aireserv.com/mid-hudson-valley | 845-256-6158
THE BEST TIME
of the Year
I think pretty much
When my son was growing up, it was a blast to try and imbue the holidays with the same kind of magic I felt as a kid. We maintained as many of the old traditions as we could, including the lasagna my mom used to make. These days, my son’s grown up, but he still makes sure to be around Christmas Day. Sometimes, my wife’s sister makes the trip down with her family as well. Any opportunity to catch up with family is a welcome event. The Christmas season is always an incredibly busy time around the office, with everybody making emergency calls to get their heating system back up and running. I have to leave Christmas shopping to my wife. My only duty is to make sure I find something nice for her at some point. “I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP OUT THE FAMILIES WHO DIDN’T WANT TO FREEZE THEIR VISITING RELATIVES ON THE EVE OF THE BIG DAY, BUT AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, IT TOOK A LOT OF WILLPOWER TO DRAG MYSELF AWAY FROM THE FESTIVITIES.” Back when I was starting out, it seemed the calls would never stop. But I didn’t complain. I did everything I could to make time for my customers. I remember getting those late-night Christmas Eve calls. I was always happy to help out the families who didn’t want to freeze their visiting relatives on the eve of the big day, but as you can imagine, it took a lot of willpower to drag myself away from the festivities. I look forward to Christmas more than any other holiday. As the business quiets down on Christmas Day, I get a rare chance to really sit down and relax with my family, completely free of worry.
everybody remembers Christmas Eve as a little kid, buzzing
with anticipation to discover what Santa would bring.
After eating our annual Christmas Eve lasagna and attending church
services, I’d tuck myself into bed and stare at the ceiling for what felt like hours, believing that I would probably never fall asleep ever again. Inevitably, though,
fatigue would get the better of me, and I’d drift off without warning. When I would wake
up, always ridiculously early, there was a brief moment of grogginess before I snapped to the realization that somehow, yes, this was the day that I’d been waiting for.
Christmas wasn’t a huge operation in my family, but that wasn’t how it felt at the time. When you’re a kid, the significance of every event is magnified. Each present is a mystery waiting to be unwrapped, and small holiday rituals are vitally important to the success of the day. Oftentimes, we’d either head to my grandparents’ place on Christmas Day, or they’d make their way to ours. Obviously, I loved the gifts, but looking back, those moments you spend with family matter most, even if you didn’t realize it at the time.
GIVE A DIY HOUSEWARMING GIFT BASKET!
Around the world, people welcome their newest neighbors with special gifts. Russia is often credited with starting this housewarming tradition. Dignitaries would visit nearby villages to deliver salt and bread to townspeople. The salt was symbolic of living a life full of flavor, while the bread was so no one would go hungry. Other cultures have their own housewarming customs. In Italy, a broom is bequeathed to new inhabitants to sweep away any lingering evil spirits. Another common gift is a candle, which signifies always having light. Meanwhile, the French make a day of it by inviting new neighbors over for a “l’aperitif,” an afternoon snack of cheese and meat. Indians also extend a hospitable welcome, inviting new neighbors to join them for lunch or dinner. These neighbors also receive a gift for their new home. People often lament a time when “everyone knew their neighbors,” and while some nostalgia is better left to memory (lava lamps, for example), a neighborly connection is worth pursuing. If you’ve never met yours, or if you just noticed the new family moving in next door, it’s time to extend a friendly hand. This holiday season, go above and beyond by putting together a gift basket for your neighbors inspired by some of the aforementioned traditions. Here are a few themes to try. CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS There’s nothing worse than unpacking and realizing you tossed out all of your cleaning tools. Draw on Italian sensibility and put together a household
supply basket. Fill this basket with items like all-purpose cleaner, furniture spray, antibacterial wipes, sponges, and automatic air fresheners. FLAVORS OF LIFE Everyone needs the basics when they are settling into a new home. Put together a basket with these ingredients for a savory start: gourmet salt, a bread mix, olive oil and vinegar, a mixed herb set, and a bottle of wine to make unpacking a bit more enjoyable. WARMTH FOR WINTER’S CHILL You can also provide heartwarming gifts to brighten a new home. This theme might include seasonal candles, scented plug-ins, a decorative string of lights, and glow- in-the-dark stars for the kids’ room. Once you’ve chosen a theme, gather the materials to prepare your basket, including a decorative bow and matching tissue paper. Then, stop by and introduce yourself and share your thoughtful, creative gift. You’re sure to impress!
“The quick response to my service calls is the most important part of the services from Aire Serv.” –J.T.
“I am very pleased with your service tech. He is extremely polite and energetic about his work, thorough in every regard. It is people like him that set your company apart from the others. I therefore rate him the highest of caliber and an excellent representative of the industry. Thank you for your kind attention to professionalism.”
“Reliable, dependable, quick to respond, totally professional, does an excellent job.“
–Lewis and Jackie B.
“I just want to comment on the technician you sent to conduct the inspection yesterday. He was a very thorough, knowledgeable, and polite young man that you should be proud to have as an employee of your company. Based upon my first impressions of you, him, and your company, I am extremely pleased with my decision to contract with Aire Serv for maintenance at this facility and will certainly call upon you to handle my HVAC issues at the numerous other properties I manage here in the Hudson Valley.”
“Aire Serv tech came for winter service of furnace, changed nozzle, filter, drilled hole in exhaust for diagnostic read for efficiency, brushed and vacuumed every nook of the chamber and exhaust pipe. Recommended some other things to prolong the life of my Buderus boiler. It’s nice to see that someone goes the extra mile. I have had homes for 25 years and this was the best service, and a great price.”
3 TIPS TO STAY WARM WITHOUT A HUGE HEATING BILL
The ice and snow have settled into the Hudson Valley for the long haul, but that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate skyrocketing heating bills. Here are a few simple tricks for keeping costs low and comfort high during these chilly months. PUT PLASTIC INSULATION FILM ON YOUR WINDOWS For just a few dollars at most home improvement stores, you can get a panel of clear, plastic window film, designed to trap heat inside and keep the winter outside where it belongs. Through a simple application process, you can cover all the windows in your home with the transparent film, which can potentially reduce your heating bill by as much as 14 percent, according to Popular Science. If you do it right, you’ll barely notice the screen. It won’t do any damage to the trim or glass, and will come off without a problem when spring comes around. INSTALL A BETTER THERMOSTAT If you’ve been struggling with a clunky, outdated thermostat for years, you might be forgiven for not realizing how far the technology has come recently.
Programmable thermostats are cheaper than they’ve ever been, with some models costing less than $50. If you set it to automatically drop the temperature while you’re at work, you can shave off huge chunks of the heating bill without causing the house to turn into a polar wasteland while you’re away. Even better (but more expensive) are the new wave of smart thermostats, which can learn your habits and preferences over time and automatically adjust to cut costs. TURN DOWN THE HEAT! Sure, this may seem obvious, but we don’t mean dropping your thermostat 10 degrees while you’re watching TV on the couch. Most people don’t realize that tiny adjustments in temperature can result in drastically lower costs. Some estimates state that turning down the thermostat a single degree can reduce heating costs by as much as 10 percent. Of course, there’s no substitute for an efficient, robust heating system. If you believe your heating system isn’t working properly or is overdue for an upgrade, contact the experts at Aire Serv today at 845-256-6158.
EASY HOLIDAY PARTY CHEESE FONDUE
HAVE A LAUGH!
Scrambling to find something for the holiday potluck? This fondue is sure to impress!
• 1 clove garlic • Salt to taste • Foods to dip (apple slices, bread cubes, roasted vegetables, etc.)
• ¾ cup dry white wine • 1 tablespoon cornstarch • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced Swiss cheese
DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl, whisk together wine and cornstarch. 2. Chop cheese slices into small, uniform pieces.
3. Rub clove of garlic all over the sides and bottom of a heavy-bottomed pot, then discard clove. 4. Heat wine mixture over medium-low heat in the pot until thick and bubbling. Add some cheese and slowly whisk. When nearly smooth, add more cheese and whisk gently. Repeat until all cheese is melted. If mixture seems too thick, add 1 tablespoon wine. 5. Season with salt and serve immediately. Keep pot on low heat to keep the fondue dippable.
Recipe inspired by PinchofYum.com
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392 Masten Rd Pleasant Valley, NY 12569
The Best Time of the Year INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 2 Give a DIY Housewarming Gift Basket! 845-256-6158 | aireserv.com/mid-hudson-valley
3 Tips for Lower Heating Bills
Easy Holiday Party Cheese Fondue
Kick Off the New Year in the Magic Kingdom
IS JANUARY THE BEST MONTH
January isn’t known for much — broken resolutions and freezing weather, mostly. But if you’re looking to escape the cold or take your family on a post-holiday adventure, next month might be the best time to travel to the Happiest Place on Earth.
rainfall as peak months like December (winter break) and March (spring break).
Check weather reports since the rainfall varies greatly depending on the temperature of the ocean that month. But bear in mind, Disneyland is the No. 2 theme park on the planet, raking in 18 million visitors a year. It wouldn’t attract such huge crowds if the weather wasn’t theme park- worthy 99 percent of the time.
THE BEST CROWDS
According to Disneyland’s own figures, the first full week of January through the middle of February is the slowest time of year at the park. Visitors report never spending more than 15 minutes waiting for a ride. The Fourth of July, however, finds visitors waiting over two hours for Star Tours and Splash Mountain. In Winter, Disneyland closes a little earlier. But if you have young kids, this won’t affect your plans much. They often close rides for maintenance during this time, but never more than one or two at a time. With all the open options, you won’t feel robbed.
So, what’s the best month to visit Disneyland? It’s a trick question. The real answer is whatever month you go . Disneyland is magic! But if there’s a month that’s better than the rest, we’ll say it’s January.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER
Does January sound cold and rainy? Don’t worry. The average temperature is still a balmy 66 degrees, and January gets just as much
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