Articles Posted in Holidays

Dollarphotoclub_64803634-300x225I’m going away, but I’ll be back….

So all you nice people who read my blog can be assured that after I spend time with my children and grandchildren and old friends, I’ll return with an outstanding blog for Monday, January 2, 2017.  How did it get to be 2017 without my knowing it?

So, here’s wishes you all the best Holiday you deserve in this terrible time of trouble in our beautiful country.  Rest assure, we will not let those idiots ruin the climate change agenda and we will continue to fight for the rights of all humans. That’s my pledge for the New Year and I hope it is yours.

AdobeStock_111289628Dear Readers,

As the year comes to an end, you know I like to give advice about how to handle the new year.  Well, this year is no different.Both you and your clients have had some real difficult times and some very unique challenges this past year.  Between the stock market behavior , job problems and the election debacle, doom and gloom has run rampant.  Many lawyers have suffered significant disruption of their businesses as clients and employers try to keep their heads above water.

Now, some of the experts tell us that the recession has turned around.  Other experts tell us that there is more disruption to come as the government goes crazy.Whatever happens, guess what?  WE STILL ALL HAVE THAT PIECE OF PAPER THAT SAYS WE ARE LAWYERS! Most people in the world don’t have that piece of paper. We have infinite possibilities to use that piece of paper to not only provide us with a living but to give us job satisfaction as well.

LAST NIGHT I WATCHED “SECRETS OF THE DEAD” ON PBS AND THE SHOW WAS ABOUT VAMPIRES. I learned how their existence got started and how it remains today. I felt virtuous for watching such foolishness  because it was on Public TV.

How many people will dress as Vampires tonight? How many children will want to be the “walking dead” while accepting real live candy?  What is the fascination with dead people who have come back to life?

The PBS show seemed to explain part of this by the fact that ancient people couldn’t explain why they had disease and barren crops much of the time.  It was easier to blame dead people who came back to haunt the living with catastrophic events.  Their solution was to dig up the buried person and cut out their heart and burn it in the village cross roads.  This supposedly took care of any further disasters from that Vampire. There were plenty more out there in the grave yards though!

When you take a survey of how people feel about Halloween, you usually get answers like: “oh, I love  to get dressed up and go to a party” or “I hate it.  All that candy and the kids get crazy” or ” I shut my door and turn off the lights and hide”.

Here in Santa Cruz, CA the city has a huge parade and the kids get to go trick or treating to all the stores along the main street early in the evening.It is fun to see all the little ones dressed up but things can get a little rough later on when the big folks start partying in the street.  The City even puts up a temporary fence around each tree and sculpture on the street.

Dollar staircaseEach of us has our own remembrances of Halloween. Mine is getting black all over my face from slobbering on the black mask.  Also remembering my Dad hiding behind a tree to keep an eye on us as we went door to door.  What is your memory?

Hi to all,

Yes, I made it back just to check in on you and see if you did the Action Tasks that I gave you before I left.

I’m still too jet lagged to write much but I did want to tell you that my book HOW TO BE A BETTER LAWYER: A Short Guide to a Long Career, is not out and ready for purchase.  I don’t have the correct link yet, but you can go to Shop ABA Store and click into books and then put in title.  If you are a member of the ABA or a Bar Association there is a reduction in price.

Exactly what does Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays have to do with attorneys?  At first glance, you would say “not much”.  We are limited in how we can advertise and gimmicks and giving away stuff is not in our best interest to attract new clients.  So it there anything we can learn from all this going on about “shopping days”?

Let’s first look at why these happen.  Retailers have to do something to attract customers, especially those that get most of their profits from Holiday Sales.  These are important times for them to make a buck.  In fact, some retailers count so heavily on Holiday Shopping that they can’t stay in business without it.  So who is to criticize them for having Big Sales on specific times and days?  These times have almost become a necessity as the retailers battle each other.

At this point, it would seem that all of this is getting a little out of hand when employees are required to work during the actual holiday and not be able to be with their families, etc.  Unfortunately, this happened because one guy did it and the rest now have to do it to compete.  We have to look at our values and decide if we are going to support such shenanigans.

This is the time of year that I always get asked by clients if Holiday cards to client and friends aren’t just commercialism at its worst.  There might be some truth in that.  This is the time of year that we all get hit with outrageous amounts of advertising.  Since retailers make a great deal of money during the Holidays, it is logical that they do quite a bit of advertising and arm pulling.

As lawyers we don’t want to be perceived as “ambulance chasers” or crazy car salesmen.   On the other hand, this is the time of year that opens people’s hearts to the needy and to family and friends.  After writing last week’s blog, I thought about the fact that an attorney could also give a significant donation in the name of several clients to a charity.  The charity usually sends the donees a notice of the gift. But again this might be perceived as being manipulative.

staircase stairSo how does the attorney send greetings at this time of year?  Remember it is vital that you be touching your A Contacts at least 4 times a year and this is a perfect time for one of those.  The clue is to be sincere!  If you come to the task with a genuine desire to communicate your good wishes and “touch” the people you send cards to, then it will be accepted as such and not viewed as just another advertisement.  This means that you have to give considerable time to designing your greetings.  The sentiments need to be sincere and meaningful.  Happy Holidays won’t do!!!

Here’s hoping all of you have gotten started on your Holiday mailing to your clients and friends and family.  How about putting something special in the Holiday Card?  Maybe your favorite poem?  A short story? Personal Pictures that are of interest?  Forget the newsletter with everything that has happened in the prior year unless you have gotten a good response to that earlier.

In this way, your recipient can see that you personalized the card just for them.  There is much to be said for quality over quantity.

Wouldn’t you like to receive a card with sentiments designed just for you?  Another idea is to have more than one type of card to send out.  One may be filled with Christmas spirit, another Jewish sentiments and a third kind of neutral.   If you have the time, sign the cards even if your name is printed.  ( I just heard that they may no longer teach cursive writing in school—-what is the world coming to?)

I just ordered my Holiday Cards.  I send out New Year’s Cards because I don’t like to offend anyone with my Christmas Greetings.  I do love the Angels and Jesus and the Christmas Trees and especially Santa.  I do know, however, that our earth is populated by all kinds of beliefs and I can’t really share my enthusiasm for Christmas with all the people I want to send a Holiday Greeting to.

What are your beliefs at this time of year?  Do you want to find people to share those with?  Hopefully you have found a spiritual home that nurtures you.   Being a lawyer with all of its stress and political shenanigans can sometimes allow you to lose your sense of self.  We are careful about the way we use words when it relates to ethnic groups and certainly this greater awareness has made us a better human being but it has also caused us to be criticized if we make a false move.  What used to be OK language just 10 years ago, is no more.

iStock_000014119164_ExtraSmallNow is not a bad time to give this topic some consideration.  You, too, need to pick out good Holiday Greetings to send to your clients, old and new, your friends and family.  What do you really want to say to your sendees?  What are your real wishes for them?  Do you want to inspire them? Or do you want to have them know you understand their wishes and desires?