The Pachelbel Canon is playing in the background of our family law office, the turkeys are on sale and we’re but days away from the feasting – my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving! I know it’s politically incorrect to be all pro-Thanksgiving these days based on the historical treatment of the indigenous population by the Pilgrims etc – but frankly I wasn’t around then and the only thing I can do is treat people well today. 

Which is why I think that Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday – because it allows all Americans to sit back, reflect on their good fortune and share with their neighbors the bounty they have. As holidays go, it’s as non-denominational as one can get. Christians as well as Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Bahai, Agnostics and Atheists can all participate in the communal breaking of bread and sharing of good cheer. Whether you’re a newly minted American or your family dates back to the Mayflower (how few are those!?!) the reality is that Thanksgiving is a great reason to gather friends and family and share. 

Certainly there are those who will be arguing over the dinner table about politics, religion and sports, but for most of us, it’s a great opportunity to see family, enjoy friends and overindulge. This year I’ll be a guest at a friend’s house and as we overlook the Pacific, and count our blessings for things like having a home over our heads, and food in our bellies, I’m sure many of our thoughts will turn to those who have so recently lost their own homes throughout the state.

Which leads me to this, as you go shopping this coming weekend, stop and buy something to donate to those in need. There are those who will be grateful for the smallest of gifts, it doesn’t take much to change someone’s outlook, and your small gift can be the day brightener they need. 

As we ramp up into the partying season, I want to suggest my friend Julia Friedman’s new company, Sconely, as a great addition to your office and home parties. I met her in the Westside Toastmasters and have heard bits of her story through the years. Julia’s healthy scones are the outgrowth of her own journey facing cancer, and the recovery she’s had by reconfiguring her diet. She decided that she loved baking, and wanted to bring healthy, organic, savory and sweet scones to the public in new and exciting ways. Her scones have been featured in co-working spaces as one of the many benefits they offer. I highly recommend them as a unique alternative to the usual breakfast sweets and treats and you can order direct at www.Sconely.com.

Starting Friday The Bike Shop on Main Street is having a black Friday sale with electric bikes and regular bikes having screaming deals. Saturday, it’s Small Business Saturday, and throughout the city there will be local deals to jumpstart the holiday season of shopping. I know we all love the benefits of shopping online, but to keep our city economy flowing, let’s all make a concerted effort to do some local shopping and spend money in the city, at our neighborhood retailers. It’s good for them and for us! 

For those who want to get a tree to bring inside, I’d like to suggest renting one this year from the Living Christmas Tree company (www.livingchristmas.com) as an environmentally friendly way to have a tree. My friend, Scotty Claus started the Christmas tree rental company years ago and has been quite successful with a wide selection of trees that are nurtured throughout the year, and then come to service around now. For the price of buying a tree you can rent one, and if you like, even get it back next year. I met the devilishly handsome Scotty Claus years ago at the Farmer’s Market on Main Street, and we’ve been friends ever since.

Earlier this year a box arrived in my office from the Plugable company (www.plugable.com). In it was a Bluetooth headseat for the phone, some Bluetooth speakers, and a USB mouse. I asked why they sent them to me, and they asked me to try them and if I liked them to write about them for a gift guide. Well, it’s been about 6 months of me using these products and I have to say I freaking love them. The around the neck headset for my iPhone is a dream to use. It’s fast, clear and hasn’t dropped a call yet. The only problem I’ve noticed is that I need two different sized earbuds – it’s a personal thing, the unit is great. I use the speakers daily and am thoroughly impressed with their sound quality and ease of use. The mouse is for gamers, and honestly that’s not a use I can comment on. It’s been good to me for the word processing I do, and the occasional graphics work, but beyond that I have no comment.

If you’re looking for a quality gift for the people in your life, check out the Plugable company website and see what they have. I can say that I recommend the items I’ve used.

Lastly, remember to be thankful this year. It’s been such a rough month for so many, from mass shootings to children killing themselves, to the fires and soon to be mudslides, I truly want us to focus on the important and big things. Let the little things go, if the pie is overdone or the turkey is underdone or the flight gets delayed, remember there are those who would gladly change places with you in a heartbeat.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. 

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist.  He welcomes your questions and comments.  He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969.You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra

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