Articles Tagged with holidays

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Mark Griffin, M.E., Blog Writer

It’s summertime, and that means kids around Greensboro will be beating the heat. But they probably won’t be hanging out at the pool or lake like their parents did. It’s more likely they will be huddled around their electronic devices playing video games or watching YouTube. The World Health Organization has recently classified addiction to video games as a certified mental disorder. Our children are particularly susceptible during the summer months when they are out of school and have less structured activities.

The signs of video game addiction are disturbingly quite similar to other addictions such as exercise addiction or sex addiction. If your child has difficulty talking or even thinking about anything other than video games, then they might have a problem. The problem is exacerbated by the gaming designers attempting to make their games psychologically addicting purposely. As with drug and alcohol addictions, they may have such a compulsion to play that they let school work lag and their grooming and hygiene begin to suffer.

In the beginning, gamers may be satisfied to play one or two hours at a time; however as they become more addicted, they crave much longer sessions. Some children have to be physically removed from a game console, or they will play continuously. As the addiction worsens they frequently suffer from significant weight gain or weight loss, sleep disruptions, mood changes, sleep deprivation, Avoiding friends and family members. They may begin lying about the time spent playing video games and start skipping meals. Shoddy work and academic performance should also set off alarm bells.

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Dana M. Horlick, Attorney, Woodruff Family Law Group13062458_1042739802458603_2436945721037467362_n-214x300

 

Directly after the holidays happens to be one of the busiest times of the year for divorce attorneys when it comes to divorce filings. The increase in divorce filings is a trend that is seen nationwide, including here in Greensboro, North Carolina. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there is typically a spike of 25% to 30% in divorce filings every year in January. There is a similar trend in the United Kingdom, where one in five couples plan to divorce after the holidays.

Now when you think about it, this trend makes sense, given the nature of the holidays themselves and the sometimes adversarial nature of the divorce filings themselves. There are several factors at play when it comes to the uptick in divorce filings right after the holidays and at the start of the new year.

One thread deals with the holidays as a precipitating factor towards a divorce filing. The holidays may be a stressful time for couples, especially when there are already difficulties in the marriage. There is the financial stress of getting through the holidays and purchasing the presents. There is also the factor of spending time with your in-laws or just having an increased amount of family time. You might be in the house with your partner for an extended period. If there are problems already present in the marriage this can become an issue; even without pre-existing problems, this may place a strain on the relationship. Having to put on a happy face for your relatives and your children can also be very stressful.

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By Sarah Andrew, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

s.andrew headshotWhen I think of Friendsgiving, I think of my first attempt at baking pumpkin muffins. I remember my joy at having an excuse to try out my roommate’s fancy stand mixer, my panic at using so much butter at once, the brisk three-block walk to my friend’s apartment, in ill-advised boots, with the warm bowl nestled between my gloves. Steam rising from homemade food is such a cozy thing, even when you’re not jaunting about in the cold.

Maybe you’re feeling more cold than cozy this year. It’s the first major holiday since your divorce, or it’s your ex’s turn to celebrate Thanksgiving with the kids. You could visit your parents and extended family, but you have a news feed’s worth of evidence that dinner will devolve into a political knock-down-drag-out before you can even request the salt. Here’s the beautiful thing about Friendsgiving: Friends. Sanity. Casual, low-stakes discourse over a meal everyone makes together, in one kitchen or in several. If someone gets too mouthy, you can kick him out without worrying that you’ll be left out of the will.

So how do you plan for the ideal Friendsgiving?

First, start a group chat with a few people in your same—or a similar—boat. Suggest a menu with the basics, from the bird to veggies to dessert, and let everyone choose what they’d like to contribute. Maybe everyone wants to cook together at your place. Maybe they’ll cook at home and carry their dishes over. Maybe they’ll secretly buy a pie from Harris Teeter and transfer it to their great-grandmother’s china. Great! If you tend to be a perfectionist, stop and take a deep breath. It’s okay if every item isn’t vegan and gluten-free. Make sure people are aware of potential allergens—and you eliminate cross-contamination by shared utensils— and they’ll eat what they can eat, until they physically can’t anymore.

Have games and icebreakers ready. Perhaps you’re lucky enough that the members of your various social circles already know each other. Even if that’s the case, who doesn’t love games? Go around and let people share their favorite Thanksgiving memory, or funniest-in-retrospect Thanksgiving argument. Have a few games at your disposal, too: Trivial Pursuit, Last Word, and of course Apples to Apples are always popular choices. Continue reading →

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s.andrew headshotBy Sarah Andrew, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

Everyone knows that the best thing about Halloween—besides the mountain of free candy—is the opportunity to transform, at least for the night, into a superhero or a Disney princess or a delightfully spooky creature. (Or, if your parents are at all like mine, into one-half of old-timey comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, with a bowler hat, a fake mustache, and a pillow stuffed under your button-down.) With the exception of nine-year-old me, who wasn’t thrilled to traipse through her Greensboro neighborhood as a middle-aged man, most kids would jump at a second chance to wear their costumes and celebrate all over again.

But what if you’re the parent whose custody begins a day or two after trick-or-treating ends? Ringing doorbells after November 1 is more likely to lead to dark porch lights and raised eyebrows than to another heaping bucketful of chocolate, and most community events are limited to Halloween itself. Here are some ideas for conjuring up a little ghoulish magic on other nights of the year.

Roll up your sleeves. Everyone’s favorite candy is about to go on sale, so stock up on as many variety packs as you can carry. Fun-size chocolate bars are perfect for baking into cupcakes, or for simply popping back while you wait for the timer to go off. If you don’t trust your kids—or yourself—around an oven, you can opt for a perennial favorite: dirt cups. What’s more fun than crushing a bag of Oreos with a rolling pin? If you’re feeling adventurous, make a full-sized dirt pie. And, of course, try to trick everyone into eating at least a little something healthy by insisting that the peeled grapes are actually eyeballs.

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By Kristina Pisano, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

Fourth of July, a day of grilled hot dogs, pool parties, and fireworks. I always look forward to this fun summer holiday both because of the traditions I have enjoyed with family growing up to now enjoying new celebrations with friends as I get older. The Triad area offers many activities to enjoy with your friends and family on this day of America’s independence.

Fun Fourth Festival If you have not yet been to downtown Greensboro to experience the Fun Fourth Festival, you need to make plans to do it! Every year it grows bigger and bigger, and I always think there is no way they can do more, but they do. Start the festivities off on July 3 the Freedom Run 10K, or for those who don’t feel like running quite so far, the Firecracker Road Race is only a mile. Then the big show starts at 8:00 pm with the Sleeping Booty Band at the Elm Street & McGee Street Lot. Then on the 4th itself, the festival starts at 2:00. There are several bands, craft and food vendors, community group presentations, kid games and more. Of course, it wouldn’t be 4th of July without patriotic music from the Trombone Shout Band, and the City of Greensboro Philharmonia, followed by a spectacular firework show. The best part about the Fun Fourth Festival is that it is a free event and family friendly.

Independence Day Celebration at Old Salem What better way to celebrate America’s Independence than to spend the day at Old Salem. Bring the family to see how the Moravians lived in the 18th century. They will have hands-on demonstrations and activities for kids of all ages. Old Salem is open from 9:30 am-4:30 pm and what is especially unique about this celebration is all guest will be invited to Salem Square to see how the first 4th of July was commemorated by the Moravians. Of course, there will be live patriotic music playing all afternoon to keep you in the spirit of the holiday. Continue reading →

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IMG_1275By Joshua Scott Chilton, Legal Assistant & Receptionist, Woodruff Family Law Group

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States of America made a ruling in a case known as Obergefell v. Hodges which changed the definition of what marriage was in our country. Despite the arguments against it, it was no longer defined simply as the union between man and woman; it was now a union between any two people who wished to come together and love one another. As a gay man, I was overcome with pride and joy that people like me could now marry those they loved and experience what marriage had to offer, from the joy of a wedding to the drudgery of joint taxes and to the sorrow of a hospital.

However, despite the ruling, I knew that it was a close battle. It was a 5 to 4 vote, and that meant that the push for equality wasn’t over yet; there were and still are many in our country who believe that marriage should be between only a man and a woman rather than any definition other than what is viewed as “traditional”. There is still a struggle for those in the LGBTQA+ community outside of the realm of marriage as well; in our state of North Carolina, Governor McCrory was quick to issue a statewide ban on Transgender individuals entering restrooms or locker rooms they feel comfortable in after the Charlotte lawmakers approved city law to allow such.

The most recent attack on the LGBTQA+ community didn’t come from restrictive legislation, however. It didn’t come from politicians or protestors. It didn’t come in the form of a hateful hashtag on Twitter. It didn’t come from a county clerk refusing to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling. It came in the form of one man with an assault rifle…

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By Kristina Pisano, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

Dad and I 2014

I am just like my Father: I have come to this realization as I get older. From the red hair, the red-headed temper and the overly kind and generous heart; I thank my father. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I realized how much I am like him. Quiet at times, especially around new people; he becomes the life of the party once he is around his people. I realized that in my mid-twenties I was the same way. Turning junk into treasure, an eye for color and design and the overwhelming and sometimes heavy load of putting everyone else’s needs and worries before myself is me and my father. He taught me how to drive the wide open roads respectfully in the Pennsylvania Mountains and the unique connection you can make with a four-legged friend. I owe my Dad the world and so much more. How will you spend Father’s Day with your Dad this year?

On Father’s Day weekend both the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Winston-Salem Dash have home games. Nothing could be better than watching the great American pastime, baseball. Grab some hot dogs, a cold drink and of course a bag of peanuts and reminisce of playing catch in the backyard.

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By Kristina Pisano, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

It’s almost time to slide your toes into your favorite flip flops, shed some of that winter wardrobe and start thinking summer! The Triad offers many celebrations and fantastic events for you and your family to enjoy Memorial Day weekend locally.

Memorial Day Weekend Kickoff Concert: Nothing could be finer than enjoying some toe-tapping, patriotic music to put you in the summer time mood. The City of High Point is hosting the Army Ground Forces Band, which includes 56 soldier-musicians. This free concert is at the Oak Hollow Festival Park in High Point, NC.

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By Kristina Pisano, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

It is a day to honor your best friend, your hero and your number one fan, your mom! Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8, and the Triad offers many ways to help you celebrate that special lady who deserves the world.

Mom and Me 2016Tea Time: Instead of just the typical lunch or dinner outing for your mom, why not try taking her to tea. There are several tea rooms and unique Mother’s Day tea-themed events. The Pegg House Tea Room in Kernersville is offering their traditional high tea with a special twist for Mother’s Day. Or, you could whisk your mom away to the O.Henry Hotel for their Afternoon Tea, which includes tea sandwiches, quiches, scones and an array of tasty treats. If you want to make her feel special, hand her a corsage to wear while enjoying her tea! 

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Diana WestrickBy Diana Westrick, Legal Assistant, Woodruff Family Law Group

I always enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. To me, the holiday represents a celebration of the Irish culture: a culture that is bombarded mostly with beer, shamrocks, and the color green.  Don’t get me wrong, I am an annual participant.  However, a few years ago, I had the opportunity of traveling to Ireland to participate in their annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and ended up discovering and experiencing the true essence of the holiday.  I also came to a realization that while our Irish-themed celebrations are meant to act as a tribute, and are a lot of fun, the American-version of St. Patrick’s Day has it all wrong.

Read on for some debunked “myths” about the lucky holiday, so that you may be the wisest of your clan.