician ’00). Since LEDs use a fraction of that, the ways you can boost the output of your display are positively shocking.

Here are all the illuminating facts, including how to run your own calculations on power usage and cost.

4. Holiday budgeting tips

empty santa wallet, holiday budget tips

If the money runs out
If the coffers go dry
If the funding's in doubt
Set the credit cards aside

Santa's budget
has to be sound

Make a clear list
names and presents will suffice
don't buy anything
above a set price

Santa should be 
around ...

OK, OK, sorry. Here's how to avoid that nasty holiday hangover when the bills arrive in January.

5. How to handle holiday stress

christmas holiday stressJust like a Christmas tree can bear only so many ornaments before its boughs break, the frenzy of cooking, shopping and socializing over the holidays can strain the mind and body.

The answer, says Personal Fitness Trainer program instructor Kate Andrews, is the 3 "E"s: exercise, eating well, and escape.

Here's how each one will help make the season the most wonderful time of the year for you, family and friends.

6. How to make the most of your charitable donations

charitable donations advice, nait

One shouldn't give with the expectation of receiving something in return – except when it comes to charitable donations.

In that case, it's not miserly; it's just smart money management. And, according to JR Shaw School of Business instructor Stacey Cooper, the more you give, the more you get, if:

  • You've confirmed the charity in question is legitimate
  • You've kept receipts from all your giving
  • And, if you have a partner, you maximize your credit by claiming all donations on a single taxpayer

Check out more of Cooper's tips and stash the savings for next year's holiday shopping (see tip 4).

7. Great gift ideas from Alberta-based NAIT grads

gift ideas from Alberta-based NAIT gradsUnique? Check. Thoughtful? Check. An Edmonton or Alberta connection? Check.

If you're stumped for an idea for a great Christmas gift – or are looking for something completely different – this list might be your one-stop shop. It's filled with something for everyone and each item is the product of a local NAIT grad or a company run by one.

For 12 days each December, our list of gift ideas grows by one item daily. Check back or watch our Twitter and other social media accounts for updates to the list.

We're sure every item will surprise you as much they'll surprise those lucky people who get them.

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