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Seasonal Surprises How We Prepare for the Holidays
My family used to get a real Christmas tree every year. From the time I was a little kid, we would all go out, find the best tree in the wild, and chop it down ourselves. There’s something about the smell of a live tree that really makes it feel like the holidays. Unfortunately, we brought home our tree one year and had it all decorated before we discovered there was a huge hornet’s nest hidden in the thick branches. The winter cold had put them to sleep, but as soon as the nest warmed up inside our house, the hornets woke up. Needless to say, they weren’t too pleased about being relocated. That year, my mom declared there would be no more live trees, and no one argued with her. Not all our Christmases involved angry hornets. My favorite Christmas memory was actually more dangerous — at least that’s what my mom would say. That year, I came down the stairs on Christmas morning to find a motorcycle helmet waiting for me. In the garage, there was a three-wheeler. I don’t remember how old I was, but I know I was too young to be riding a three-wheeler. Dad had gotten it for me without telling my mom about it. I loved that three-wheeler. It was one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten. I grew up about an hour outside of Baltimore, Maryland, in the farms and woodland areas right near Liberty Reservoir. From the time I was 8 years old, I’d take my three-wheeler out to meet my friends in the woods. We spent all
day doing who knows what. Despite my mom’s fears, I never broke a bone, and I always came home when the street light came on. Fortunately, my daughter is more interested in clothes and video games today, because there’s no way I would ever let her go riding off into the woods alone! many people who struggle this time of year. At the firm, we start preparing for the holidays in early October. For a personal injury practice, the holiday season tends to be extremely busy and stressful because this time of year can be rough on our clients. A lot of them are physically hurting, so they can’t enjoy their favorite traditions. Many others are strapped financially because their injuries have kept them out of work, and they aren’t able to afford the big holiday celebrations with their families. was one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten.” While I am blessed to be looking forward to the holiday season, I know there are “I loved that three-wheeler. It
hard for so long, our clients deserve to have closure and to be free to enjoy their holidays and start the new year fresh. We aren’t able to settle every case this time of year, but when we do, nothing warms my heart more than seeing the joy on a client’s face when they finally get that check. Knowing we’ve helped a client have a better holiday is a truly special Christmas gift for us. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all our clients. Thank you for the trust you have put in us by allowing our team to help you. From everyone at Brauns Law, we wish you a happy and safe New Year’s. -David Brauns
Our goal is to settle as many cases as we can before December. After fighting
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Multicultural Celebrations Teach Your Kids About Winter Holidays
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. Created in 1966 by black studies 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 Kwanzaa
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.
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
practices other than Christmas will give them a broader worldview and inspire them to gain further knowledge about cultures outside their own. Your local
history by celebrating the seven principles of African heritage, which include unity, self-determination, and creativity.
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
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!
Hanukkah pays homage to a two-year Jewish rebellion against an oppressive Greek-Syrian government that took
DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT
“Very helpful. Did a great job of getting me the maximum amount for my accident. Did an excellent job.” –Jasper S. “Professional service. Awarded max amount. Not seeking exorbitant payback. Good advice on paying/ negotiating hospital and medical bills. Have and will recommend Brauns to friends. Thanks for critique of insurance providers — very helpful.” –Joseph G.
“I was involved in a not-at-fault head-on collision in October 2016 and nearly lost my life. My entire life flipped upside down, and out of all the difficult situations I was facing — rehabilitation, job loss, the legalities, and insurance communications — none was the least bit stressful thanks to my hiring Mr. David Brauns to represent me. From the first call to the last handshake, he was a blessing from above. Very professional — he understood that I had a lot of healing to do ...” –Anonymous
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OH, CHRISTMAS TREE While they aren’t nearly as common as other house fires, the American Christmas Tree Association reports that Christmas tree fires cause $13 million in property damage annually. Even more troubling, Christmas tree fires are over four times more deadly than fires started by other sources. Here are some tips for dealing with this seasonal fire hazard. your Christmas tree lights when leaving the house or going to bed at night. Fire-Safety Tips for the Holidays
Know When to Say Goodbye Real trees should only be kept for four weeks at the maximum. Get rid of your tree as soon as possible — by New Year’s Eve at the latest. Keep watering your tree until you get rid of it, and when you do, don’t let your tree lean against your home or on a pile of trash. Learn how to safely recycle your tree locally by visiting pickyourownchristmastree. org/disposing.php.
Find a Fresh Tree Go to a tree farm and cut down a tree yourself for maximum freshness. If that’s not an option, choose a precut tree that is still vibrantly green. Check that the needles don’t come off easily by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If a bunch of needles come tumbling off, it’s a sign that the tree is unsafe. Keep Your Tree Watered Make sure your tree is hydrated all season long. Start by cutting off the bottom 2 inches from the trunk when you get home. A fresh cut makes it easier for the tree to soak up water. Plain water is best for trees, so don’t worry about caffeine or sugar. Just check every day that the water level is well above the bottom of the trunk. Decorate Wisely Do not put real candles on or near your Christmas tree. Place your tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators, or heat vents. Throw out light strands that are old, damaged, or missing bulbs. Don’t forget to turn off
WORD SEARCH December Christmas trees can be dangerous, but only if you don’t take the proper precautions. Use care so your family can enjoy this beautiful holiday tradition all season long. Artificial Trees Can Be a Fire Hazard, Too Artificial trees, even the fire-resistant ones, can be just as dangerous as a real tree. The National Christmas Tree Association warns that fake trees can easily catch fire when they’re near electrical sockets or are overloaded with lights.
Holiday Roast PRIME RIB
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.
Ingredients • 1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds) • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced • 2 cups red wine
• 4 cups beef stock • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Directions 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
CANDLE COOKIES DECORATIONS FAMILY
GRATITUDE HOLIDAYS SNOWFLAKE SNOWMAN
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The Greatest Gift
Teach Your Kids About Holidays
What Some of Our Clients Are Saying
The Biggest Holiday Fire Hazard
Holiday Roast Prime Rib
The History of the 3 Wise Men
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 The History of the Magi
true nature of the Magi, as some tellings portray them as illusionists or fortune-tellers.
In a cultural context, the Magi were revered across the Middle East. Along with their 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.
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