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WE ALL HAVE GIFTS TO SHARE MY DNA TEST OUR ANCESTRY IS DIFFERENT, BUT WE ALL DESERVE DIGNITY AND RESPECT
It’s good to know where you come from; it gives you a sense of identity and helps you see your life in the grander scheme. That’s why my wife, Jennifer, and I decided to take Ancestry’s DNA test. This test can tell you where you come from, down to percentage points. The DNA test is a simple process. You start by ordering a test kit at the following link: refer.dna.ancestry.com/s/bgillette. (If you use this link, you’ll save $10, and I’ll get $10.) You send Ancestry a small saliva sample, which they analyze in a lab using about 700,000 genetic markers. After a few weeks, your DNA results are mailed to you. I was surprised to find that 63 percent of my DNA comes from Great Britain. I expected more of a mix, to be honest, but there you have it. The next closest were Ireland, Scotland, and Wales at 15 percent and Scandinavia at 14 percent. Jennifer was predominately Western European (60 percent); with Ireland, Scotland, and Wales (23 percent); Great Britain (6 percent); and Scandinavia (5 percent), as well.
Something I teach my four children is that the answer to many human problems is often less hate and more love. Are you annoyed with your brother? Try more love. Are you feeling left out at school? Show more love, and I’m positive people will feel it and respond. Is there a bully at school? Try to love them more and show them that there is another way than anger. It reminds me of my favorite Mother Teresa quote, and while I have abbreviated it for space purposes, you will get the idea:
Some who have taken the test have received some surprises! There are people who have taken the Ancestry test, and despite what bloodline they
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
“Discover the family story your DNA can tell. Uncover your ethnic mix with a simple DNA test.”
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
thought to have from their family, found the results were nothing what they expected. Caucasian individuals have been known to have African or Native American lineage. African-Americans have been known to have Icelandic or Scandinavian lineage. It’s a big world, ancestral lines are long, and we are learning that you can come from anywhere, but we all have a commonality. We share the fact that we are all here on this earth, right now. More specifically, we all live in this beautiful country of freedom and opportunity. Despite a mix of ancestral lines and many commonalities, our country hasn’t felt this divided in a long time. You see violence on the news and divided opinions on social media every day. It has become so vicious that it is often difficult to find people who still openly and honestly respect another’s differences. One of our core beliefs at the Gillette Law Group is “we respect the human dignity of everyone.” It’s central to our purpose and to the work we do. In the end, we are all human beings and, with a closer look, we’ll find we have more in common than we might think at first.
Contention and hatred is never the answer to anything. We see that every day. Nelson Mandela, another great proponent of peace and understanding, said, “If people can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” In the end, when I look at some of the craziness in this world, I realize I don’t have control over all of it. I can control what I do today and how I treat others. I hope you feel respected when you interact with us at the Gillette Law Group. If we ever let you down, I want to know
N e x t D o o r Bu
what we can do to make you happy. You can call me directly at (757) 279-8878. We appreciate your feedback and the opportunity to make things right!
Peace, joy, and love this holiday season!
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THE ORIGIN OF SANTA CLAUS
Colder weather is hard on our bodies for many reasons. The air dries and cracks our skin, colder temperatures cause old injuries to flare up and create new aches in joints, and the conditions just make it plain hard to exercise. What’s a fair-weather bird to do? Head to the sauna! If you haven’t already adopted the regimen, you are missing out. Sauna use has been popular in Finland for thousands of years, and there are compelling reasons why. Not only are there many body benefits, but science is telling us it may also protect the mind. We’ve known for a long time that sauna can help with blood circulation, stress relief, and cardiovascular health. Traditional saunas use heat to get your blood flowing and promote circulation, and the sweating that goes on during a sauna experience is said to release toxins from your body. It’s a rejuvenating ritual that releases stress along with endorphins. Now, the health journal Age and Ageing has found evidence linking sauna use to a lowered risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Men aged 42–60 who participated in frequent sauna bathing sessions were found to have lowered rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s. If feeling good and warming you up weren’t enough, a healthy mind is a great reason to sauna. And while the simplicity of the traditional sauna is part of what makes it great, some facilities have added a modern twist: infrared rays. Infrared saunas are hot in New York City and Los Angeles and are starting to pop up everywhere. Especially if you have trouble dealing with the heat of a typical sauna (average sauna temperatures are Santa Claus wasn’t always a husky, omniscient gift-giver who circumnavigates the world once a year, propelled by flying caribou and backed by an army of friendly elves. Though the historical St. Nicholas had many of the same generous tendencies as our contemporary “King in the North,” he lacked a high-tech sleigh that could exceed the speed of light. To be exact, St. Nicholas was a renowned Bishop of Myra — an old Roman town near modern-day Demre, Turkey — way back around A.D. 300. Even before he became the bishop, St. Nicholas was known for his generosity. The most famous tale of his charity involved a poor man who could not afford a proper dowry to marry off his three daughters. In those days, this generally meant the daughters would remain unmarried, making it likely that they’d fall into prostitution. Wanting to help, but also wanting to spare the family embarrassment, St. Nicholas traveled to the house at night and threw three purses packed with gold coins through the window. After his death, St. Nicholas became a beloved patron saint, but during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, the respect that many Catholic saints received diminished, and his popularity dwindled across Europe.
One area where he remained popular was the Netherlands. There, he lived on as “Sinterklaas,” a mythical figure who went house to house on the eve of St. Nicholas’s nameday, December 5, leaving treats and gifts for children. Sinterklaas traditionally wore red bishop’s clothes and employed elves, and he traveled with horses that could walk across rooftops. When the Dutch emigrated in droves to America during the 17th and 18th centuries, they brought this kindly icon to the new colonies. Over time, notably through Clement Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” and a famous 1930s depiction by Coca-Cola ad illustrator Haddon Sundblom,
Santa evolved into the figure we see today.
THE LIFE-GIVING BENEFITS OF SAUNA SWEAT THE YEARS AWAY
kept around 212 degrees Fahrenheit), this latest trend is for you. The average temperature for an infrared sauna is 150 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a more tolerable experience. One New York studio boasts infrared’s ability to stimulate collagen production, an added anti-aging benefit. Need another bonus? Infrared saunas are said to release up to 20 percent more toxins from the body than traditional saunas. Whichever type of sauna you decide to visit, the potential health benefits speak for themselves. If you don’t get to escape to Miami or Cancun this winter (and even if you do), it’s a relaxing way to warm up and ease winter ailments. Treat your body and yourself to a sauna experience!
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ESTIMATE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS ONLINE
For many, Social Security is a nebulous promise of future support, only worth looking into at the cusp of retirement. But when the unexpected happens, such as a disability or loss of a loved one, Social Security becomes an essential financial lifeline. Whether planning for retirement or thinking about how to move forward from a debilitating life event, it is important to know the benefits you will receive. You can get estimates of your Social Security retirement, disability, and survivors’ benefits at any time. The Social Security Administration has an online calculator available on their website. To use it for free, just visit ssa.gov/ planners/benefitcalculators. You’ll have a menu of different options. For simply estimating the benefits you qualify for, select the “Online Calculator.” From there, input your date of birth and your complete earnings history into the required fields. HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT BARK
This will give you an estimate in current US dollars of the benefits you have earned over your working life. This includes your eligibility for retirement, disability, and survivor benefits, as well as the monthly rates you are estimated to receive for each. The calculator is frequently updated to take into account new benefit increases and other benefit amounts, so the rate you calculate today may change in the future. For those planning on collecting in the future, there is an option to display a projected dollar value based on predicted inflation rates. While only an estimate, this calculator can give you a greater sense of control over your financial future. Knowing the benefits you qualify for can help you plan for the road ahead.
• 12 ounces high-quality
semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 12 ounces high-quality white-chocolate chips • 1 teaspoon pure mint extract • 3 candy canes, crushed
Our practice has been built on referrals from great clients like you. Please don’t hesitate to mention our name to others whom we might be able to help.
1. Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Meanwhile, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips according to package directions. When the chocolate is fully melted, stir in the peppermint extract, then use a spatula to carefully spread the chocolate over the parchment paper in an even layer. Set the sheet pan aside to cool, about 10 minutes. 2. Repeat the melting process with the white chocolate, and pour over the semi-sweet chocolate layer. Sprinkle with crushed candy cane pieces, gently pressing the candy into the white
chocolate. Set the sheet pan aside to set, about an hour.
3. Gently peel the bark away from the
parchment paper and cut it into slices or break into pieces. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Pet of the Month: Pippin, Jennifer and Brian’s 10-year-old Italian greyhound, is ready for the holidays. Are you?
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INSIDE this issue
My DNA Testing Results page 1
Get an Estimate of Your Social Security Benefits page 3 Homemade Peppermint Bark page 3 Unique Hot Chocolate Recipes You Need to Try page 4
The Origin of Santa Claus page 2
How Saunas Will Change Your Winter Health page 2
UNUSUAL HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPES TO ENJOY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
’Tis the season for hot beverages! Sure, Americans love coffee all year long, but as the holidays roll around, hot chocolate sales boom. There’s something satisfying about sweet, rich chocolate topped with whipped cream and marshmallows. It’s a classic combination, but who says the classics can’t be updated? Broaden your hot chocolate horizons this holiday season with some truly unique recipes! Aztec Hot Chocolate This spicy drink pays homage to those original chocoholics, the Aztecs. Cacao beans are native to Mesoamerica, and the ancient Aztec loved to grind the beans and serve them in a bitter, frothy liquid. In this recipe, dark chocolate, chili pepper, and cinnamon blend into a rich treat, but you’ll also have access to a couple ingredients the Aztecs didn’t have: sugar and milk. Learn how to make the perfect winter drink at theendlessmeal.com/spicy-aztec-hot-chocolate. Raspberry Hot Chocolate Tired of the dreary, gray winter weather? Is sounds like you could use a dash of sweet pink! Real raspberry puree gives this drink a much-needed burst of fruity delight, especially when you swap out the usual milk chocolate with creamy white chocolate. Toss a few raspberries on top, and you’re sure to be enchanted by the colors and
the flavor. Check out the recipe at sugarhero. com/raspberry-white-hot-chocolate/.
Frozen Hot Chocolate If your winter wonderland view is less than snowy, you might be craving a cooler hot chocolate beverage. It’s your standard hot chocolate recipe, but it replaces the pot and stove with some ice and a blender! Yes, you can still top it with whipped cream and sprinkles. Find the full recipe at centercutcook.com/frozen-hot- chocolate/.
Whether you’re a casual cocoa drinker or a true chocolate connoisseur, there’s an incredible recipe waiting for you. The best part? You can keep trying different hot chocolates until you find your new favorite.
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