Ten Ideas for New Thanksgiving Traditions

Most of us already have our “ways” of doing Thanksgiving – ways our mother did it, ways our extended family did it, ways our neighborhood did it. Thanksgiving doesn’t lend itself well to trying out new traditions, but sometimes the situation calls for it – you can’t make it home for Thanksgiving, for example, or you have a family now and want to start traditions of your own. So what can you do to heighten, deepen, and extend Thanksgiving to its most memorable end?

 

  1. Start the day with an indulgent, relaxing breakfast.

While some people are firmly in the “no breakfast” camp to save room for the big meal later, we love the idea of starting the day in such a festive, delicious way! Pancakes, waffles, eggs, even pie – it’s all good.

  1. Take time for yourself before time with family.

As wonderful as Thanksgiving can be, we all know it can be exhausting and overwhelming. That’s why it’s such a good idea to deliberately take a little time for yourself during the day to make sure you enjoy the holiday on your terms.

  1. Remember loved ones who have passed.

Holidays can be bittersweet when beloved family members or friends are missing from the gathering. Look through old photo albums and recall funny, tender or important achievements of those who are gone but not forgotten.

  1. Write your thanks on a butcher paper tablecloth.

Cover the table with butcher paper. During the meal, distribute pens and ask each family member to write down a few things they’re thankful for on the paper and then take turns reading them out loud. We love the practice during the Thanksgiving meal of naming things you’re thankful for, and this is a unique way to do it – especially since you can tear off and save particularly meaningful memories.

  1. Let everyone toast!

Another way to make gratitude gushing even more festive is to let everyone make a toast. Raise your glass to the year, to your family, to your friends!

  1. Have the kids serve dessert.

Let the bigger kids get in on the action of serving to their family.  Put them in charge of delivering dessert and coffee after the meal. The oldest can plate and pour while the younger kids can take orders and serve. It keeps them busy after the meal while the adults talk and gives them a broader sense of appreciation for the holiday.

  1. Have Thanksgiving dinner early.

Planning for a 3 p.m. dinner shifts the momentum of the day. An earlier meal creates a more relaxed celebration, plus there’s plenty of time to digest before going to bed.  An earlier dinner also accommodates traveling guests and lets them return home at a reasonable hour.

  1. Take a long walk together after dinner.

No one is ready for dessert right after dinner anyway, so why not take that time to go on a long walk with your loved ones? Enjoy the cool, crispy (and hopefully dry) autumn weather and get the blood flowing again after all that rich food.

  1. If it’s just two of you, really treat yourself.

It can be hard to justify making a huge Thanksgiving meal when it’s just two of you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less special, or even any less of a treat. In fact, it should be more so. Make it special by treating yourselves to nicer ingredients and better wine than you would normally use if you were cooking for a large group.

  1. Stay connected with family members far away.

If you can’t be with your loved ones on Thanksgiving, thankfully you can still be together – just virtually! Do a video call or Google Hangout before dinner, or Facetime family members in for the giving-thanks portion of the evening.

5 Reasons to Be Thankful for a Great Real Estate Agent

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Not all real estate agents are created equal. Like all industries, there are plenty of terrific pros, but once in a while a bad apple rubs a buyer or seller the wrong way and spoils it for the rest of us.

If you’ve had a bad experience in the past, don’t let it happen again. If you aren’t comfortable with your current agent, stop everything. You can find wonderful agents in every market — don’t move forward until you have.

Once you find an exceptional real estate agent, you’ll discover plenty of reasons to be thankful for them.

They’ll be there for you during the difficult moments

In the middle of a transaction that seems to be giving you more heartache than love? Maybe it’s not the “deal” you thought it was, or something just doesn’t seem right?

A good agent will take your call at 10 p.m., hear you out and support your decision not to move ahead. Buying or selling a home is a serious financial transaction — not to mention one with huge emotional and practical considerations.

Your agent should uncover any issues and, if it’s the best decision, suggest backing out of the deal before you even bring it up. They’ll be on your side, and looking to build a long-term relationship — not just make a quick buck.

They’ll help get your house ready for sale in record time

A good listing agent doubles as a project manager, designer, and connector of all things quick and fast for home improvement.

Thinking of selling, but daunted by the idea of prepping your home, making necessary fixes or simply deep cleaning? Good listing agents take on the burden and alleviate unnecessary drama from an already stressful time in your life.

With your approval, your agent can muster up a team of painters, stagers, floor finishers, home organizers — and the list goes on. As the lead on prepping your home for sale, your agent will be your single point of contact and get the job done quickly.

They know you’re juggling work, kids and all the other parts of your life

A real estate transaction can be so tedious. Someone always wants a random signature or a document notarized. Inspectors and appraisers need to get into the home, and sometimes one of the parties has a last-minute request that you can’t ignore.

A good agent realizes you have a life outside your real estate transaction. She’ll drive to your home late at night or catch you in the lobby of your office building in between your meetings for that important signature. He’ll open doors, get second bids, sometimes pull weeds and even walk your dogs.

Tasked with making your life easier and your transaction as smooth as possible, a good real estate agent is full service 24/7. And they love doing it.

They’ll send you helpful data about your home long after you’ve closed

Some agents do their deals and move on, seeing your purchase or sale as transactional. But good agents know that their services continue long after you close.

Homeowners like to know what’s going on in the market and how their investment has fared over time. Agents see homes in person each week, and can take note of comparable homes and keep their past clients informed about the market.

It’s true you have a lot of information at your fingertips already, but having an active agent keeping you in the loop, without even asking, is the best.

They have the inside track because they’re well-connected and well-liked

Often, deals fall into place because of the strength of the relationships a good agent builds over time. Being well-connected with other agents, bankers, inspectors and deal-makers means they can help you find opportunities off the market, get the attention or time you need, or get your offer to the top of the pack in a competitive bidding situation.

A truly great agent constantly has your interests, wants and needs in mind, and uncovers opportunities to find the house or the buyer of your dreams.

If you’ve found your dream agent, you have a lot for which to be thankful. If you haven’t, find a good agent and get them on your team. They can make all the difference.