Merry Christmas &
Happy Holidays

PLUG IN Pest Free December Newsletter

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas…So is the weather. Most of the U.S. will experience very cold temperatures across the country over the holiday period. For those traveling, please be well prepared and pack some extra patience with you, too. Expect delays, and take care on the roads. Icy conditions can turn deadly. Check weather apps and channels plus local road conditions before heading out. If flying, keep an eye on your flight for possible delays or cancelations.

No matter your beliefs, it’s hard not to see Santa Claus roaming around shopping centers and other establishments, maybe taking in a beer or two with fellow Santa helpers at famed pub crawls. So, what is the origin of Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas? The legend can be traced back to around A.D. 280 in Myra, now known as modern day Turkey. Although, according to Santa Claus is 1,751 years old this Christmas.

Saint Nicholas was admired for his piety and kindness, becoming the subject of many legends. It is said he gave away all his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the sick and poor. Over the course of many years, Saint Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, Saint Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, Saint Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland.

Source for some of the information above came from

Shopping Mall Santa’s

Gift-giving, mainly centered around children, has been an important part of the Christmas celebration since the holiday’s rejuvenation in the early 19th century. Stores began to advertise Christmas shopping in 1820, and by the 1840s, newspapers were creating separate sections for holiday advertisements, which often featured images of the newly-popular Santa Claus.

In 1841, thousands of children visited a Philadelphia shop to see a life-size Santa Claus model. It was only a matter of time before stores began to attract children, and their parents, with the lure of a peek at a “live” Santa Claus. In the early 1890s, the Salvation Army needed money to pay for the free Christmas meals they provided to needy families. They began dressing up unemployed men in Santa Claus suits and sending them into the streets of New York to solicit donations. Those familiar Salvation Army Santas have been ringing bells on the street corners of American cities ever since.

Perhaps the most iconic department store Santa is Kris Kringle in the 1947 classic Santa Claus movie “Miracle on 34 Street.” A young Natalie Wood played a little girl who believes Kris Kringle (played by Edmund Gwenn, who won an Oscar for the role) when he says he is the real Santa Claus. “Miracle on 34 Street” was remade in 1994 and starred Lord Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson.


Q: How old will Santa Claus be this Christmas?
Check for the answer and interesting facts below.

The Perfect Pot Roast

Recipe by:

We are going back to a favored recipe by the very talented Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond.

Prep time for this recipe is approximately 15 minutes. Cook time around 4hrs 15mins. Total time – 4hrs 30mins. Serves 6.

First, the Ingredients:
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 3- to 5-pound chuck roast
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 whole onions, peeled and halved
  • 6 to 8 whole carrots, unpeeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup red wine, optional
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
For the Gravy:
  • All Purpose Flour or Corn Starch

Cooking Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast.
  3. Heat the olive oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the halved onions to the pot, browning them on both sides. Remove the onions to a plate.
  4. Throw the carrots into the same very hot pot and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so. Reserve the carrots with the onions.
  5. If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pot. Place the meat in the pot and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
  6. With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom with a whisk. Place the roast back into the pot and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway.
  7. Add in the onions and the carrots, along with the fresh herbs.
  8. Put the lid on, then roast for 3 hours for a 3-pound roast. For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours. The roast is ready when it’s fall-apart tender.


Instead, complement this delightful fall apart Pot Roast and use the leftover broth to make a delicious gravy. This is how:

Slowly sprinkle in flour or corn starch into the leftover broth in the pot, constantly stirring along the way. Keep the heat on low to medium, just so the broth is slightly simmering. We use All Purpose Flour for our gravy. The key is to slowly sprinkle the flour in while stirring so the flour does not clump together. The only lumps in your gravy should be the leftover pieces of onion, rosemary and other particles from the meat and vegetables. Once the gravy begins to thicken, you can stop adding the flour. For a thicker heartier gravy, you can add more flour as desired to thicken it even further.

Be sure to check out other delicious recipes by Ree Drummond – The Pioneer Woman here:

A: Santa Claus will be 1,751 years old this Christmas! According to Santa Claus is 1,751 years old this Christmas.