SMALL TOWN VALUES BIG CITY RESULTS Rinehardt Law | www.rinehardtlawfirm.com | 419-LAW-2020
WE’RE THINKING OF YOU The Meaning Behind a Card
Over the years, we’ve found the cards to be as meaningful to write as they’ve been to read. Hearing someone say, “You’re the only person who sent me a card,” makes you realize how powerful and important this small act is. The act of writing to someone sends a clear message: I’m thinking of you. In an age where we have a million options for communicating, there’s something special about getting a card in the mail. When life gets busy, or when geography spreads your family states apart, a card can be a way to stay connected. Sure, we can send a text or email, but I think there’s a lot to be said for sitting down and handwriting a message. It forces you to slow down and think about the person you’re writing to. For those who don’t have the finances or the physical means to be with their loved ones, cards are another way to stay connected. Maybe you can’t travel to be with your family, but sending a card is a way to foster a connection. More than anything, during this time of year, I want to connect with the people I care about, be it in person, over the phone, or in a letter. Those connections are what get us all by.
When our kids were growing up, Hillary didn’t just write holiday cards; she wrote holiday poems. She loved working on them, and she’s a gifted writer. The poems contained humor and wit. She would get her parents, me, and the kids in on it so that each poem incorporated how things were going and what each child was up to that year. I loved seeing how much fun she had putting the poems together. She did this all the way up to the time when the kids were graduating, and she still sometimes puts together a poem for birthday cards. We’ve continued the tradition of mailing holiday cards from our firm. Around the holidays, we all sit down at a big table in our office and write cards to our clients and colleagues. Afterward, we usually go out for a holiday lunch. It’s become a tradition that everyone on our team looks forward to.
Around Christmas when I was a kid, my family would write cards to our friends and loved ones. As we sat down to write these cards, we paused for a moment to think about these important people in our lives, some of whom we didn’t see very often but were close to our hearts nonetheless. I enjoyed the tradition, and I also liked seeing the cards that came to us. Leading up to Christmas, I eagerly waited for mail that contained stories from our friends and family and gave us a glimpse into their lives. Even as an adult, my excitement over holiday cards hasn’t diminished. Each year, Hillary and I sit down and look over the cards we’ve received. We smile over a friend’s new baby, laugh at our family’s comical spin on a Christmas photo, and feel sentimental over a heartfelt message. We’re invited to take a peek into the lives of our loved ones, even if just for a moment.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you.
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HORSING AROUND Meet a Different Kind of Therapy Animal Horses have been loyal and useful companions to humans for centuries. But unbeknownst to many who fear these long-legged, 1,000-plus-pound mammals, horses are also naturally intuitive and extremely sensitive to the moods of people around them. These traits make them excellent therapy animals for those with autism, cerebral palsy, chronic illnesses, and PTSD, among many more. In fact, there are dedicated horse-riding camps geared toward chronically ill children and adults all over the world. However, riding horses isn’t the only way to benefit from equine therapy; horses are also fantastic comfort animals that can relieve anxiety and promote a positive environment for bedridden patients — as long as the doorway is big enough. Meet Peyo, the 14-year-old “love stallion” from Dijon, France, who is cheering up chronically ill patients one nuzzle at a time. This accomplished artistic dressage competitor accompanies his owner, Hassen Bouchakour, on visits to hospitals and nursing homes, bringing joy with every clop of his hooves. Patients suffering from all manner of ailments blossom when Peyo comes to visit, laughing and smiling while being nudged by his soft nose. He seems to have a keen sense for patients who are truly suffering, and though his handler is always nearby, Peyo often chooses which rooms to enter of his own volition. Having a horse in a hospital room may not sound very sanitary, but Peyo goes through a strict grooming regimen to be deemed hygienic enough to be around patients. His hooves are greased, his mane and tail are braided, and his entire body is rubbed down with antibacterial lotion before being covered by a blanket. Before Peyo became a therapy horse, he was almost put up for sale by Bouchakour, who had a hard time wrangling Peyo’s fiery personality. But, over time, when they traveled to shows and competitions together, Bouchakour noticed the horse was drawn to the injured and disabled and would instantly calm at their touch. “It is one of the most pure, honest, and sweet things,” Bouchakour says. “They like each other very much without asking for anything else.”
ARE WE STILL SENDING? The Popularity of Holiday Cards
EMPLOYEE SPOT Carrie is a case manager at Rinehardt Law, a role
that utilizes her caring and supportive nature. Before joining our team, Carrie worked at Pepsi for 14 years. Her life changed when her daughter was diagnosed with autism. As Carrie shares, “I wanted to cut back on my hours but that wasn’t possible in my role. My husband and I made the scary decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom. It was the best thing that could have happened to us.” Carrie got to be there for her two kids and better care for her daughter, Raegan.
Photo curtesy of Les Sabots Du Coeur
Her plan was to return to work when her youngest was in kindergarten, but a friend told her about a position at Rinehardt Law. “I heard that they were the best employers who cared about family and treated their employees well,”
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In 1843, Sir Henry Cole fretted over all the correspondence he had neglected over the course of the year. As the holidays drew closer, hoping to pardon any hurt feelings and adhere to Victorian custom, he had an artist create 1,000 engraved holiday cards, which he promptly sent out to friends. Years later, Louis Prang, a German immigrant and lithographer, made the tradition popular in the United States with his high-quality prints of holiday cards, earning him the nickname “The Father of the American Christmas Card.” Today, with the ability to send a message almost immediately, you’d think that the old-fashioned tradition would be on the decline. But it looks like just the opposite is happening. Even though the overall volume of mail has gone down, Americans still buy 6.5 billion greeting cards each year, and 1.6 billion of those are family holiday cards, according to the Greeting Card Association. People, it seems, are still fans of holiday cards. Shutterfly’s Google data, for example, shows a steady increase in searches for family Christmas cards. Other companies are seeing a similar upsurge in people’s interest in personalized holiday cards: Between September and November 2018, the number of searches for custom cards on Etsy was up 258% compared to the same months in 2017, reported an executive for the company. For a lot of people (and millennials especially, who contribute 20% of all money spent on greeting cards), the holidays are a reason to connect and catch up, and social media doesn’t cut it. Even if they have evolved from the original handwritten notes, personalized cards still seem to be a way to stay in touch with loved ones. Looking for inspiration for your own holiday cards? Etsy, Shutterfly, and Sincerely all have customizable templates that allow you to put together a card in less than 10 minutes. For just a couple dollars on the Ink app, you can upload a photo or two from your phone and have a physical card mailed to anyone you like. If these types of services are any indication, the tradition of holiday cards isn’t going away any time soon. IGHT Get to Know Carrie! Carrie says. She applied and was called in to interview. “I remember being so nervous,” she says. “My impression of lawyers had always been that they were arrogant and not always honest,” she admits. Fortunately, she found the opposite. “I couldn’t have been more wrong,” Carrie says. “From the moment John and Hillary walked into the room, they made me feel at ease.” Carrie began working part time for the firm in 2016 and joined us full time this year. From that serendipitous start, Carrie has found the workplace she’s always dreamed about. “I worked for a Fortune 500 company my whole life and was left feeling like I was just a number. I wanted to feel like I was helping people or making a difference. That is exactly what I found at Rinehardt Law,” Carrie says. “I love my coworkers. We all work well together and manage to have fun doing it. Many of the cases are so sad, and it’s hard to see people hurting, but we pull together to get the best outcome for our clients. I love knowing that we can take a bad situation and turn things around. Rinehardt Law is by far the best employer I have ever worked for.” At home, Carrie enjoys being with her family, all of whom are very excited for Christmas. “Raegan is 8 years old and Ryan is 7, and they love Christmas, especially being in programs at school and church. They love being on stage,” she shares. The family also has a tradition that started when the kids were born: Each year, Raegan and Ryan get a new ornament. “They love getting them out and remembering how old they were when they got them and finding the perfect spot to hang them on the tree,” Carrie says.
Classic Roast Chicken
Inspired by Ina Garten
DIRECTIONS • 1 chicken, approx. 5–6 lbs • Kosher salt • Freshly ground pepper • 1 large bunch fresh thyme, 20 sprigs removed • 1 lemon, halved • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces • Olive oil 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. 1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Rinse chicken inside and out, removing giblets
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2404 Park Ave. W., Mansfield, Ohio 44906 419-LAW-2020 www.rinehardtlawfirm.com
INSIDE THIS EDITION
John Shares Our Firm’s Holiday Traditions
Peyo the Therapy Horse Are Holiday Cards a Dying Tradition? Employee Spotlight
Classic Roast Chicken
The History Behind Christmas Lights
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT Why Do We Hang Christmas Lights?
tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree, which spurred the idea of selling stringed lights commercially. By the 1930s, families everywhere were buying boxes of bulbs by the dozen. Today, an estimated 150 million Christmas lights are sold in America each year, decorating 80 million homes and consuming 6% of the nation’s electricity every December. Whether you’ll be putting up your own lights or appreciating the most impressive light displays in your neighborhood or town, let the glow fill you with joy this season. Just don’t leave them up until February!
invention of the lightbulb in November 1879, Johnson hand-wired 80 red, white, and blue lightbulbs together and wound them around a Christmas tree in his parlor window. A passing reporter saw the spectacle and declared in the Detroit Post and Tribune, “One can hardly imagine anything prettier.” Johnson continued this tradition, increasing the number of lights each year and eventually putting them up outside. But because electricity was still a new concept, many years passed before the fad took off for regular Americans. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the
The first string of twinkling lights illuminating your neighbor’s house is always a telltale sign of the upcoming seasonal festivities. Christmas lights are a holiday staple, but have you ever wondered where this beloved tradition started? The tradition of hanging lights on the tree originally started with candles. Because this posed an immense fire hazard, Edward Hibberd Johnson, a close friend of Thomas Edison and vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, vowed to find a better way to decorate Christmas trees with light. In December 1882, three years after Edison’s
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