Legally Brief With Kevin Patrick Automobile accidents | Daycare injuries | wrongful death
A Closer Look at Dickens
‘A Christmas Carol’ Tops My December Reading List
As a history major and fan of Victorian literature, it surprised me when I realized this month that I’d never read the original version of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Picking it up as my diversion for December — which just happens to be “Read a New Book Month” — just felt right. Like most people, before I cracked open the Dickens text, I was already familiar with the story of “A Christmas Carol.” Since its publication is 1843, it has been adapted dozens, if not hundreds, of times for children’s books, the stage, and the big screen. To sum it up in a few words, the story follows a miserable, Christmas-hating miser named Scrooge, who treats his employees and their families unfairly over the holidays. Because of his miserly ways, he is visited by three ghosts: Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future. The ghosts take him on a journey through his life, and he returns humbled and full of generous Christmas spirit. In law, sometimes to really understand a case, you need to go back to the source material, the original ruling that set precedent, and start your research there. By reading the original version of “A Christmas Carol,” I’m trying to do the same thing. I felt like I owed it to myself to go back and read the words of Dickens. According to Time magazine, Dickens was inspired by a dismal child labor report that revealed the awful conditions British workers suffered under, particularly the youngest and most vulnerable among them, who were considered little more than cogs in the giant factories of the time. Fueled by outrage, Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in 1843 to convince employers they needed to value their employees. Right from the beginning, the book, which Dickens churned out in just two months, was a smash hit. Time magazine reports, “Victorians called it ‘a new gospel,’ and reading or watching it became a sacred ritual for many, without which the Christmas season cannot materialize.”
Many people feel the same way about “A Christmas Carol” today and have made a tradition out of watching the 1984 film starring George C. Scott or the animated Disney version. Personally, I’ve always liked the phases of past, present, and future represented in the story. They help me look back at past Christmases when I was growing up, treasure the memories I’m making today, and look forward to what the future holds. I’m savoring every page of the book, partly because I think setting aside time to slow down and read is a great way to get back to the traditions of Christmas and avoid the commercialism that has taken over the holiday, and partly because I rarely have time to dive into a story these days. I love early Roman and American history texts, but, with two little kids at home, it’s more realistic to find me settling in with them and a copy of “Stuart Little” or the latest Berenstain Bears book. If you call into the office this month looking for help with a legal issue, I’d love to hear what’s on your book list. From all of us here at Kevin Patrick Law, happy holidays and happy reading!
This publication is for informational purposes only, and no legal advice is intended.
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What Do Other Countries Eat to Celebrate the Season? HOLIDAY CUISINE AROUND THE GLOBE
Have You Visited Atlanta’s Pink Pig? Happy ‘Pink-tacular’ Holidays
Celebrations of Christmas, Hanukkah, and
Kwanzaa vary from country to country, but there is one thing that unites holiday parties around the world: food. While some American traditions overlap
with those of other countries — Peru, for example, shares our love of hot chocolate; England and Canada raise glasses of eggnog; and Italy digs into a version of latke fruitcake called panettone — there are plenty of dishes beloved all over the world that never make it to the American table. Below, we’ve rounded up a few you might consider exploring this season. COSTA RICA: TAMALES Christmas in Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without tamales, a savory treat made by stuffing corn dough, meat, garlic, onions, potatoes, and raisins into corn husks or banana leaves. The process of filling and steaming the tamales can take days, and every family makes their own signature filling. ETHIOPIA: YEBEG WOT Ethiopians start preparing their Christmas meals as early as October when they buy the still-live lambs that will eventually go into their savory, spicy lamb stew on the holiday. As with many of the country’s dishes, yebeg wot is scooped up and eaten with injera (teff flatbread). ISRAEL: LATKES Latkes have been synonymous with Hanukkah for more than 900 years, and no Israeli Christmas would be complete without the little potato pancakes cooked symbolically in oil. Despite their long history, though, latkes now vie with sufganiyot — a kind of jelly-filled donut — for a place on the holiday table. JAPAN: FRIED CHICKEN Thanks to a clever 1970s marketing campaign, the dish of choice for Christmas in Japan is fried chicken — specifically, KFC. Unlike in America, holiday orders in the country come with chocolate cake, roasted chicken with stuffing, and even bottles of Christmas wine emblazoned with Colonel Sanders’ face. SWEDEN: SAFFRON BUNS According to Delish, Swedish tradition “dictates that the eldest daughter dress in a white gown tied with a red sash and a crown of lit candles, then wake her parents with hot coffee and a tray of saffron buns.” Swedes also feast on a casserole called Jansson’s Temptation made with potatoes, onions, anchovies, and cream.
If you’ve never ridden in the Macy’s Pink Pig train, you’re missing out on one of Atlanta’s most beloved traditions. Since the 1950s, the pig-shaped caboose has delighted kids with rides at spots around the city, and now it appears every holiday season on the upper-level parking deck of the Lenox Square Mall near Macy’s. The train runs under the Pink Pig Tent, winding through a life-sized storybook wonderland all lit up in its signature color and this winter will delight passengers through Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. So, how did this wacky tradition get started? Well, the original Pink Pig, a cheerful oinker named Priscilla, ran on a monorail around the ceiling of Rich’s department store in downtown Atlanta in the ‘50s. According to Macy’s, kids loved getting the chance to soar over the toy department so much that before long, another pig, Percival, joined the fun. In later years, the pigs were moved to the store’s roof for scenic rides overlooking the city. When Rich’s closed in 1991, the train took up residence at Egleston Children’s Hospital’s Festival of Trees, only to be discontinued in 1995 due to cost concerns. As Atlanta magazine put it, “The pigs were put out to pasture at the Atlanta History Center — only to be reborn in 2003 under a pink- and-white tent at Lenox Square Mall.” The “pink-tacular” train has been a smash hit since Macy’s brought it back to life, pulling in roughly 80,000 passengers every year. Rides cost $3 per person, and multiride tickets can be bought at a discount. Even better, some of the proceeds benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a local pediatric hospital. If you stop by the Pink Pig Tent this holiday season, you just might see Kevin Patrick — his kids love to ride the train! Be sure to wish him happy holidays, and, if you have any legal questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask. Even off-duty, we’re always happy to help a client!
You can always reach Kevin directly at 404-566-8964 or Kevin@PatrickTrialLaw.com. (If you ever need it, his cell phone is 404-409-3160, too.)
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A Very Litigious Christmas 3 Lawyer-Filled Holiday Movies to Watch
‘THE CASE FOR CHRISTMAS’ In this 2011 drama, Santa is facing a lawsuit from a rich, bitter businessman who’s still angry he didn’t get the presents he wanted as a child. A young lawyer named Michael Sherman, who also happens to be a single dad, comes to his defense. While Michael works to save the holiday, he also finds the courage to look for love again. This heartwarming Hallmark flick is perfect for the whole family! ‘THE MISTLETOE PROMISE’ Based on a book by Richard Paul Evans, this rom-com spins the tale of two Scrooges who make a pact to be each other’s dates to holiday events in order to get what they both want. In the case of Elise, a travel agent, that means revenge on her ex-husband, and for Nick, a divorce lawyer, it means a chance at partner in his firm. It’s not long before the holidays work their magic and the pair start to fall in love with Christmas — and maybe each other. If you encounter a legal dilemma this holiday season, our team of experienced attorneys would be happy to help (as long as Santa isn’t involved). Call us today at 404-566-5880.
Going to court may not sound very Christmassy, but as it happens, more than a few feel-good holiday movies are out there starring lawyers and their cases. In some, the lawyers are the Scrooges, but in others, they save the day — which is what we always aim to do in our personal injury litigations here at Kevin Patrick Law. This holiday season, curl up with one of these flicks to get another perspective on our line of work.
‘MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET’ This Christmas classic has been remade a half-dozen times since it first hit the big screen in 1947, but the plot has stayed the same through the years. In the black- and-white film, Kris Kringle is roped into playing Santa Claus in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and is such a hit that he’s hired to continue the role at the Macy’s flagship store. Soon, Kris claims he actually is Santa and ends up hiring a lawyer to defend his assertion (and his mental health) in court. The outcome just might change Christmas forever.
Ingredients • 1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing • 3/4 cup unsulphured molasses • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar • 2 large eggs • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped Directions 1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. Grease a loaf pan with canola oil.
• 2 cups all-purpose flour • 2 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp baking soda • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/2 tsp ground cloves • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup canola oil, molasses, brown sugar, eggs, ginger, and cranberries. In a separate bowl, sift and combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until blended. 4. Scrape batter into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. 5. Transfer to a rack, let cool for 20 minutes, slice, and serve.
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Inside This Issue 1 A Closer Look at Dickens 2 Holiday Foods Around the World The History of Atlanta’s Pink Pig 3 3 Lawyer-Filled Holiday Movies to Watch
Light Up the Night Why Do We Hang Christmas Lights? 4 The History Behind Christmas Lights
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The first string of twinkling lights illuminating your neighbor’s house is always a telltale sign of the upcoming seasonal festivities. Christmas lights are a holiday staple, but have you ever wondered where this beloved tradition started? The tradition of hanging lights on the tree originally started with candles. Because this posed an immense fire hazard, Edward Hibberd Johnson, a close friend of Thomas Edison and vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, vowed to find a better way to decorate Christmas trees with light. In December 1882, three years after Edison’s invention of the light bulb in November 1879, Johnson hand-wired 80 red, white, and blue light bulbs together and wound them around a Christmas tree in his parlor window. A passing reporter saw the spectacle and declared in the Detroit Post and Tribune, “One can hardly imagine anything prettier.” Johnson continued this tradition, increasing the number of lights each year and eventually putting them up outside. But because electricity was still a new concept, many years passed before
the fad took off for regular Americans. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree, which spurred the idea of selling stringed lights commercially. By the 1930s, families everywhere were buying boxes of bulbs by the dozen. Today, an estimated 150 million Christmas lights are sold in America each year, decorating 80 million homes and consuming 6% of the nation’s electricity every December. Whether you’ll be putting up your own lights or appreciating the most impressive light displays in your neighborhood or town, let the glow fill you with joy this season. Just don’t leave them up until February!
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