How We Read Across America

Today, March 2nd, marks National Read Across America Day.

This day celebrates and stands as a reminder of how important it is for children and teens to read. In honor of this celebration of reading, our team brainstormed some of our favorites and recommendations.

  1. Favorite book as a child
    • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    • The Nancy Drew series, published by Edward Stratemeyer
    • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
    • Works by Shel Silverstein
    • The Wizard of Oz series by L. Frank Baum
    • The Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park
    • The Eragon series by Christopher Paolini
  1. A book every child should read:
    • The Giver by Lois Lowry
    • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
    • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
    • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  1. A book every adult should read:
    • The Great Gatsby
    • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
    • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
    • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  1. Favorite Non-fiction Book
    • Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
    • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    • Happy City by Charles Montgomery
    • The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
    • The Bible
  1. Favorite Legal Book
    • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    • Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America by Brian F. Haara
    • The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
    • Gideon’s Trumpet by Anthony Lewis
    • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
    • Just Mercy by Brian Stevenson

 

Lastly, as part of Read Across America’s mission to empower young readers, Rina wanted to recommend The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. She shared that it’s an amazing book on the importance of reading to children when they are young. Kat similarly had a few other titles that didn’t quite fit the questions that she wanted to share. As an avid fan of financial literacy books, the two that she would suggest for everyone are I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi and Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins.

We hope you’re able to find a good read to celebrate National Reading Month in March and Read Across America. What are some of your recommendations or favorite reads?

 

– Lily Taggart

Valentine’s Day Fun Facts!

Candy, flowers, and even heart-shaped pizzas may come to mind when preparing for the 14th of February. 

But where do these traditions come from? How are Americans celebrating this year? Here’s some fun facts about Valentine’s Day 

  1. Not surprisingly, the Legend of St. Valentine bears little resemblance to our modern celebrations. It is alleged that before his death, St. Valentine signed a letter to his love with “From your Valentine.” 
  2. The Greeting Card association estimates that 145 million Valentine’s Day Cards are sent every year, second only to Christmas.
  3. A somewhat polarizing celebration among Americans, only around half of U.S. adults will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, according to statista. 

Recognized by many as a celebration of love, Valentine’s Day in the United States also represents major economic activity. In total, consumer spending on Valentine’s Day in the U.S. is expected to total 21.8 billion dollars this yearThis is quite a large number, but is actually significantly less than years prior due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dining-out options represent another likely change for this year. More people will be celebrating with a night in or ordering take out rather than a traditional date night. 

If you’re looking for last minute gifts or activities, here are some options:

  1. Gift cards for a favorite local business. With economic uncertainty, now is an extra important time to spread some love and support to the local community 
  2. DIY “coupons.” Make slips of paper with activities to give to your loved one to redeem when they wish. These could be thoughtful gestures like serve breakfast in bed or playful options such as watch your (terrible) show, set thermostat to your (freezing) setting, and load dishwasher your (wrong) way. Not only are these coupons an inexpensive option, they can also really come from the heart as you personalize them and add some levity to pandemic life! 
  3. Virtual “Palentine’s” party! Single? Complicated? No worries! This time of year isn’t just for romantic love – set up a call with friends to watch cheesy rom-coms, share embarrassing date stories, test out a cat filter, and snack on everything heart-shaped 

Valentine's themed treat boxes sit atop the front desk at Gavin Law Offices

 

This year we were inspired by Valentine’s celebrations of our youth and set up small treat boxes in the office. Everyone received candy, stickers, and a small fortune to unbox. In addition, team members decided to get small surprises to give to one another!

So, how are you celebrating this February 14th

Romantic candle lit dinner with a loved one? Or is it a time to poke fun at our traditions and instead gather  virtually – with friends? Let us know!  

 

Christmas Festivities  

As the year comes to a closeour team has Christmas on the mindThe holidays feel like an extra important time to show appreciation for one another and have some fun, especially considering the unforeseen circumstances of this year. Although we can’t be together like usual, we’ve still found ways to connect over our favorite aspects of the most wonderful time of the year. 

For our first Christmas themed virtual meeting, we decorated glass ornaments with metallic sharpies. One of the common phrases that we chose to adorn them was “Goodbye 2020.” We recently competed in a game of Christmas trivia where Kat Gavin took the honor and bragging rights of most correct answers. Questions included fun facts from popular movies as well as the origins of our modern-day traditions. To wrap up – pun intended – we will celebrate with a virtual white elephant gift exchange, thanks to the help of one of Santa’s elves. New Year’s happy hour will help us close out 2020 and welcome in a new chapter. What about you? We’d love to hear about any of your creative holiday festivities!  

In addition to spending time remotely to help celebrate, we also found out our team’s favorite aspects of Christmas! There are some similarities and some surprising some outliers.  

Kat Gavin  

  • Movie: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or It’s a Wonderful Life  
  • Song: The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole  
  • Dish: Southern Grits Casserole and Monkey Bread  
  • Treat/Dessert: Peppermint Bark and Hot Cocoa  
  • Tradition/Activity: Decorating the Tree 

Elizabeth Sewell

  • Movie: Christmas Vacation  
  • Song: Santa’s Coming in a Whrily Bird by Gene Autry  
  • Dish: My Mom’s Shrimp and Grits  
  • Treat/Dessert: Homemade Christmas Cookies  
  • Tradition/Activity: Putting up the tree with my kids  

Pam Gavin  

  • Movie: Titanic  
  • Song: Somewhere Over the Rainbow  
  • Dish: Pasta  
  • Treat/Dessert: Fruit Cake  
  • Tradition/Activity: Everything Christmas!  

Rina Van Orden:  

Courtney Reigel:  

  • Movie: Elf and Home Alone  
  • Song: The Christmas Song  
  • Dish: Ham  
  • Treat/Dessert: Christmas cookies  
  • Tradition/activity: Christmas movies/decorating  

Lastly, the most contentious of Christmas opinion: Does the GLO team consider Die Hard a Christmas Movie? The majority voted: No, Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. What do you think?

 – Lily Taggart

Birthday Celebrations  

Our GLO team celebrated two birthdays in December! First, our administrative assistant extraordinaire Jennifer Lovings relaxed on a day off to enjoy her favorite treat: Gelati Celesti. On the 15th, we came together for the birthday of our founder and managing partner, Pam Gavin. This year we celebrated our fearless leader’s birthday a little differently. Mark of Hidden Howth Experiences lead our team on a virtual tour featuring the culture, landscapes, and history of Ireland. The hour-long adventure detailed tales of the past, intriguing trivia, and local stories. We had such a good time and thoroughly enjoyed Mark and his furry companion Missy. If you have a special event or celebration coming up, we highly recommend the virtual tour Hidden Howth Experiences through Airbnb

Gavin Team Life During Covid

Although 2020 has not gone as planned, that didn’t stop the GLO team!  We’d like to congratulate both Pam Gavin and Rina Van Orden on their respective weddings which took place in spite of the pandemic.  Pam enjoyed a quiet private church ceremony surrounded by her loved ones, while Rina revised her wedding plan for an intimate family ceremony in a beautiful setting.  In addition, both Jennifer Lovings and Kat Gavin purchased and moved into new homes!  Jennifer is settled into her lovely West End home, and Kat is getting familiar with life south of the James River in her magical and adorable home in Richmond’s Forest Hills area.

Rina’s Wedding (Photo by Awesomesauce Photography)

Kat Gavin’s New House