Celebrating the Holiday Season Social Gatherings and Host Responsibilities
Like many families, we get pretty excited for the holidays. From driving around looking at Christmas lights in our neighborhood to the breakfast quiche we enjoy on Christmas morning, our little traditions make the season feel special. On Christmas Eve, we bake and decorate cookies for Santa before heading to church in the evening. We attend a beautiful Christmas Eve mass in downtown Houston, complete with a youth choir. It’s our excuse to get all dressed up for the evening and take family pictures. In the past, we would run around like wild things on Christmas Eve finishing our Christmas shopping and getting ready for church, but last year, we were somehow ahead of schedule and had enough time to go see a movie as a family before mass. Honestly, we were all shocked! It had never happened before, and it was really nice not to be so rushed for a change. I think that it will become a new Christmas tradition! For a lot of people, holiday parties are part of the season. Hosting a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party can be a lot of fun, but when alcohol is involved, it adds potential for accidents to happen. Beyond making sure there’s enough spinach dip, hosts might wonder what they’re responsible for as far as guests’ safety: Can I be held responsible if someone drinks at my home and then drives? If guests give alcohol to underage kids, what’s my liability as the host? It’s wise to be mindful of these things if you find yourself hosting a fun gathering, so let’s see if we can clarify some of those concerns. Generally, a social host at a private residence is not responsible if a guest leaves the party and is involved in a collision. A rare exception would be if a social host charges a fee for alcohol — then they may be held liable as they change from a social host to a provider of alcohol and would be held to the same standard as a restaurant or bar. Also, if you’re a private social host, you may be liable if an unrelated minor aged 18 or under is served alcoholic beverages and causes a collision, even if you weren’t the one giving them alcohol. A restaurant or bar falls under different rules than a private social host, as set out by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Under the Texas Dram Shop Act, an establishment that sells alcohol may be held liable if they over-serve a patron who is then involved in a wreck resulting in injury to others or even himself. As mentioned above, all that is needed to avoid being held liable under this act is to provide your guests alcoholic beverages for no fee.
This holiday season, have fun, but don’t go overboard. If you’re hosting a party, encourage your guests to do the same. Remind people not to put themselves or others at risk when they’ve been drinking. Suggest alternative transportation options like Lyft or Uber. At the party, have plenty of water within reach, and if you notice a friend getting ready to leave after they’ve been drinking, check in with them about their plans to get home. Even if it’s not your legal responsibility to look after them, it is your moral obligation as their friend to do what you can to keep them safe. Both your conscience and your friend will thank you. If you have any questions about liability regarding hosting a party or injuries that occur following a party, don’t hesitate to reach out. Merry Christmas from our family to yours, and have fun by staying safe this season!
-Jennifer and John Kahn
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There’s No Expiration Date on Entrepreneurship THE JOYS OF STARTING A BUSINESS AFTER YOU ‘RETIRE’
As a nation, America is getting older. By 2030, 20% of Americans will be 65 or older. With people living longer than ever before and the baby boomers approaching retirement age en masse, older adults will continue to have a massive impact on the American economy at large. Normally, we think of seniors as people who cash in on the hard work they’ve already accomplished. Many young people even worry social security will be wiped out by the time they reach retirement age. But who’s to say older adults can’t contribute to the economy? If you’ve ever tried to change jobs late in your career or pick up some part-time work after retirement, you know it’s hard to be hired as a senior. Quartz recently called seniors “the economy’s most underused natural resource.” Until more employers understand the value and potential of older workers, entrepreneurship remains the most viable avenue for seniors wanting to work after their primary career has ended. There are a number of reasons why seniors find creating their own business to be rewarding and why they tend to succeed when they do. Unlike younger people, who often become business owners in an attempt to make a fortune, older entrepreneurs can be content with small, sustainable micro-businesses. They also approach their businesses with a wealth of experience that can’t be purchased. As a result, 70% of ventures founded by older entrepreneurs are still open five years later, more than double the rate of the general population.
With so much potential to be found in senior-run businesses, it’s no surprise that organizations are rushing to empower older adults with the tools they need to succeed. Senior Planet, a coworking space for seniors with outposts nationwide, teaches classes on skills like website creation in a space that makes older learners feel welcome and comfortable. On top of being an important economic driver, entrepreneurship can be a wonderful way for seniors to generate meaning and value in their lives. It’s never too late to start the business of your dreams.
Royal Rinks CURLING ATHLETES EVERY FAN SHOULD KNOW Every four years, as some of the world’s best Olympic athletes battle for gold medals, the world falls in love with curling. Curling originated in 16th-century Scotland and is most popular in Canada, where many Scots immigrated. Now, 480 years after the first recorded instance of curling occurred on a frozen pond in Scotland, many devotees have left their mark on the sport’s history. These are just a few of the greats. Harvey Mazinke Curling Team In 1973, Canada held its collective breath as the Harvey Mazinke Curling Team took their final shot in a world championship match against Sweden. The rock ultimately failed to reach the rings, crowning Sweden as world champions and snapping the 10-0 record Harvey Mazinke had built during a week of competition. But regardless of that final score, Harvey Mazinke’s impact on the sport was not diminished. The team was crowned the Canadian Men’s Curling Champions in 1973, and the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame recognizes them as “ambassadors to the game.”
Roy Thiessen Choosing only one devoted coach to highlight is difficult, but it must be Roy Thiessen. Roy coached championship teams —or rinks, as they are called in curling— at both provincial and national levels. His expertise led him to chair the first Saskatchewan Summer Games in 1972, theWorld Junior Men’s Curling Championships in 1979, and theWorld Ladies’Curling Championships in 1983. Budding athletes can learn all of Roy’s secrets and the fundamentals of curling in the numerous books he wrote.
Joyce McKee Curling Team Without Joyce McKee, Sylvia Fedoruk, Donna Belding, and Muriel Coben, the Canadian Ladies Curling Association Championship, now called the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, would have never become the nationally recognized organization it is today. The aforementioned women were part of the Joyce McKee rink and were the first winners of the championship in 1960. Their style, play, and knowledge propelled women’s curling into the leagues of men’s competitions, proving that women could compete at just as high of a level as their male peers. To this day, the Joyce McKee rink’s accuracy is unparalleled. If you can’t wait another two years before curling hits center stage at the Winter Olympics, check out the podcast “Curling Legends” to get your fix of curling greatness.
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TAKE A BREAK
We all know reindeer visit our rooftops every Christmas Eve, but what brings them there? Follow the unique and complicated history of Santa’s reindeer to find out. A visit fromwho on what night? In the 1820s, Clement Clarke Moore penned a holiday poem that became the foundation for a phenomenon still alive today. Commonly known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,”“A Visit From St. Nicholas” is a beloved story shared by every generation. It is in this poem that reindeer were first credited with powering Santa’s sleigh around the globe. Many popular songs, movies, and plays have preserved Moore’s vision of St. Nick, and his reindeer and their names are no exception. (Well, kind of.) Rudolph wouldn’t join the squad until a department store added him as part of their promotions in the 1930s. What’s in a name? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, and Cupid were all brought to life by Moore, but have you ever heard of Dunder and Blixem? Though we now know the duo as Donner and Blitzen, Moore originally named them Dunder and Blixem— the Dutch words for thunder and lightning — but publishing companies wanted names that would rhyme better with the rest of the poem. Still, it was a few decades before Donner and Blitzen made their appearances in the version of the poem we know today. Reindeer burgers, anyone? Moore’s poem paved the way for Santa’s most famous form of transportation, but it was actually Carl Lomen, an Alaskan businessman, who mass-marketed reindeer as Santa’s companions. In the late 1890s, the Sami natives of Northern Europe, who were longtime reindeer herders, made their passage from Norway to the U.S. with a herd of reindeer to invigorate the Alaskan landscape and help their native neighbors. Lomen saw the reindeer as an opportunity and partnered with the Macy’s department store company to create a promotional Christmas parade in which Santa, led by his reindeer, a sleigh, and Sami herders, were prominently featured. Lomen’s goal was to promote his massive reindeer conglomerate for the production and sale of reindeer meat. Instead, a holiday story was born. WHAT ABOUT DUNDER AND BLIXEM? The Strange History of Santa’s Reindeer
CLASSIC ROAST CHICKEN
Inspired by Ina Garten
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
1 chicken, approx. 5–6 lbs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, 20 sprigs removed
1 lemon, halved
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Rinse chicken inside and out, removing giblets if included. Move to a work surface, pat dry, and liberally season with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with thyme bunch, lemon halves, and garlic head. Brush outside with butter, and then season again. Tie chicken legs together with kitchen string. 3. Meanwhile, in a roasting pan, toss onions and carrots in olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and 20 sprigs of thyme. 4. Place the chicken on the vegetables and roast for 1 1/2 hours. 5. Remove from oven, and let stand for 20 minutes covered with foil. 6. Slice and serve with the vegetables.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Celebrate the Holiday Season Safely
The Power of Senior Entrepreneurship Get to Know Some of Curling’s Best Athletes
Classic Roast Chicken How Santa Claus Became Powered by Reindeer
Glamping at Its Finest
YURT SWEET YURT GLAMPING IN BEAUTIFUL LOCATIONS
Spruce Hole Yurt, Colorado
The allure of the great outdoors calls to many, but pitching a tent and cooking over a fire isn’t for everyone. If that describes you, consider the yurt: a small, permanent structure often outfitted with electricity, plumbing, and other modern amenities. Expertly nestled in remote locations, they provide comforts of home in the midst of nature. Here are just a few around the United States available for rent. For those new to the glamping scene, this is a great choice for an easy transition. With picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean, the Treebones Resort in Big Sur has an array of spaciously comfortable yurts to choose from. The resort has heated pools, a cozy lodge, and even a sushi bar. About an hour up the coastline, you can find a few shops, restaurants, and art galleries if you decide you’ve gotten your dose of nature for the day. Treebones Resort, California
Nestled in the San Juan Mountains about 10 miles north of New Mexico, this yurt is a snow- lover’s paradise. Skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking trails are plentiful in this backcountry location. At the end of a chilly day, come home to comfy beds, cooking supplies, and decor made to feel like you’re camping — but with sturdy walls to keep out the cold. For the glampers who truly want to get away, hike just under 1 mile into the woods of the Adirondack Mountains to discover rustic yurts beckoning you to cook over a fire or bundle up with a book. At night, the yurt’s domed skylight offers excellent stargazing. For those keen on winter activities, skiing and snowshoeing trails start right outside the front door. In the summer, enjoy hiking, fishing, and swimming. Falls Brook Yurts, NewYork
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