Miller Law Office December 2018 214.292.4225

December 2018

Family Activities During the Holidays Christmas Trees, Graduation, and Santa for Seniors

M y daughter, Grace, is graduating from college this month and I am so excited for her! The whole family is looking forward to her working hard and being able to graduate a year and a half early! Grace is currently looking into law schools and hopes to have all the details figured out in the next few months. This time next year, she should be getting ready for her first set of law school exams. Christmas is coming up as well, and the whole family is excited to spend some time together. Usually, around this time of year, my parents come down for the holidays, but this year they’re holding off their visit. Since my middle daughter, Elissa, is graduating in May, they are saving their vacation time tomake the trip for her graduation. We’ll be Skyping them, though, so we can at least touch base with themon Christmas. At our house, I would prefer to keep the decorations at a minimum. But my wife, Wendy, likes to go all-out. We will have garland around the stairs, a wreath on the door, and Christmas decorations all over the inside of the house. The kids have always wanted to hang lights on the outside of the house. While I’m not particularly afraid of heights, I’ve never felt the urge to risk life and limb while hanging Christmas lights. We normally settle with wrapping the columns The problem was that they had an eight-foot roof, and my grandmother wouldn’t approve of anything shorter than a 12-foot tree. To make it fit, my grandfather had to cut the trunk down, but she would only let him cut off a little at a time. at the front of our house with lights and decorating the tree together every year.

branch and then yank on it until the whole tree fell over, causing needles, broken ornaments, and a huge brown spot from the water to spill onto the floor. Thankfully, things are not so dramatic around here, but we’ll see how Oliver’s first Christmas goes. Wendy and I have decided that we’ll probably put our tree up in the front room so he can’t get at it. We don’t want any Petey Bunny-type antics! Around the office, things have become quite busy. We recently hired a new paralegal, Sandra, and we’re thrilled to have her on the team. She has experience working with estate planning and elder law attorneys, and we’re excited to have such an experienced person help us help more people in our community. Our firm will also participate in a new project called “Santa for Seniors” this year. We are looking to brighten the holidays for a senior who doesn’t really have a family because their spouse and friends have passed or aren’t visited often. Stay tuned for more details, because we will probably be asking you to help out! Whether you enjoy putting up trees, decorating, enjoying time with your family, or all three, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

When my mom was growing up in Alaska, she had a real Christmas tree in her home every year. It was always an adventure getting the tree. Once while searching through the woods, my mom and my granddad thought they found the perfect tree. They had a bit of a head start on Granny, so they waited for her approval before they cut down the tree. When she finally caught up to them, she looked around, then looked at them and asked “What are we stopping here for?” Granddad and mom looked at each other and one said to the other, “I guess she doesn’t like it.” And off they went again looking for Granny’s perfect tree. Granny always insisted they cut down the biggest tree she could find on their land. The problem was that they had an eight-foot roof, and my Granny wouldn’t approve of anything shorter than a 12-foot tree. To make it fit, my Granddad had to cut the trunk down, but she would only let him cut off a little at a time. He’d shave off a few inches from the bottom, try to make it fit, then take it back outside and shave off a bit more, grumbling the whole time until it could barely squeeze into the house. Once they got it inside and decorated, they had to watch out for my mom’s rabbit, Petey Bunny. Petey really loved eating Christmas trees. He’d slink up to the tree. Someone would usually be watching and would yell “Don’t you eat that tree, Petey Bunny!”Then he’d look at them, look back at the tree, and start nuzzling the lower branches. And just as soon as they took their eyes off him, he’d chew on a low-hanging

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example, Sears sold a Kenmore washing machine at a “sale price” of $999.99, compared to a “regular price” of $1,179.99. The problem was the so-called sale price was actually the price that product was offered at every day. Therefore, it wasn’t actually on sale. Duping your customers is a bad business practice, but what makes it illegal? Well, California law requires that retailers post a retail price no higher than what the product was sold at within three months prior to the ad. “Families today … are striving to get the very most they can get from an extremely hard-earned holiday shopping dollar,” said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. “They deserve to make an informed decision.” After the suit was brought against them, the retailers all quickly moved to settle, promising to never engage in false reference pricing again. Most retailers offer discounts around the holidays to encourage shoppers to come into their stores or visit their www.HarrisonLawGroup. coms. Promotions and sales are great tools in any business’s arsenal, provided they aren’t out to mislead customers. Big-box stores may try to manipulate innocent people, and it’s up to aggrieved customers to hold those corporations accountable. Nearly every year, you’ll read about a class-action lawsuit that develops in response to the shady tactics of businesses eager to secure those holiday shopping dollars. Are there great bargains to be had on Black Friday? Of course. But if something sounds too good to be true, it very well might be. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t let retailers trick you into a purchase you wouldn’t make otherwise. In the last decade, researchers have determined that from a romantic and reproductive standpoint, both men and women are attracted to partners with bigger pupils. Studies demonstrate that when women are at their peak fertility, they might subconsciously be more attracted to a person with sizable pupils because it could indicate a partner’s attraction to them. Likewise, researchers have reported that men seek out women with dilated pupils due to the association of larger pupils with youth and longevity. The connection between the eyes and enthrallment has inspired some of Shakespeare’s most iconic sonnets, and the science behind our eyes validates some of the Bard’s romantic claims. But does this connection between larger pupils and attraction corroborate the idea of love at first sight? If you believe that attraction equates to true love, then absolutely. But if your definition of love requires a little more depth, then you may have to toss aside the idea of love at first sight and instead view your partner’s eyes as mere“windows”to their soul.

The idea of love at first sight is wonderfully romantic. Two strangers see each other across a crowded room. There’s an instant, magnetic attraction, and suddenly they’ve found their match for all of eternity. In a world in which dating often requires a lot of work —work that comes with disappointment, rejection, and uncertainty — falling in love at first sight has strong appeal. But can it actually happen? Can your eyes tell you anything about love? The connection between the eyes and love has been described in poetry and prose since time immemorial — it’s the stuff of heroic epics and fanciful fairy tales. And evidence has increasingly shown that the human brain is hard-wired to both display and notice visual cues when gazing at a potential love interest. Enlarged pupils are one such cue. When you survey a person or object you are interested in, your brain releases a surge of dopamine — a chemical that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers —which causes your pupils to dilate. In this sense, beauty really is “in the eye of the beholder.”

Fake Discounts and Angry Shoppers A MASSIVE BLACK FRIDAY LAWSUIT

Shoppers flock to retailers every Black Friday in hopes of securing the best deals on the year’s hottest products. There are many nasty aspects of Black Friday — the long lines, the overzealous shoppers, the limited stock of items — but phony pricing and fake sales shouldn’t be among them. But that’s exactly what happened to folks in Los Angeles during the 2016 holiday season, leading to the biggest Black Friday lawsuit in history. In December of 2016, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sued J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for a practice called “false reference pricing,” a nefarious tactic whereby retailers lie about the original price of an item to make a discount appear bigger than it actually is. For

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How to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Less Sugar SURVIVING THE SEASON OF SWEETS Cookies, cakes, and pies, oh my! The holiday season is brimming with sweet treats of all kinds. Sometimes it can feel like candy and sugary desserts are around every corner, and yet you still want to indulge. However, when you consider that over 50 percent of Americans are insulin-resistant, prediabetic, or diabetic, that piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream starts to look more dangerous than appetizing. During the holidays, how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about consuming excessive sugar and calories? Skip the candy and go for the fruits and nuts. Keeping a bowl of fruit and nuts nearby can help keep sugar cravings at bay. Dried fruits, such as cranberries, pineapple, or apricots, are both sweet and nutritious. Just be sure to check the packaging for added sugars. You can even make your own dried fruit with a food dehydrator. This way, you are completely in control of the ingredients. No matter what you do, just be mindful not to overindulge. Dried fruit is high in sugar and calories, but the fiber and vitamins make fruit much healthier than just about any other sugary treat. Another way to cut down on your sugar intake is to use dark chocolate in all your chocolate-based treats. Dark chocolate has about half as much sugar as milk chocolate, twice as much healthy fat, less cholesterol, 4–5 times more iron, twice as much potassium, fewer carbs, and more flavonoids and theobromine. The antioxidant properties of the theobromine and flavonoids make dark chocolate as good for your heart as it is for your soul. If you have a recipe that calls for chocolate, reach for the dark stuff, whether it’s dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or baking chocolate. While it may seem as though everyone and their grandma is overindulging in sugar this season, know that you have the choice to opt for healthier sweets. And come NewYear’s, you won’t have to spend the first fewmonths of 2019 working off that extra cookie weight.


Looking for an easy holiday roast that still feels elegant enough for the occasion? Look no further than this delicious prime rib flavored with garlic, thyme, and red wine.


1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds)

8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 cups red wine

4 cups beef stock


1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare. 5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus. Inspired by Food Network | 3

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214.292.4225 2301 Ohio Drive, Suite 200 Plano, Texas 75074 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

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From the Desk of Aaron Miller

What Your Eyes Can Tell You About Love The Biggest Black Friday Lawsuit in History Holiday Roast Prime Rib Surviving the Season of Sweets


Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas

Ugly Sweater Parties A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow!

ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest.

store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater-themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an

This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!

It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here a few things to keep in mind. YOUR VERY OWN UGLY SWEATER Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift

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