Page 1 News and Tips to Make Your Life Easier, Safer, and Happier... December 2012 Jim Hall President & Agency Owner This Issue How To Break The 1 Rules of Holiday Entertaining! December Fun Facts! 2 Referral Program Contest Details! 3 Trivia Contest win a prize! 3 Just for Laughs! 4 How To Break The Rules of Holiday Entertaining Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "People are always getting ready to live but never living." This year, with hundreds of details surrounding holiday gatherings threatening to ruin your holiday memories, take a few moments and think about how much nicer it would be if you enjoyed the special moments with your family and friends. Instead each year you spend countless hours in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove while your guests enjoy themselves in the next room. Imagine if you could spend more time with them, sharing stories and enjoying their company. It can be done. Perhaps it’s time to tweak some traditions, take a few shortcuts and rethink your personal holiday entertaining rules. There are many options to help you entertain in style without all the hassle (and you'll still get rave reviews). Planning ahead can help you reduce stress and give you back your holidays. Consider these five easy steps to simplify holiday entertaining: 1. Fill your freezer with tasty treats to pull out at a moment's notice. Pre-made appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts that you can thaw, bake and serve are lifesavers during the holiday season. 2. Let someone else do the cooking. Many grocery stores and restaurants offer complete ready-to-eat family-size carry out dinners. While not inexpensive, there are many online companies (like Kansas City Steak Company) that make it easy for you to have tasty holiday meals delivered right to your door, with minimal effort and maximum flavor. They do all the preparation; you get the praise. 3. Pizza is a crowd pleaser. Sure, go ahead and prepare that special brunch or dinner, but you don’t have to go all-out for every meal over the 4-day holiday weekend. Order a pizza or take-out or bring out leftovers and finger-foods for other meal times. 4. Think potluck for entertaining. Guests are more than willing to bring a dish for holiday gatherings. A simple request, like: "We're going to try something new this year. I'd like you to bring your favorite appetizer, side dish, dessert, etc. I'll provide the roast (of your choice) and beverages." Few things are more social than a potluck meal. This allows you to get together with your favorite people without doing all the work yourself. Do a little planning up front, and you'll have a wonderful meal where everyone can take a bow. 5. Use paper or plastic. Okay, even I admit, the fancy dishes are (Continued on pg. 2) News Tips to MakeReport Your Life Easier, Safer, and Happier... Theand Hauswirth Hauswirth Report Page Page 22 December 2012 (Continued from page 1) a nice, elegant touch, but even nicer is spending time with your loved ones, instead of washing dishes for two hours at the sink. If you must, for a few bucks more, you can buy “fancy” plastic plates. Reevaluate traditions. Just because your mother and her mother spent days (or all week) preparing the Christmas holiday meals, doesn’t mean that’s the best plan. It's okay to give yourself permission to create new traditions that fit your lifestyle while still satisfying the taste buds of the special people in your life. We wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas, and we hope you relish the food, company and celebrations of the holiday. Most of all, we hope you make memories that will last a lifetime. December Fun Facts Christmas purchases account for 1/6th of all retail sales in the U.S. Originally a pagan tradition, Christmas trees were not all that common before 1840, when they regained popularity through Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. Christmas became a national holiday in America on June 26, 1870. Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday (1836), and Oklahoma was the last state to recognize it (1907). Male reindeer shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleight are likely female or castrati, despite the fact that most of them have masculine-sounding names. According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221 foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington. Black Friday is not the busiest shopping day of the year, as is often believed. Rather the Friday and Saturday before Christmas are the two busiest shopping days of the year. In the U.S. alone, more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent each year. The earliest known Christmas tree decorations were apples. Charles Dickens’ famous novel, “A Christmas Carol” was written in just six weeks. Dickens’ original choice for the exclamation of Scrooge was “Bah Christmas.” Changed later to “Bah Humbug.” Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold. There are roughly 21,000 Christmas tree farms in the U.S. In 2008, nearly 45 million Christmas trees were planted, adding to the 400 million already growing. The United States Bill of Rights was passed on December 14, 1791. Orville Wright made the first heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, on December 17, 1903. “Jingle Bells” was originally written for Thanksgiving, but became one of the most popular Christmas songs. Rudolph was created by Montgomery Ward (department store) for a holiday promotion. “It’s a Wonderful Life” appears on TV more often than any other holiday movie. Christmas trees are edible. The pine needles are a good source of vitamin C too. The world’s largest Christmas present was the Statue of Liberty given to U.S. by France. “He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” - Roy L. Smith Merritt Hall Insurance Agency - Helping You Protect What Matters Most - (317) 247-7737 Page Page3 3 News and Tips to Make Your Life Easier, Safer, and FallHappier... ‘06 December 2012 5Plus1™ - The Exclusive Rewards Program for Friends & Clients of Merritt Hall - Turbo-Charged & On Steroids! More Prizes, Bigger Prizes & Exciting Rewards! Visit www.5-plus-1.com for more details 5 Grand Prizes to Choose From! 1. 50 inch LED 3-D HDTV! All New Prizes & Rewards! 2. iPad - 64 Gb with Wi-Fi! 3. Professional Quality Stainless Steel Gas Grill! 4. Trip for 2 to Las Vegas, NV! 5. Cash! Instant winnings from $25 to $150! VIP Lunches at unique & exciting restaurants Family fun retreats - bring the whole family! Sports events, activities & and outings with local Celebrities! BONUS: You can also win $100 Cash just for sharing your comments with us. Hurry, drawings held quarterly! To be entered to win, send your comments to [email protected] Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thanks to everyone who graciously shared their family and friends with us! A partial list is shown below. Donna Miller John Kirkbride Sharon Lovejoy Not-So-Trivial Pursuit? Be the first to correctly answer the question below and win a prize! The prize this month is a $25 gift card for Fridays Restaurant. Just one correct (or nearly correct) answer, and you could be the winner. The Rules: 1. The entry that comes closest to the correct answer will be the winner. 2. If more than one person has the exact answer, the winner will be the person whose entry reached our office first. Write down your name, phone number and answer, and then fax it to (317) 240-3705 or email your answer to: [email protected] . The winner will be featured in our next newsletter! Good luck! Ron Boston Jeff Dalverny Justin Schneider Who was the first president to decorate the White House Christmas tree? Clyde Thatcher Jeff Cooper Your Name ____________________________Phone #_______________________ April Gartin Your Answer_________________________________________________________ Congratulations to Don & Jeanne Spivey! They were first to correctly answer last month’s trivia question. Which department store sponsored the first Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1920? Answer: Gimbel Brothers Department Store (Gimbel’s) MERRITT HALL INSURANCE AGENCY PRESORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE 2421 Production Drive, Suite 203 Indianapolis, IN 46241 Phone: (317) 247-7737 or Toll Free: (800) 677-9180 PERMIT# 6579 December 2012 Plainfield, IN The Circle of Safety A Monthly Newsletter For Friends & Clients of Merritt Hall Insurance In This Issue… Break Holiday Rules! December Fun Facts! Trivia Contest! Just for Laughs! “We have really had the best service of any agency in the seventy years we have been using car and home insurance. The service is excellent and the rates are competitive. Thank you!” Robert D. Wilson Play 5Plus1™ & Win BIG! Turbo-Charged! Bigger, Better Prizes! More Ways to Win! News and Tips to Make Your Life Easier, Safer, and Happier... Page Page 44 Just for Laughs Weeweechu The full moon was casting a romantic glow, when Pedro said, "Hey, mamacita, let's play Weeweechu." “Oh no, not now, let's look at the moon!" said Rosita. “Oh, c'mon baby, let's you and I play Weeweechu. I love you and it's the perfect time," Pedro begged. "But I wanna just hold your hand and watch the moon." replied Rosita. Please, mi amor, just once, play Weeweechu with me." Rosita looked at Pedro and said, "OK, one time, we'll play Weeweechu." Pedro grabbed his guitar and they both sang..... "Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year."
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