Check out the December edition of our monthly newsletter!
Legally Brief With Kevin Patrick Automobile accidents | Daycare injuries | wrongful death
Can You Hear the Bell? HOW I KEEP THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC ALIVE
When I was in high school, my Latin teacher, Father Jim, used to recite “The Polar Express” to our class each year before Winter Break. He had all 32 pages memorized! It was a comforting ritual for me. Each time the holiday season approached, I could depend on Father Jim’s voice saying: “On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound — a sound a friend had told me I'd never hear — the ringing bells of Santa’s sleigh …” If you haven’t read “The Polar Express” or seen the movie, the plot of the story is pretty simple. On Christmas Eve, the little boy who is the story’s hero wakes up to find a magical train has stopped on the street in front of his house. It’s the Polar Express, ready to take him to the North Pole where he’ll be granted a Christmas wish! Spoiler alert: The hero receives a special silver bell as a gift. It sounds beautiful when rung, but only people who truly believe
in Santa Claus and the Christmas spirit can hear it. In our world today, those people are almost always children.
“The Polar Express” has always been one of my favorite Christmas books. It had a special place in my heart when I was young because of Father Jim, but it resonates with me even more now that I have my own children. Michael and Catherine remind me that Christmas is truly a magical time, because I get to see the holiday through their eyes. They’ve helped me hear the bell ring a little more each year. Michael and Catherine believe so strongly in the holiday magic that they inspire me to do the same. And instead of simply believing in Santa like I used to, my wife and I become Santa each year after they fall asleep! That’s really something special. Just a few weeks ago while we were decorating for the holiday, Michael reminded me of it. He got his small hands on our family’s very own Christmas bell and walked around the house ringing it! When I heard him, I knew I needed to pull out our copy of “The Polar Express” soon. I haven’t broken down and watched the movie with the kids yet — the book is just too important to me — but maybe this will be the year. This Christmas I plan to slow down and really enjoy it. Time is the most precious commodity we have in life, and this magical period for our children is limited. Before long, my kids won’t need me to be Santa anymore. Until then, I plan to enjoy every holiday! I hope you do the same. In times like these, it’s more important than ever that we adults listen for the bell.
Wishing you the happiest of holidays,
This publication is for informational purposes only, and no legal advice is intended.
KEVINPATRICK.LAW I 404.566.5880 • 1
Published by Newsletter Pro www.NewsletterPro.com
Creating a Holiday Masterpiece
HOW TO DECORATE YOUR GINGERBREAD HOUSE LIKE A PRO
One of the most popular holiday traditions has become making and decorating gingerbread houses. The tradition began in Germany in the early 1800s and originated from Grimm's "Hansel and Gretel." Some shy away from the idea of making their own gingerbread house, but have no fear — if the Germans did it in the early 1800s, so can you! To simplify things, many gingerbread houses come with baked pieces and a full decorating kit. This helps you have
you can make something really kick-butt for the holidays!
house. Not only are they delicious, but they also make cute, little accents all over the house and yard. Mini cookies of your choice may also make a deliciously good-looking roof. Try layering them up for a dimensional look! And, for extra pizazz, strategically place mini candy canes throughout the yard and on either side of the front doors and windows. If you want to get really detailed, try using actual candy bars as fire logs in the fireplace. Just be sure to store your gingerbread house in a cool area so nothing will melt! Whether you prefer a simple gingerbread house or a flashy one, any and ALL candy can be used! Get decorating and be sure to have a bite of candy along the way!
Icing will be your best friend. Think of it as the yummy glue that holds everything together while also acting as a colorful trim for your gingerbread house. However, because it’ll keep the house from falling, be sure to use a lot! Spice drops also make for a great trim and “roofing,” just use icing to hold them in place. Alternate between colors or use a variety to make your house really pop.
more time for the best part: the actual decorating! Each kit usually comes with fun candy and icing, so
M&Ms are certainly a must- have for anyone decorating their gingerbread
Step Inside Kevin’s Time Machine TO VISIT CHRISTMAS 1985!
When I find myself struggling to hear the bell that I talked about on Page 1, something that always helps is “time traveling” back to my childhood. If I had a real time machine, I’d definitely use it to warp back to Christmas 1985!
There’s nothing particularly special about that year, but the older I get, the more I can see that every stage of childhood is beautiful in its own way. I know the magic of Christmas was still strong for me in ‘85, and it would be fun to experience that joy all over again! One family tradition I’d love to revisit would be our quest to see all the luminary candles in the neighborhood. When I was a kid, we used to pile into the car and drive down every street to “ooh” and “ahh” over the candles lining each person’s driveway. If you’ve never experienced a neighborhood lit with luminaries, you’ve missed something special! They’re made by filling white paper bags with luminous sand and standing a lit candle up in the middle. When an entire neighborhood lines the sides of its driveways with lights, it’s a pretty sight to behold.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a group of neighbors do it in 30 years.
In addition to time traveling back to my own childhood, I’d also love to visit the Christmas celebrations of my parents and grandparents. It would be incredible to watch the origins of our family traditions. My grandparents were part of the Greatest Generation (born from 1901– 1927), so they had very humble holiday celebrations, and I think there would be a lot of beauty in that simplicity. It might also help me appreciate what I have in the present! Ultimately, this mental time travel reminds me that the accumulation of gifts isn’t what matters most during the holidays. Shared moments and traditions are what make Christmas special. I’d rather go back to those than revisit my childhood gifts, even the little kid-sized 4-by-4 car that I loved so much at age 3.
You can always reach Kevin directly at 404.566.8964 or Kevin@PatrickTrialLaw.com. (If you ever need it, his cell phone is 404.409.3160.)
2 • KEVINPATRICK.LAW I 404.566.5880
Staying Home for the Holidays? 4 Ways to Enjoy Christmas in Atlanta
redemption story and show your family the true meaning of Christmas, visit AllianceTheatre.org. World of Illumination’s Arctic Adventure at Atlanta Motor Speedway Daily through Sunday, Jan. 2 Didn’t you hear? A full-on theme park of Christmas lights is coming to Atlanta! Until Jan. 2, World of Illumination’s Arctic Adventure will transform the speedway into a drive-thru fairyland with more than 350 snow-themed light installations, millions of bulbs set to music, and even a 32-foot-tall glowing snowman. The drive is a mile long and perfect for kids of all ages. Find out how to get tickets at WorldOfIllumination.com. ‘ Garden Lights, Holiday Nights’ at the Atlanta Botanical Garden Daily through Saturday, Jan. 15 Everyone who loves the cheer of Christmas lights will enjoy this walk-through display! Each year, the Atlanta Botanical Garden glows with more than a million bulbs in all kinds of arrangements. Favorites include the Flower Walk, oversized snowflakes, and a giant Ice Goddess with shining hair. This year, the garden will also feature lighted sculptures during “Garden Lights” and a Holiday Ride-On Train on select afternoons. To purchase tickets before you go, visit AtlantaBG.org.
Some families travel on Christmas every year, but if you’re a homebody, then you’re in luck — there’s plenty to do here in Atlanta! Here are five ways to make the holidays special (and entertain the in-laws). ‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker’ at Fox Theatre Tuesday, Dec. 14 Kids who think they’re too cool for Tchaikovsky will love this reimagining of “The Nutcracker” that drops Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, and their battle against evil mice into contemporary New York City. The music and dancing are different, but the moral of the story is the same! Learn more and buy your tickets at FoxTheatre.org. ‘ A Christmas Carol’ at Alliance Theatre Select dates through Friday, Dec. 24 No one performs the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim better than the Alliance Theatre’s troupe! To snag your tickets to the
DIY Holiday Eggnog Ingredients • 6 egg yolks • 1/2 cup sugar • 1 cup heavy whipping cream • 2 cups milk • 1/2 tsp nutmeg Directions 1. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and creamy. Set aside. 2. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the cream, milk, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a simmer. 3. Add a spoonful of the milk mixture to the egg mixture. Whisk vigorously and repeat, one spoonful at a time.
• 1 pinch salt • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract • Cinnamon and whipped cream, for garnish
4. When most of the milk is whisked in, add the egg mixture to the saucepan. 5. Whisk until the liquid thickens slightly or reaches 160 F. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. 6. Pour the eggnog into a glass container and cover. Refrigerate. 7. When the eggnog has thickened, pour it into glasses, garnish, and enjoy!
KEVINPATRICK.LAW I 404.566.5880 • 3
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
2860 Piedmont Road N.E. • Suite 140 Atlanta, Georgia 30305
Inside This Issue 1 A Valuable Lesson From ‘The Polar Express’ 2 Decorate Your Gingerbread House Like a Pro
Kevin Time Travels to Christmas Past
3 4 Fun Holiday Events in Atlanta DIY Holiday Eggnog 4 Reading to Your Children Reaps Benefits Galore!
Follow Us @KPatricklaw
The Benefits of Reading to Your Children
Even at a young age, reading to your children is an important tool to help them grow and learn while sparking their creativity. Your child will help develop their early literacy skills and ability to focus, plus increase their social skills and communication skills.
comprehension along the way to ensure they understand what is happening in the story. These skills are vital to academic success. Improving Your Relationship The best way to create a special bond with your little ones is simply by spending time with them, and reading to your child on a routine basis is a great way to do that. Plus, reading stories provides a positive and educational experience where they can talk to you and vice versa. This will help you learn more about your child’s developing interests so you can find new ways to encourage them to learn and explore their passions. No matter which way you look at it, reading to your children provides a positive experience that will help them grow.
When you begin reading to your child, they gain a greater understanding of the world, which allows them to make sense of the things they see, hear, and react to in their daily lives. But the benefits of reading don’t stop there. Improving Language Skills Reading to your child when they are an infant can help strengthen their language acquisition skills. If you continue reading as they get older, these skills will only grow. They begin to latch on to spoken communication. Improving their vocabulary and grammar skills through hearing the 4 • KEVINPATRICK.LAW I 404.566.5880
written word is even more effective than what they gain from everyday conversation. Why? Because the human brain comprehends written communication differently than spoken communication. Preparing for Success in School According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 1 in 3 American children enter kindergarten without the necessary reading skills to succeed in school. But if you read to your children, you expose them to new words and help develop their listening skills as they listen to you read. You can also ask questions about their reading
Published by Newsletter Pro www.NewsletterPro.comPage 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4
Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator