How to Give a Smile uring my childhood, we had a pretty set Christmas traditions. On Christmas Eve, we would go visit my mom’s family. There, we
Eve, since we were usually tired from the family get- together, so we always managed to wake up much earlier than they would’ve liked. As an adult, I revel in the joy of sleeping in on Christmas. As a kid, sleep was the last thing on my mind. Though it was decades ago, there is still one Christmas gift that sticks out in my mind. It was a combined present, given by my parents to my two brothers and me — a Nintendo, designed for us to share. I can’t remember our exact reaction, but I’m sure the energy levels were through the roof. In the ensuing days, it probably led to some arguments over passing the controller. Thankfully, one of my younger brothers was only two at the time, so I only had to share it with one brother. I haven’t played a game console in over 15 years, but I would be willing to bet that if I booted up “Super Mario Bros.” today, I would have no problem finding the warp zones. Man, we spent so much time playing that Nintendo, a gift I’ll never forget. This story serves to illustrate just how much effort my parents put into making sure we had a special Christmas. They always wanted us to end the day with huge smiles on our faces. It makes me think about the incredible work parents everywhere do to put the best possible gifts under the tree, only to cede the credit to Santa Claus. If you’re shopping for kids this December, know that one day, they’ll fully appreciate you braving the crowds at the mall, year after year. I’m guessing, as excited as we were to plug in that Nintendo, my parents were just as happy to give us a magical holiday. This joy of giving is what the holiday season is about. Whether you are buying presents for loved ones, donating to a worthy cause, or simply helping out someone in need, I want to remind you that a little gift can make a big difference. To everyone reading this, happy holidays and a merry Christmas! This year I hope you can make someone as happy as I was when we opened that Nintendo. –John Holland 864.582.0416
ate a big meal, spent the day with our relatives, and had a few laughs in anticipation of the big day. The day after Christmas, it was time for a trip up to Charleston to visit my dad’s relatives. My paternal grandmother’s birthday was Dec. 26, so it was the perfect day to go visit and round out the holiday. I truly cherished this routine because it allowed me to see all of our relatives during the holiday season, when family is on everyone’s mind. Looking back on it now, I realize just how fortunate we were.
Of course, we were as excited for Christmas itself as we were for the days surrounding it. I was the type of kid who had trouble waking up 364 days of the year — every morning except Christmas. I don’t think my parents needed to sneak any Nyquil into our cocoa on Christmas
3 CREATIVE GIFT WRAP ALTERNATIVES
There’s something magical about seeing a stack of presents wrapped in bright, multicolored paper. However, that enchanting scene quickly evaporates a few hours later when all those wads of wrapping paper and plastic bows are chucked unceremoniously into the garbage. What if we told you there are countless ways you can still enjoy wrapping and unwrapping presents, without all the waste? Here are a few creative gift wrap alternatives to consider this holiday season.
map, why not use that for wrapping? The unusual designs guarantee your gifts will be one of a kind. And don’t worry if there are notes scrawled across the paper. Old events or directions will add some unique flair to the presents.
Fabric is an excellent substitute for wrapping paper. You can use a scarf to create two gifts in one or pull out scraps of fabric from old projects. The traditional Japanese practice of furoshiki is all about wrapping goods in fabric. Described as “functional fabric origami,” you’d be amazed at how a few well- placed folds can turn your gift into a work of art. Learn how to wrap anything, from boxes to bottles, at ceas.ku.edu/furoshiki-instructional-videos. You don’t have to follow the same gift wrap habits year after year. After the effort you put into finding just the right present, you should be able to make your gift wrap just as special. Find a method that’s uniquely you and get started!
BROWN PAPER BAGS
With the holiday season comes holiday shopping, and if you opt out of plastic grocery bags, you’re sure to have a surplus of brown paper bags in the pantry. Drop a present into the bag, tape it shut, and you’re good to go. Add some simple lace or a ribbon for an old-timey feel or get creative with stamps and hand-drawn artwork. This wrap job lets your imagination run wild.
OLD MAPS AND CALENDARS
These days, pretty much every phone has a built-in GPS, so you probably won’t need the map from your 1999 road trip anytime soon. If you still have an old
Client Testimonial SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT US “I would like to thank you for settling my case so quickly. What you did will help me tremendously with getting things back the way they were before the wreck happened. I was rear-ended by a lady doing 50 in a 25-mph zone. She was in a small four-door car, and I was on my Harley. I suffered several injuries and totaled my bike. I had to work with my insurance company to get the full value of my bike paid for, because her company was dragging its feet. After around two years, her insurance company finally made a settlement offer. It was only a fraction of the cost of replacing the bike and the medical bills, not counting the money I lost being off work for six months. We battled back and forth with the insurance company for a while, and they said that the offer they sent to us was all that they could give, hoping we would take the settlement and let it go. We decided it was time to get a lawyer involved.
“We called and set up an appointment with your office, and you and your staff were great at letting us know what we needed to do to proceed with the case. Once we got everything together, and you sent out the demand letter, the insurance company buckled and gave us the full amount of the policy that was on the lady’s car that hit me. Once again, thank you for what you did to help us get this settled in a timely manner. We only wish we would have contacted you sooner. Warm regards.”
–Jeffrey Mullinax (Duncan motorcycle crash client)
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents DANGEROUS DRIVERS, SERIOUS INJURIES
SPEEDING Speed kills because it decreases available time to respond to a motorcyclist’s legal movements. A speeding car or truck is at fault in an enormous percentage of motorcycle-crash fatalities and life- altering injuries. FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY Following at an unsafe distance is often paired with speeding. The rules of the road entitle motorcyclists to expect that other drivers will maintain a safe distance and anticipate turns or sudden stops. Car drivers don’t always respect this rule.
Motorcycles offer the freedom of feeling the wind on your back and the open road beneath your feet. Unfortunately, motorcycles also pose serious risks in the event of an accident. Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable riders on the road, especially when they come in contact with car and truck drivers. At Holland & Usry, we reject the notion that any wreck is automatically the fault of the motorcyclist. In our many years of experience, we’ve found that motorcycle accidents stem from the same causes as any other accident. The difference is that the consequences can be much more severe for the motorcyclist. Here are some common causes we see. FAILURE TO YIELD RIGHT-OF-WAY Your bike is rolling through a green light and a driver from the opposite direction whips left, trying to beat you through the intersection. Or you’re cruising at the speed limit down the interstate, in the slow lane, when a car comes flying up the entry ramp, clipping you and flinging you from your bike to the highway pavement. In these cases, we reject the idea that responsible car drivers can’t see you when you’re obeying the rules of the road. “I didn’t see you” is no excuse. If a driver can’t see a motorcyclist, it’s because they’re not looking.
DISTRACTED DRIVING Car drivers are probably more likely to get distracted, since a car offers a much greater sense of security than a motorcycle. Car drivers preoccupied with gadgets, fiddling with the radio, looking at GPS, or overly involved in a conversation with a passenger can cause grave motorcycle crashes.
Psalm 11:22, NIV
HOLIDAY STAR COOKIES
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
2 ½ cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
5 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Peter 5:7, NIV
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.
1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. 2. In a small bowl, mix coconut oil, agave, and vanilla. 3. Mix wet ingredients into dry. 4. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until ¼ inch thick. 5. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 6. Remove top piece of parchment paper and dust dough with almond flour. 7. Cut out cookies with a small star cutter. 8. Using a metal spatula, place stars on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 9. Bake at 350 F until edges are lightly browned, 5–8 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of TwoPeasAndTheirPod.com.
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* This newsletter is intended to educate the public about personal injury, workers’ compensation, criminal defense, and family law issues. You can copy and distribute it as long as you copy the entire newsletter. But the newsletter is not intended to be legal advice; you should ask a lawyer about your specific case. Every case is different, and all case outcomes depend on unique facts and laws.
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INSIDE this issue
Give Joy This Christmas
Stop Wasting Gift Wrap! Testimonial
How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents Holiday Star Cookies
Give Up the Search for Happiness
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GIVE UP THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS … AND LOOK FOR MEANING INSTEAD
How many books have you seen with the word “happiness” in the title? A lot, right? It’s such a popular topic because the pursuit, journey, and, ultimately, achievement of happiness is supposed to be the key to a fulfilling life. Happiness is the ultimate human condition; reaching it is our purpose and will bring us contentment. But before you pick up that guide to happiness, there’s some new data you need to pay attention to. Turns out, we’ve been focusing on the wrong goal. More and more research is supporting the benefit of pursuing a meaningful life over a happy one. Viktor Frankl could be called a leading expert on the topic. Frankl lived through the Holocaust in a concentration camp and saw some sort of meaning in their lives, even under the bleakest circumstances. For Frankl, this meant providing therapy to others in the camp. As Frankl puts it, once a person finds meaning, they know the “why” of their existence, and they will be able to bear almost any “how.” In the years since “Man’s Search for Meaning” was written, it seems we’ve forgotten a lot of its advice. Centers for Disease Control found that 4 out of every 10 Americans do not have a satisfying life purpose, and yet, 60 percent of Americans say they are happy. What gives?
It comes down to the pursuit of happiness versus pursuing meaning in life. It’s the difference between “I’m going to buy this dress because it will make me happy” and “I’m going to volunteer at a shelter because it will be meaningful.” Happiness involves satisfying an immediate need, whereas finding meaning focuses on making choices that give us a sense of purpose. Even more telling, the Journal of Positive Psychology found that meaningful acts usually involve giving, but reaching happiness often means taking. Because of this, leading a meaningful life, while often more challenging, is also more satisfying. Is it possible that the pursuit of a meaningful life will lead us to happiness? Absolutely. Just don’t expect it to be an everlasting condition. Think of happiness the way psychologist Frank T. McAndrew does: “Recognizing that happiness exists — and that it’s a delightful visitor that never overstays its welcome — may help us appreciate it more when it arrives.”
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