I love Christmas.

I always have, but now that I have kids, I enjoy it even more.

As I get older, I’m beginning to realize just how important family traditions are.

Family traditions provided an event to look forward to that breaks up the monotony of our daily lives. They provide a reason to get loved ones together and a way to create valuable memories that you and your family will not appreciate until after they are gone.

I’m sending you this note this morning for two reasons.

First, to wish you and your family a merry Christmas.

Second, I want to hear about your family traditions, so I can get some new ideas to share with my family.

Here are some of the things my family looks forward to every year.

  • Halloween pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie, and haunted house tour
  • Thanksgiving is pretty traditional
  • Friday after thanksgiving, hot chocolate and cut a fresh Christmas tree
  • Saturday, we put up the outdoor Christmas lights and decorations
  • Mid December, gingerbread houses, hot chocolate, and food
  • Christmas eve dinner and stockings
  • Christmas morning gifts and brunch
  • First snow, we drag out the snowboards and head for the mountains
  • Spring the snowboards go in the attic and the camping gear comes down
  • May we take the boat out and get it ready for the summer
  • 4th of July BBQ and fireworks at home

As I write this seemingly benign list, each item triggers very fond memories for me.

So, if you’re relaxing on the couch in a food coma, please take a second to share your family traditions in the comment section.

I’d love to hear what your family does.

I hope you and your family are having a wonderful day celebrating in whatever way is special to you.


P.S. Are you on my schedule yet for the new year?

The Battle Between Warriors and the Public

IMG_8889-2In the middle of the morning, the 911 calls flooded in reporting a man at busy shopping center frantically waving a butcher knife.

When the officers arrived, the Hispanic man was yelling while holding the knife against his own throat.

The cops stood back and tried to talk the man down.

Hostile crowds started to form and they launched into the usual anti-police rhetoric.

The police did not create the incident, but they were forced to deal with it. They were in a no win situation.

Ignoring the man would leave the public at risk, but to communicate, the officers had to enter the deadly 21 foot range – a distance the untrained public knows nothing about.

The public dismisses the dangers of knives, but cops know the fatality rates of stabbing and shooting victims are similar.

The police were always split seconds behind, forced to play defense as they aimed a mixture of firearms and less-lethal bean bag weapons.

The officers patiently negotiated until he started wildly stabbing himself with the large knife. Continue reading “The Battle Between Warriors and the Public”

Police Beatings: Balancing Anarchy and Tyranny

A Seattle police officer punched a woman in the face during a jaywalking stop.

The officer tried to detain the jaywalker, but she pulled away and started yelling, which agitated the hostile crowd that began to circle the officer.

A second woman entered the scene. She pushed the officer to help her resisting friend escape.

The officer immediately punched the second woman in the face, removing her from the picture as he continued struggling with the first woman.

The crowd got angry and so did Bill O’Reilly who is often pro police.

Video Below

Continue reading “Police Beatings: Balancing Anarchy and Tyranny”

Is the Hunger Games Based on a True Story?

Eerily, The Hunger Games took on a perspective more closely resembling reality than fiction. I first heard of The Hunger Games after the movie was released but had no idea what it was about. I wondered why all the craze.

How can you miss the 6404 5‑star average reviews in Amazon. If you’re a writer, you can’t ignore that. I immediately ordered it having no idea what it was about. Anything that popular must be doing something right and there’s likely something to learn from it–at least from a writing/promotional perspective.

I still hadn’t cracked the book (how do you say that with a Kindle?), but then I read an email from my friend and estate planning attorney Martha Hartney.

I enjoy Martha’s writings because we often share similar views on raising kids. We both question motives behind those who make rules for out kids’ education. Sometimes, you are better off if you do not listen to authority, or at the very least, you ought to consider questioning it. Continue reading “Is the Hunger Games Based on a True Story?”