Appreciating the Holidays (and My Birthday) Just a Little Bit More
I was born the day after Christmas, and for some kids, that would be the worst possible scenario for gifts! But I was pretty lucky. My parents never lumped my birthday with Christmas. In fact, we always spent the day after Christmas celebrating my birthday. We’d go out to dinner, I’d open my presents — a fact I loved to remind my sister about — and we didn’t spend it like it was a second Christmas. Sure, this made birthday parties difficult. I was rarely able to celebrate with friends on my actual birthday, and we usually had a birthday party the week before or after my birthday. That was always less exciting, but, as a silver lining, I have never had to go to school or work on my birthday! There are quite a few positives to having “the worst birthday.” The holidays, and subsequently my birthday, have always been about family for me. Regardless of where we spend them, I always make it a point to see my parents, my in-laws, and most of my family during the holidays. Like many others, I have so many memories from our time-honored traditions during the holidays. We would start with a candlelight service on Christmas Eve, and then we had the quintessential Christmas morning. We’d open gifts, eat a lot of food, and just spend time together. However, the best part of the morning — by far — was when my sister and I were given our last gift of Christmas. It was always the biggest gift, like a Nintendo console or a cool game, but we didn’t just get to unwrap it. No, we had to search for it! My parents would create a scavenger hunt each year, sending us around the house with clues to find our last gift. It was the best part of Christmas morning, and it makes me happy to see that my sister is continuing this tradition with my niece and nephew. They get just as excited as we did growing up! As an adult, I get a glimpse into the joy my parents must have felt watching my sister and me run around the house, anticipating what the gift could be and where it would be hiding that year. This year, the holidays will be different. We may not be able to do everything we normally do, but I can guarantee that I will spend the holidays with my family. Everything that has happened this year has taught me just how important each day of our lives is. The pandemic has been essential for this lesson, but it was actually this past October when my wife and I had to say goodbye to our dog Sophie, a little Westie, that I began to appreciate life a little more.
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had very minimal experiences with death in my personal life, and losing Sophie was one of my first real encounters with major heartbreak. It’s crazy to think that little Sophie could teach me such a valuable lesson, but I’ve learned to appreciate the holidays and my family a little bit more this year. I’ll celebrate with my family. I’ll have my birthday with my family. I’ll hopefully watch as my niece and nephew run through the house frantically searching for the greatest gift of all. And I’ll do this all with a little more appreciation for being able to live it.
Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season! And a special birthday shoutout to my fellow holiday babies — it isn’t so bad, right?
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HOLIDAY HACKS FOR THE BUSY PROFESSIONAL
4 Tips for a Less Exhausting Holiday Season
Take frequent breaks. When you have a lot going on, frequent 5–10 minute minibreaks can go a long way in easing the mental pressure. Don’t hesitate to take brain breaks throughout the day. Go for a quick walk around the building or neighborhood. Read a chapter of your book. Play a quick game on your phone. Say no to the kitchen. When your time is precious, why spend a lot of time in the kitchen? While some find cooking a joy, others find it burdensome. If you’re in the latter group, it’s okay to go the boxed or prepared meal route when time is short. Boxed meals can still be prepared with love, and you can get high-quality frozen dishes or freshly prepared meals from your favorite grocery store. The time and energy you save is worth the investment. In 2020, we have more options than ever to make life easier. So, enjoy the holidays a little more by doing the things you love and using these tips to make the most of your time and energy this season.
The holidays are an incredibly busy time of year. Between work and home, it can feel like there isn’t enough daylight to get everything done. We have projects to complete, emails to answer, dinners to plan, gifts to buy — and family is coming in from out of town. Is it possible to take care of everything and not be completely exhausted by the end of it? While we can’t answer that definitively, we can share a few “holiday hacks” to help you get more out of your time. Put work aside. Give yourself blocks of time to focus on one thing at a time. You may be tempted to multitask, but for your mental health, don’t do it. Focusing on one thing at a time produces better results (this applies equally to cooking as it does to client work) and you’ll feel better through the process. Delegate — at home! You delegate assignments at work, so why not do the same at home? Start with your immediate family and work your way out. Give everyone a task: Someone does the grocery shopping. Someone is in charge of a main course dish. Another is on side-dish duty. Others get dessert. Don't forget to assign a clean-up crew. Save yourself for the tasks you REALLY want to do. ‘I’m Fine’ There are many things you should do after a car accident. Calling law enforcement, taking photos, and obtaining witness information are just a few of the key practices that can help you if you pursue legal action. Yet, these actions are not nearly as important as the most critical thing you should do.
WHY YOU SHOULD STILL SEE A DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
Furthermore, doctors contribute vital information to any personal injury claims process. The success of your car accident lawsuit could hinge on your doctor’s reports and findings. A doctor’s initial observations and suggestions will provide a baseline assessment about your injuries after a car wreck, which may be used to meet your burden of proof at your trial. If you choose to delay treatment or an initial exam, you run the risk of the insurance company or defendants claiming your injuries are unrelated to the wreck, were caused by something else, or existed prior to the accident. Your medical history and personal life will always be dissected by the defense, but if you seek medical treatment immediately after your accident, it’s far easier to prove that your injuries were the direct result of the wreck by comparing the reports in the aftermath of the accident to your medical history.
Above all else, if you are involved in a car wreck, you should seek immediate medical attention — even if you feel “fine.”
There are a few reasons for this advice. For starters, doctors can diagnose and treat injuries that you may not notice immediately after a wreck. These findings of injuries are more common than you think. After an accident, your body is in survival mode and high on adrenaline, which blocks pain receptors that could distract you from feeling immediate pain. You may not feel a major shoulder injury, internal bleeding, or other complications that can be detected by a doctor at the hospital. By seeking immediate medical attention and treatment, you can prevent costly and dangerous symptoms from appearing in the future and possibly aggravating injuries you sustained in a wreck.
Your doctor may be the key to your physical and medical recovery, but their opinions and records are just as significant to any potential compensation you may receive as part of your claim against a negligent driver. If you have a question about seeking medical treatment during the course of your personal injury case, contact your team at Douglass & Runger today by calling 901-388-5805.
Learn more about our other areas of practice by visiting DouglassRunger.com.
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NOT YOUR GRANDMA’S FRUITCAKE
Fruitcake gets a bad rap, but when made correctly, it’s delicious! Try this recipe to upend your preconceived dessert notions. INGREDIENTS • 1 tsp baking soda • 1 cup sour cream • 3 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit of your choice, chopped
3 TIPS FOR HOLIDAY ROAD TRIPS ‘Tis the season for gift-giving, delectable treats, and family. While this year’s holiday season may look different than in years past, many weary homebodies who were forced to stay inside may be ready to break out of their homes and visit their loved ones this time. But before you load up the car and head over the river and through the woods, consider ways to make sure your road trip is safe and successful.
• 1 cup nuts of your choice, chopped • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
• 1 stick butter • 1 cup sugar • 1 egg, room temperature • Zest of 1 orange • 1 tsp salt
Check your car and pack for emergencies.
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with greased baking paper. Ensure the piece running the length of the pan stands 1 inch above each side to form “handles.” 2. In a small bowl, mix baking soda and sour cream. 3. In a second bowl, combine fruit, nuts, and 1/4 cup flour. 4. In a third bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, zest, and sour cream mixture. Then, add remaining flour and salt. Mix, then add fruit mixture. 5. Pour batter into lined pan. Fill up a separate loaf pan halfway with water. Bake both pans in oven for 1 1/2–2 hours or until a skewer leaves the cake clean. 6. Use “handles” to remove cake from pan and cool completely on a rack before serving.
Before beginning any road trip, inspect your car or have it checked by a mechanic. Check your lights, tire pressure, and brakes, and fill up your gas tank and other fluids. Consider storing an ice scraper or tire chains in your vehicle if you’re going someplace snowy. Finally, stash an emergency kit in your car. This should include extra food and water, batteries, flashlights, blankets, maps, chargers, a first aid kit, and other things you deem essential.
Make a plan.
The best road trips are easygoing, but the holidays are the busiest time for road and airway travel, so you must plan accordingly! Make a plan for your route, who will drive, who your backup driver will be, and where you will stay on your travels. Be sure to keep COVID-19 in mind by packing extra masks, eating your lunches in the car, and bringing along hand sanitizer. Update your family as you go and stick to the plan!
Inspired by OnceUponAChef.com
What’s the rush? With increased traffic on the roadways, COVID-19 restrictions, and possible snowy weather, you want to give yourself ample time to get to your destination. Leave early in the morning and allow yourself more time to get to your destination than you need. So, if it takes you six hours to get to your aunt’s house, leave your house with at least an hour to spare. This preparation provides you with a buffer because something will happen. We know that preparation doesn’t always mean you’re protected from danger. If you or a loved one are in a holiday accident, our team at Douglass & Runger can help. Learn more about your options and our other legal areas of expertise at DouglassRunger.com.
INSPIRATION “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” –Henry David Thoreau
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Inside This Issue
A Valuable Lesson From the Holiday Season
Want to Make Your Holidays a Little Easier? Why You Should Always Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident
3 Tips to Arrive at Your Holiday Destination Safely Not Your Grandma’s Fruitcake
5 Ways to Make Your Holiday Extra Eco‑Friendly This Year
5 Ways to Make Your Holiday Extra Eco-Friendly This Year
Change up your gift wrap.
Sustainability is the gift that keeps on giving, so if you'd like to give a gift to the environment this December, make your holidays anti-plastic! Here are five ways that you can use the latest eco-friendly technology to make sure your Christmas is just as convenient as ever.
Why use wrapping paper every year when you can make your packaging extra interesting, colorful, and creative? Use newspapers, magazines, comics, posters, maps, or even art by your kids to conceal your gifts this year.
Set up recycling bins.
Rent, borrow, or rethink your tableware.
Nobody wants to sort through trash on their holiday, especially if you’re hosting all the parties! To avoid dealing with the waste, set up recycling and composting bins before any home holiday festivities. It’ll make your next trip to a local recycling center so much faster because everything will be organized and easier to manage.
If you’re missing proper tableware for your holiday celebration, don’t despair — some companies will actually let you rent out their dishes for your special evening! You can also borrow tableware from friends and family. But you don’t have to use metal tableware. Try following another culture’s customs and serve your food on local ingredients, like palm leaves, coconuts, or wood.
Use paper containers for leftovers.
Localize as much as possible.
Give your celebration a restaurant-from-home feel by storing and giving away leftovers in paper containers rather than plastic. Paper will dissolve and leave behind much less chemical residue than plastic. Want to make it look extra posh? Stamp the exterior with the family initials!
If you can buy ingredients like fresh meat or vegetables from local farms, you won’t use as much plastic packaging and you’ll support small businesses at the same time!
Never buy one-use plastics if you don’t have to. For every holiday tradition, ask yourself: Can I reduce, reuse, or recycle any components to this? We hope you have a happy, eco-friendly holiday!
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