JOSEPH F. EMMERTH A LOOK AT FAMILY LAW SULLIVAN, TAYLOR, GUMINA & PALMER, P.C.
2018 is ending, but first, you have to push through the holidays. Preparing for the holidays and the new year is instrumental to ensure that everyone has an amazing Christmas break and a fantastic start to 2019, so it’s crucial to speak with your co-parent about the holidays. I’ve encouraged divorced parents to check their parenting agreements before the holidays to make sure that they’re up-to-date or to make alterations for a particular time of year. December is no different. Whenever there is a change that might affect you, your previous spouse, or your child, it’s imperative that you make sure you’re not going against your agreement. By taking this extra step and ensuring that you aren’t violating your agreement, you can help prevent schedule conflicts. With the holidays coming up, anxiety levels can rise quickly over who has the kids during Christmas break and on Christmas Day. If you haven’t already, sit down with your ex-spouse and come up with a schedule you can agree on. If your ex-spouse had the kids last Christmas, it could be your turn to have them this year, or vice versa. With the year coming to a close, now is the best time to begin planning for next year. Talk to your ex-spouse and prepare for spring break, summer, the start of school, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays, events, or vacations that you are planning. Getting that schedule on lockdown now can prevent future confrontations and allow your children to have an easy year, with plenty of time with both parents. CHOOSING WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
can be beneficial to make a change to your surroundings to minimize reminders of painful memories. Change the dishes you’ve used on previous occasions, pick out different holiday decorations, or change the kind of food you prepare for Christmas dinner. Now is the time to create new traditions. Go out to a nice dinner on Christmas Eve, play board games on Christmas Day, go to a movie, or take a day to play in the snow — go sledding or skiing, build snowmen, or have a snowball fight. The holidays can also provide a perfect opportunity to take some time for yourself, especially if the kids are spending time with your co-parent. Recently divorced individuals can experience emotional strain, and it’s important to give yourself time to heal. Self-care is vital to your emotional health before, during, and after a divorce. Even if the holidays are hectic, set some time aside for yourself. I hope that each of you has a wonderful holiday this year, no matter what your situation is. From all of us at Sullivan, Taylor & Gumina, happy holidays! –Joseph Emmerth “I’VE ENCOURAGED DIVORCED PARENTS TO CHECK THEIR PARENTING AGREEMENTS BEFORE, TO ENSURE THAT THEY’RE UP TO DATE OR TO MAKE ALTERATIONS FOR A PARTICULAR TIME OF YEAR. DECEMBER IS NO DIFFERENT. WHENEVER THERE IS A CHANGE THAT MIGHT IMPACT YOU, YOUR PREVIOUS SPOUSE, OR YOUR CHILD, IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT YOU MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT GOING AGAINST YOUR AGREEMENT.”
In the aftermath of a divorce, the holidays may be emotionally taxing due to memories of previous holidays celebrated as a whole family. It
Teach Your Kids About Winter Holidays
DIWALI Though celebrated in late fall, Diwali is a Hindu holiday that’s known as the festival of lights. Its main purpose is to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, and the five-day festival includes the lighting of candles or lamps, feasting, and giving gifts to family and friends. Diwali also celebrates the Hindu new year and is the largest, most widely celebrated festival in India. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but educating your children about holiday practices other than Christmas will give them a broader worldview and inspire them to gain further knowledge about cultures outside their own. Your local library is a great resource for children’s literature on these holidays, and there are also TV programs from PBS that feature episodes on these traditions. Enjoy the winter holiday season, however you decide to celebrate!
According to the Pew Research Center, Christmas is the most celebrated December holiday in the U.S. Yet, like the melting pot it is, the U.S. contains many cultures from across the globe, each with their own traditions. Teach your kids about some of the holiday celebrations from different cultures this season.
KWANZAA Created in 1966 by black studies
HANUKKAH Hanukkah pays homage to a two-year Jewish rebellion against an oppressive Greek-Syrian government that took them captive in an attempt to eliminate Judaism. The tradition of the eight- day celebration and the lighting of the menorah candles comes from the story of a miracle that happened during the rebellion, when a one-day supply of oil burned for eight days in a temple.
professor Maulana Karenga during the Black Nationalist Movement, Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration and reflection period for African Americans. The week offers African Americans the opportunity to connect with African culture and history by celebrating the seven principles of African heritage, which include unity, self-determination, and creativity.
HEALTHY FOOD FAUX PAS
Misleading Ingredients You Should Avoid
LETTUCE LIARS Yes, even salads can be misleading when it comes to dieting. Salad dressing is a yummy way to make a salad more exciting, but it should be doled out in limited quantities. Unfortunately, most prepackaged salads do not limit dressing portions. A pool of ranch dressing over lettuce will limit the benefits you’ll get from the healthy greens. Additionally, nuts, cheeses, and seeds can be healthy and tasty on your salad, but they should also be eaten in moderation. DINNERTIME DECEPTION Your California roll may be hiding more than you think. Sushi is usually rolled in sugar-loaded and carbohydrate-heavy white rice. Aside from the white rice, the more intricate rolls often include toppings and condiments best savored in moderation. If you think you can avoid fried and greasy options by ordering a veggie burger, think again. These meat alternatives often contain another unhealthy dose of rice and are fried or baked in processed oils. While this information may send you into a panic about finding healthy foods, remember to stick to natural, low-additive foods, monitor your portion sizes, and create homemade alternatives to some of your favorites. You don’t have to compromise on taste to get the most nutrition out of your meals. Try cooking your favorite foods from scratch and avoid the consequences of misleading ingredients.
Instagram models and fitness specialists flood social media feeds with nutrition tips and tricks, but amid the blur of muscled selfies and misguided dieting advertisements, it’s hard to determine what is actually healthy. Arm yourself with the following knowledge about tricky food ingredients, and always question diet fads blasted on social media. DEVIOUS DRINKS There’s actually no scientific evidence to suggest “performance- enhancing” drinks will make you a better athlete. If you drink sports drinks regularly, you’re actually filling your body with unnecessary sugars and additives. Furthermore, common fruit juices contain a lot of sugar, and skim or fat-free milk contains additives that eliminate the full feeling whole milk provides you. SNEAKY SNACKS Food marketing labels use the latest diet trends to twist consumers into thinking they’re making smart choices simply because something is labeled “organic” or “low-fat.” Next time you’re shopping for a quick snack, be mindful when grabbing trail mix, yogurt, granola, microwave popcorn, or protein bars. These items are often falsely advertised as healthy options, and while they may contain some nutrients, most people don’t adhere to the listed serving size. When you eat more than recommended, you could be offsetting the nutritional benefits.
4 WINTER ILLNESSES YOU’D RATHER AVOID
KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR BEFORE THEY ATTACK
Achoo! That’s the last noise you want to hear this winter. Cold weather brings a slew of sicknesses, so be vigilant to treat these common illnesses, or better yet, avoid them altogether. THE COMMON COLD Although there is no cure, a cold is easier to treat than other illnesses. If you or a loved one has a runny nose, low-grade fever, headache, cough, nasal congestion, or sore throat, the common cold has most likely taken hold. With the help of rest and perhaps some cold medicine, like cough drops and decongestants, the cold will come and go in about a week. BRONCHIOLITIS Bronchiolitis appears most commonly in children less than a year old and is caused by other viruses. Of the many symptoms — nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, and coughing — wheezing is the one you should be most concerned about. If your child is having difficulty breathing and is dehydrated, they may have caught a more serious strain of the virus. Most children will recover with at-home rest, but some may need to be hospitalized for more severe symptoms. INFLUENZA The flu is known for causing high fever, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and other symptoms similar to a cold. Often, the fever will last for around five days, but it can be shortened with the aid of antiviral
medications. However, these medications are recommended only for children who face serious complications or hospitalization from the flu. If you want to avoid catching this, your best bet is to receive the annual flu vaccine. STREP THROAT A sore throat, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, and high fever are signs of strep. This infection is treated with antibiotics and should be addressed soon after the first symptoms appear to prevent further complications. Children with strep throat should stay away from school and other activities until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Everyone knows that getting sick is no fun and is best avoided at all costs. However, it happens to everyone eventually. Catching a virus or infection in its early stages can help you shake the sickness much faster.
HAVE A LAUGH!
Inspired by Good Housekeeping 30-MINUTE CAULIFLOWER SOUP
This hearty soup is a quick, easy, healthy addition to your holiday table. It can also be made vegetarian by substituting chicken broth with vegetable broth.
• 1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and sliced • 1 leek, chopped • 1 medium onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth • 1/2 cup heavy cream • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter into warm oil. Add onion and leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 10–12 minutes. 2. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, broth, and cream. Simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. DIRECTIONS
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste
3. Using a blender, purée in batches until smooth. 4. Top servings with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of pepper.
JOSEPH F. EMMERTH SULLIVAN, TAYLOR, GUMINA & PALMER, P.C.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Making Holiday Plans PAGE 1
Teach Your Kids About Winter Holidays PAGE 2
Misleading Foods to Avoid PAGE 2
What Do My Symptoms Mean? PAGE 3
30-Minute Cauliflower Soup PAGE 3
The History of the 3 Wise Men PAGE 4
THE HISTORY OF THE MAGI WISE MEN OR SORCERERS?
The story of the three wise men visiting Jesus is a focal point in the Judeo-Christian telling of the birth of the Christ. Their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh demonstrate reverence for the child through symbolism: Gold symbolized kingship; frankincense was commonly burned in temples and represented the spiritual stature that Jesus would hold; and myrrh was used in preparing bodies for burial, foreshadowing his eventual crucifixion. While the Magi’s role in the birth of Jesus is well-known, not much is understood about the men themselves and their connection to the baby in the manger. Historically known as Magi, the three “wise men” are known for their study of the stars. The Magi were some of the earliest astrologers. Until the 17th century, astrology and astronomy weren’t separate fields of study. Astrology included both
the study of how the stars and planets affect human life and the position and motion of the cosmic bodies. In the Persian Empire, Magi were known as astrologer- priests, delineating the fate of men they saw written in the stars. But while they are known for interpreting the significance of planetary movements for human life, many historians suggest there could have been more to their jobs than astrology. “Magi” comes from the Greek word “magos,” which means magic. Early interpretations of magos included alchemy and sorcery along with astronomy. Speculations swirl among many biblical scholars about the true nature of the Magi, as some tellings portray them as illusionists or fortune-tellers.
knowledge, they had stature and wealth that allowed them to bestow gifts upon those they deemed important. The act of giving presents to a child wasn’t a regular practice for the Magi, and thus the event was significant for the time. While only three Magi are portrayed in the familiar nativity story, the real event would have included many servants. As a matter of fact, the Bible never mentions the number of Magi who visited Jesus, leaving interpretations open as to how many Magi traveled to Bethlehem. In the early seventh century, the Magi were pushed to the outer rims of Africa and India due to the rising popularity of Islam. Since someone could only be considered Magi by birth, it is widely accepted that the line of succession eventually ended, and the Magi faded into history.
In a cultural context, the Magi were revered across the Middle East. Along with their
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