Tense this holiday season? Maybe a roaring "fire" is good for what ails you. bill-murray-scrooged-holiday-movies GIF

Tense this holiday season? Maybe a roaring “fire” is good for what ails you.

The phrase “I can’t even” may have been invented for today’s blog post, which may be my last for the next week-ish of the holiday season.

How better to enjoy the holidays than gathered around a roaring fire with family and other loved ones? That is the notion behind the longtime TV version of the Yule log, which some stations traditionally have played while holiday music streams. Cheesy, but effective.

A roaring fire: You feel better already, don't you? fireplace norman rockwell

A roaring fire: You feel better already, don’t you?

An inspired “film” on Netflix has taken that a step further. “Fireplace for Your Home” is that tried-and-true approach. But wait … there’s more.

First of all, there is a trailer (yes, a trailer!) for this cinematic effort. Does it build your anticipation? Here it is:

And then, committed to the cinéma vérité of their effort, the auteurs added “behind the scenes” footage. For reals:

If this doesn’t make you chuckle, well, I can only recommend the movie Scrooged to you.

Happy holidays!

scrooged poster Bill Murray

A great gift awaits at Hidden Track Bottle Shop in downtown Phoenix. (photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

A great gift awaits at Hidden Track Bottle Shop in downtown Phoenix. (photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

It’s only Tuesday, so, as someone committed to a deadline-driven world, I resist the notion that we are in a “last-minute” situation for Christmas. It’s not until Friday, after all.

But if you’re still on the hunt for a little something-something for people you care about, here are a few ideas.

First, head here to read about gift ideas for the downtown Phoenix enthusiast. (Sorry, but I have no comparable link for Tucson or elsewhere.)

The story includes 13 super, smart, and curated links to #dtphx businesses. A few favorites of mine include Hazel & Violet letterpress and Hidden Track Bottle Shop. They—and the other businesses—may have what the holidays yearn for.

It doesn't get much more artisanal than this: handmade items from Hazel & Violet letterpress, on historic Grand Ave. in downtown Phoenix. (Photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

It doesn’t get much more artisanal than this: handmade items from Hazel & Violet letterpress, on historic Grand Ave. in downtown Phoenix. (Photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

A second suggestion comes via photographer James Palka. You may recall the Pulitzer Prize-winning fellow by his great work for Arizona Attorney Magazine photographing the historic Pima County Courthouse.

Happily, he has a few calendars featuring his work. But you won’t be relegated to courthouses all year ‘round. No, instead he’s offering calendars featuring phenomenal shots of two of his favorite cities, Chicago and Tucson.

James Palka Chicago calendar

To view the images contained in these 8.5″ x 11″ calendars ($20 each), go to his etsy shop.

James Palka Tucson calendar

Or email Jim at jfp1111@gmail.com. He’d love to hear from you.

Wisconsin Lawyer 25 Cool Tech Toys

This week, my expectation is that only a small portion of folks are reading legal (or any) blogs. But for those of you who are—and who may still be scouring Amazon for that perfect last-minute gift—I urge you to read an article on the topic.

Thanks to the Wisconsin Lawyer Magazine, we have a story on the “25 Cool Tech Toys.”

And to kick off your week, here is a video snippet from A Christmas Story, all about “an indescribable award.”

Let’s hope you’ve got an indescribably great week planned.

clueless Santa

This holiday season, you may not be the only one who is clueless about great gifts.

Last year as we approached Christmas, I linked to the talented Washington State Bar Association, which recommended some holiday gifts for lawyers.

I’ll do the same this year, but there is a reason I’m posting this on Christmas Eve, giving you virtually no shopping time:

This year, the WSBA’s shopping list is tongue in cheek. That is, you can’t actually buy these presents anywhere (and the links they provide are fake, so don’t try clicking them).

I suspect those who are still desperately trying to finish their shopping will not think the joke is too funny. But for those who are done—or beyond caring—enjoy the funny column here. And then have a wonderful Christmas.

Arizona Attorney wine label 2

No, Arizona Attorney doesn’t have a vineyard. But we can wish.

Happy Change of Venue Friday! As we get closer to the holidays, I thought you might enjoy this piece that comes from The Onion.

Or, at least, I thought it came from The Onion. But then I realized it was a special deal that came from the American Bar Association (those wags).

Here is the pitch:

“ABA invites you to experience exceptional sommelier-approved wines personalized for you or your firm at a special discounted price. White or red, dry or fruity—select the wine that suits your palate and custom-label it to your liking. Don’t miss this limited-time opportunity! Order by 12/15 for delivery by 12/25.

That alluring and vine-y call points us to a sales page; click here to head over.

A portion of the ABA wine ad.

A portion of the ABA wine ad.

Once I was there, I realized that the offer allows you to create your own semi-custom label for a variety of wines. This, it was intimated, is the quintessential gift that the discerning lawyer and law firm will be handing out this holiday season.

Intrigued, I searched high and low for the best of the boxed wine that we could distribute for Arizona Attorney partners. But I guess boxed vino is not the superb oenophile experience the ABA seeks to impart.

So here at the magazine, we won’t be buying any wine to re-gift. But I couldn’t resist using the site’s cool “create your own label” tool. I led this post with one of my semi-custom artworks. And here is another of my favorites:

Arizona Attorney wine label 1

Here at the magazine, we celebrate early and often, as our custom wine label shows.

I suspect the ABA thought only serious purchasers would fiddle around with their label-maker, so I apologize to them in advance for pointing people to the label page and saying, “Have at it.”

Have a great weekend. And if you decide to get me a gift with a really good nose, I prefer reds.

A mug for coffee and case names is just one idea for lawyer gifts.

A mug for coffee and case names is just one idea for lawyer gifts.

As if I needed more evidence that I’m living in the past

Last week, a colleague commented that she guessed next Friday afternoon will be pretty quiet around our office’s hallways.

Only half paying attention, I asked why that would be.

She gave me a sideways glance, apparently thinking I was pulling her leg.

“Um, it’s the start of the weekend before Christmas … ?”

“No way,” I responded with confidence. That event is still two full weeks away, not one, I asserted.

She smiled at my idiocy. And my smile faded.

And so it is the case. The holidays are far closer than I suspected, and with them their attendant challenges.

So if you, like me, have been blindsided by a season creeping in like cat burglar, you may be in need of certain last-minute ideas.

Fortunately, the Washington State Bar provides that very thing: a quick-and-easy holiday gift list for lawyers.

You can read all their ideas here. What would you add to the barrister’s bucket list?

Good luck with putting the “ease” back into “season.”

Have you ever felt that the holidays can be a stressful time? Maybe, but the challenges we face are likely far less than those faced by children in group homes. For them, the holidays can be an especially painful time of year.

That’s why the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Arizona dedicates so much of their time and energy to a holiday party for kids in just such a home. They are hosting a party on December 3, and they need the help of Arizona lawyers. Here’s more information on what you can do.

Holiday Party for Children Residing at Sunshine Residential & Group Homes, Inc.

The celebration of major holidays are often difficult for children in residential care. Please help us make the holidays more enjoyable for the children of Sunshine Residential & Group Homes, Inc. by contributing to, and/or volunteering at, the Maricopa County Young Lawyers’ Division 2011 Holiday Party. Sunshine Group Homes, Inc. provides a clean, safe and structured environment for abused, abandoned, or neglected boys ranging from 5 to 18 years of age, and girls ranging from 4 to 17 years of age, who are in need of out-of-home placement.

The deadline for donations was November 26. But you may still contribute. Please make checks payable to State Bar of Arizona YLD and send to:

Erik J. Stone

YLD Holiday Party Committee

2901 N. Central Ave., Suite 800

Phoenix, AZ 85012

Volunteers Needed the Day of the Party

When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011

Where: Peter Piper Pizza, 6821 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria, AZ 85345

If you are interested in volunteering at the 2011 Young Lawyers Division Holiday party please contact:

Erik Stone, 602-263-7309 estone@jshfirm.com

Nicole Severson, 520-371-3504 Nicole.severson@azbar.org

Below, you will find the complete flier with all the information.