Holland & Usry December 2018


When you see holiday advertising, it almost always includes images of happy families enjoying the most wonderful time of the year together. The kids are smiling, the parents are holding hands, and everyone is drinking hot cocoa and singing their favorite Christmas song. But reality is often not that simple or straightforward. As with everything else you see on a TV commercial, it’s best to take this messaging with a grain of salt. Has anyone ever eaten a Big Mac that looks like it does on the screen? The holiday season can be a taxing time when you’re divorced and have children, especially if you’re experiencing it for the first time. As somebody who lived through his parents’ divorce as a child, I know firsthand how well the holidays can go when parents approach them selflessly. Similarly, I’ve seen countless clients deftly manage the holidays without upsetting their children — and I’ve seen a few who haven’t done as well. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few rules of thumb I’ve learned over the years to help divorced parents navigate the holidays with grace and cheer. IT’S ABOUT THE KIDS, NOT YOU OR THE OTHER PARENT This is the most important piece of advice I can give you. Remember, it’s not your time with your child; it’s their time with you. Making the holidays about you, even if all you want to demonstrate is how much you love your kids, misses the point entirely. If both parents are capable of caring for their kids, they each deserve a chance to make the holidays special for their children. THE DATE MATTERS LESS THAN THE EXPERIENCE I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen parents quarrel over who gets to see their child on the specific date of their birthday

or another significant event. Here’s a little secret: A 4-year-old kid doesn’t care which day they open presents. What they want is for somebody to take note of them and make them feel great. You can do that whether you’re opening presents on, before, or after Dec. 25. We’re conditioned to believe these dates hold serious power, but creating lasting memories isn’t dependent on the day they fall on the calendar. FOLLOW COURT ORDERS WITH A SMILE It goes without saying that a court order is legally binding and must be followed. Sometimes it can be hard, especially that first holiday season after divorce. When you have to drop your kids off at 2 in the afternoon on Christmas Day, you may be a little peeved, but don’t let the little ones know that. Simply say, “Have a great time,” and send them on their way. Don’t be resentful about a handoff, or your kids may become resentful in turn. That’s not fair for anybody. Approaching the holidays with the right mindset will give your kids an experience that’s just as awesome as when you were together — maybe even more awesome. It may be hard to put your feelings aside and keep the kids front and center, but I promise you it’s worth it. No matter how your family will look this holiday season, I hope you have a great one. –John Holland

The holidays can be a taxing time when you’re divorced and have children, especially if you’re experiencing it for the first time. As somebody who lived through his parents’ divorce as a child, I know firsthand how well the holidays can go when parents approach them selflessly.




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. KWANZAA 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 history by celebrating the seven principles of African heritage, which include unity, self-determination, and creativity. HANUKKAH Hanukkah pays homage to a two-year Jewish rebellion against an oppressive Greek-Syrian government that took 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. DIWALI 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 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 practices other than Christmas will give them a broader worldview and inspire them to gain further knowledge about cultures outside their own. Your local 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!


“Rob and John, thanks for all of your help. You are very knowledgeable and concerned for your clients, which showed the whole time you represented me. I thank you very much for everything and hope your success continues.”

had no choice but to settle my claim for the full amount possible. I was impressed with your fast work on getting the matter settled, as it involved a misconception on the part of the insurance companies about a possible pre-existing condition. Thank you very much, and I will recommend your firm to anyone who needs a great legal team. It was indeed providence that led me to your door.”

–Simpsonville drunk-driving accident victim

“Dear Rob and John, after getting rear-ended last May and suffering pain and mounting medical bills, I did not know where to turn. I thought about trying to handle the insurance companies myself but was advised to seek legal assistance. I asked my nephew, a lawyer in Spartanburg, for suggestions, and he told me Holland & Usry was my best choice. From our first meeting, I felt very comfortable that you were working in my best interest and actually cared. I appreciate all the diligent work on your part. After being overwhelmed with evidence and your knowledge of case law and precedence, the insurance companies

–John Hayes, Travelers Rest car accident client

“You made me feel like you wanted what was best for me. I left a better person and a satisfied customer.”

–Spartanburg car accident client


Stay Safe on Busy Holiday Roads


WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS If you’re in a busy shopping area or at a holiday-themed event, you’ll have to be extra careful. Many people out and about during the holidays aren’t used to walking in busy areas and may make erratic movements as a result of their inexperience. Try to make eye contact with any groups of pedestrians you encounter, alerting them to your presence. Only proceed when you know it is safe to do so. LEAVE TIME FOR TRAFFIC Rushing to a company party or family get-together is not a risk worth taking. Assume you’ll need extra travel time when you’re making a holiday voyage — unless, of course, you happen to pilot a magic sleigh. When you’re on the road, don’t let traffic frustrate you and cause you to make impulsive decisions. Being a little late is much better than having to call your mom and tell her you won’t be at dinner because you rear-ended somebody. REMAIN ATTENTIVE, AND DON’T ASSUME The holiday season is also a time when incidents of driving under the influence skyrocket. As such, you may share the road with a driver less than fit to be behind the wheel. Leave space, drive defensively, and never take your eyes off the road.

The holiday season is a busy time for people, and it often requires a lot of travel in a short period of time. Because of the influx of drivers as well as the heightened risk for inclement conditions, the holidays are some of the most dangerous times to be driving. The rate of accidents peaks during the weekends surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. With that in mind, we wanted to share some tips that will help you navigate holiday roads safely. PREPARE FOR BAD WEATHER Getting caught in a snowstorm unexpectedly is terrifying, so you should always prepare for the worst conceivable conditions. Pack your car with a high-quality scraper, blankets, a shovel, a first-aid kit, water, and other necessities in case you become stranded. It’s also a good idea to keep a spare phone charger in your car to ensure that you have the battery needed to call for help.

Sadly, not all accidents are avoidable. If you are injured in a holiday accident, call our office to find out how we can help.

John 1:9, 14 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. . . .The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Good News


Yes, you read that right. Just because you adhere to a paleo diet doesn’t mean you have to forgo one of winter’s most nostalgic and warming treats. Here’s how to make a killer hot chocolate that meets the standards of a paleo diet.


1 can (14 ounces) coconut cream, chilled

2 cups almond or coconut milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons coconut sugar


1. In a large saucepan, bring almond or coconut milk to a boil. 2. Once boiling, remove from heat and gradually stir in cocoa and vanilla until well-combined. 3. To make whipped cream, remove coconut cream from refrigerator and pour into a large bowl; whisk with an electric mixer. Add coconut sugar and mix well. 4. Pour hot chocolate into a mug, top with whipped cream, and enjoy.


Inspired by paleohacks.com


* This newsletter is intended to educate the public about personal injury, workers’ compensation, criminal defense, and family law issues. You can copy and distribute it as long as you copy the entire newsletter. But the newsletter is not intended to be legal advice; you should ask a lawyer about your specific case. Every case is different, and all case outcomes depend on unique facts and laws.

101 W. St. John St. Suite 206 Spartanburg, SC 29306

INSIDE this issue


How to Navigate the Holidays After a Divorce


Teach Your Kids About Holidays Testimonials


Holiday Driving Safety Paleo Hot Chocolate


Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas

If you no longer want to receive this newsletter, call Pam at 864.582.0416 or email rob@bhollandlawfirm.com .


A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow!

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater- themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest.

It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly- sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here are a few things to keep in mind.

YOUR VERY OWN UGLY SWEATER Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore.

This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!


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