Merlino & Gonzalez December 2019

December 2019





The Mischievous Office Elf Who Brings Us Joy

we grew almost giddy with excitement, anticipating the moment she would come to our office to sign her contract, negotiate nerve-shattering inspection concerns, and ultimately close on her cozy, icing-topped home. The feeling must have been mutual, because since that first delightful encounter, Merry has decided to make Merlino & Gonzalez her holiday home away from home every year from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. Her joyous smile and infectious laughter make our holiday season bright. But it’s not always candy canes and gumdrops when Merry is here. She’s a prankster with a mischievous side. One time, she replaced all the precious family photos on our desks with pictures of herself. There was also the time she altered all the clocks in the office to make it perpetually 5 o’clock. We missed a few meetings that day. Perhaps her most astounding prank was when she sent a letter to Santa proclaiming herself the only person at Merlino & Gonzalez deserving of gifts. She placed the rest of us on his “naughty” list, but luckily, Santa was on our side. However, no matter what she gets into, we look forward to a visit from our favorite elf every year. She dutifully poses for photos alongside her antics that bring smiles to the faces of our clients, and when you’re in the middle of a heavy legal situation, a simple smile can mean a lot. For those of us whose children have now grown up and moved away, things aren’t always as festive as they once were at home. But Merry brings the spirit of celebration back into our lives, and we couldn’t be more thankful to her for that. If you visit us at Merlino & Gonzalez this holiday season, be sure to say hello to Merry (and maybe bring her a sweet treat so she doesn’t put you on the naughty list). Happy holidays fromMerry Garland and all of us at Merlino & Gonzalez!

When you work in estate planning law, it’s easy to get buried in the shuffle. We’re so invested in the lives of others that we sometimes forget to step back and do the things we love in our own lives. During the holidays, having a reminder in our workplace that this is a season for celebration gives us reprieve from work and sparks moments of much-needed joy. That’s why our senior paralegal, Michele Santacroce, introduced a cantankerous Elf on the Shelf named Merry Garland to our office.

On a chilly December afternoon in 2014, Merry Garland drifted into our office with a starlight mint sparkle in her eyes and sweet sugar cookies on her breath, looking for the finest legal representation in town to help with purchasing the gingerbread house of her dreams. In the ensuing weeks,

Because she’s important too

Because mental health is important too

Lookie what she can do

Tampering with the naughty and nice list

Tampering with the clocks in the office

–Michele Santacroce

Filing a legal brief



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