In the Defensive Color Code, we refer to a state of relaxed awareness as Condition Yellow. The simple fact is that it is very difficult to remain alert and aware of all that is going on around you in the easiest of times. During the holiday season, it is even more difficult.
I don't need to tell you what it is like to have to work all day, then run to the mall for some shopping, then come home and fix supper, wrap packages, trim the Christmas tree, and do all of the extra stuff that this season brings to us. You get tired. You get worn out. And you are running on automatic pilot. To top it off, the holiday season is traditionally a time of year that sees an increase in all sorts of crimes. In no particular order, here are some tips that just might make your holiday season a bit safer.
When shopping, or just running errands, make sure that a responsible person knows your schedule, where you are going, and when you can be expected back. Don't leave the house without that cell phone and if your plans and schedule changes, as they generally do, let that person know about it.
In addition, it is a good idea to do that shopping with a friend whenever possible. This should be a friend who understands the principles of defensive awareness and one who can help you keep an eye out for trouble. Two, or more, people together also presents a less appealing target to criminals.
If you are trained and licensed to carry a defensive handgun, you should be sure to have it with you at all times. You will often hear people say that they only carry when they think they might have trouble, or that they just keep a gun in the car so that it is handy in case it is needed. These folks are just fooling themselves. If you think that you can actually predict when you will need to use your defensive firearm, you are way smarter than 99 percent of those who have actually been in gunfights. You went to the trouble to get trained and licensed ... so carry it ... all the time!
Even at home we have to be more conscious of what is going on around us. You may live on a quiet residential street and are usually able to keep track of any strange cars that show up. So how does that work for you now that people are driving all over town looking at the holiday lights? You should be especially alert for cars that have made several trips up and down your street. And also keep an eye on anyone who stops and gets out of their vehicle.
Year round, it is important that your exterior doors be locked while you are at home. But you can multiply the importance of that by 100 times during the holiday season. A locked door won't keep the crooks out of your house. But they have to make noise to get in. And it takes an extra bit of time to defeat that locked door. The noise and the racket give you time to take a defensive position, get that firearm out, and alert the police via 9-1-1.
The holidays are a good time to have another one of those family defense conferences, too. Discuss with your family the ways that each of you can help to make the holidays safe and enjoyable.
Whatever your religious faith, I hope that you have an enjoyable holiday season with family and friends. It is up to you to make it is a safe one.