Wisconsin Lawyer: President's MessageTis the Season:

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  • Wisconsin Lawyer

    President's Message
    Tis the Season

    Patrick J. Fiedler

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    Whatever your faith or beliefs, I wish you a joyous holiday season.
    iedler family Christmas 2012

    Enjoying the Fiedler family Christmas 2012, from left: Freddy, Sandy, Ainsley, Sydney, Pat, and Will.

    In my opinion, the President’s Message for December should at least acknowledge that this is the holiday season. The irony is that my deadline for this column is November 5. Although retail merchants have already brought out holiday displays, right now I’m eating Halloween candy and looking forward to a Thanksgiving spent with family – a Thanksgiving that will include the Packers/Lions game with kickoff at 11:30 a.m. Is this a great country or what?

    Each of us celebrates in December in a way that has meaning to us as an individual – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or perhaps not at all.

    I come from a long family line that celebrates Christmas. Right after Thanksgiving, the tree will go up and be decorated with ornaments that we have acquired over the course of many years. A wreath will hang on our front door, boughs will accent our fireplace mantle, and colored lights will be everywhere. Throughout December, we will watch our favorite DVDs, which reflect the fact that three generations are present – A Christmas Carol (1938), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), A Christmas Story (1983), Scrooged (1988), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), and The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992).

    Patrick J. Fiedlercom pfiedler axley Patrick J. Fiedler, Marquette 1980, is a litigator with Axley Brynelson LLP, in Madison.

    "Each of us celebrates in December in a way that has meaning to us as an individual – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or perhaps not at all."

    Then Christmas Day finally arrives! In the early morning hours, my wife and I will watch with delight as our adult kids and our grandkids open presents. It’s easy to spot the gifts that I have put under the tree because they are atrociously wrapped. My wife’s gifts, on the other hand, have paper and ribbons and bows that are aligned with a precise, professional appearance. I console myself with the adage that you can’t judge a book by its cover. And it’s easy for the gift recipient to discern which gifts are from Mom/Grandma and which are from Dad/Papa.

    Our holiday repast will be turkey with all the trimmings. I will open the meal with a prayer. The platters and dishes containing the food will be passed around the table. Wine will be available for the adults and milk for the grandkids. We will toast each other and the holiday with good cheer. Christmas carols will provide the background music. The conversation will include remembrances of Christmases past. I will watch with love and fascination as my one-year-old grandson eats with his fingers while enthroned in his high chair.

    We then adjourn to the family room. The fireplace will be emitting light and warmth and adding to the holiday mood. The grandkids will try out their new toys, and Papa will join them on the floor to play. I will again watch with love and fascination as my one-year-old grandson puts his new toys in his mouth. Cell phone photos will be taken and shared. What a great feeling.

    You may or may not celebrate a holiday in December. Regardless of your beliefs, enjoy the month. I wish each and every one of you a joyous holiday season.