Monast Law Office - December 2017

Workers’ COMPanion

LAW OFFICE MONAST

December 2017

www.monastlaw.com | 614-334-4649 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117, Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913

WRANGLING THE FAMILY for the Holidays

Though we don’t usually go away for the holidays, planning months in advance to get all the kids home sometime around Christmas is its own kind of adventure. When you combine a blended family with a whole host of the kids’significant others and in-laws as well as various church activity schedules (Pete sings at eight services over three days!), the logistics get more than a little complicated. It’s looking this year that we’re going to have to celebrate the week before the actual holiday just to make it work —which is totally fine with Amy and I as we are just grateful for the opportunity to spend some time with all our family under one roof. The real gift around the holidays is the fact that our entire family actually enjoys getting together, a feeling that I know isn’t shared by all families. Whichever day we end up celebrating, we all take turns opening presents, making sure whoever’s tearing open their gift has everybody’s full attention and gets the appropriate“oohs”and“aahhs”. A few years ago, we started the tradition of getting a goofy gag gift for the kids, a kind of veiled comment on whatever boneheaded move they’ve made in the past year. Maybe if we know one of the boys has developed an inappropriate scratching habit, he’ll get a little bottle of hand sanitizer. Or, in the case of my son-in-law Robby, who’s a youth pastor, a sign emblazoned with the double entendre he unknowingly uttered in a sermon in front of a host of snickering high school kids. We all get a chuckle or two out of these, all in good fun. Hey, if you can’t laugh at family, who can you laugh at? Afterward, we’ll relax and hang out over the course of the day until it’s time for the honey-baked ham (does anyone eat ham other times besides on Christmas and Easter?). It was a little different back in the day. When I was growing up in Joplin, Missouri, I remember the town being decked out just like the little city in“A Christmas Story.”The windows of the Macy’s where my momworked glittered with lights illuminating whatever

train set or must-have toy was the rage that season and featured Santa and his mechanical reindeer in mounds of cotton serving as snow. My Cub Scout troop was always part of the Christmas parade. We’d pile into the back of some flatbed truck, and freeze our tails off in the bitter cold. It seems it was

always so frigid that, by the end of the event, our feet would feel like ice blocks dangling on the ends of our legs no matter howmuch we stamped them.

When my kids were younger, it was always a great joy to see their childlike wonder around the holidays. Magically, flour left out in front of the fireplace always had boot

prints in the morning, coming from the chimney, and the cookies and milk the kids would leave out for the big man were always gone. They’d wake up and inspect their findings, totally wide-eyed that Santa had really been there. How wonderful to relive Christmas through your children! These days, as I’ve gotten about as round as Santa, I’m content to sit around with our family, unwrap a few presents, and crack a few jokes here and there. It means a lot to all of us that we’re able to take time to slow down and celebrate being with one another during the busy season—that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown! –Jim Monast

“A few years ago, we started the tradition of getting a goofy gag gift for the kids, some kind of veiled comment on whatever boneheaded move they’ve made in the past year.”

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