Our homes our homes aren’t just investments — they are the backdrop for joy and memories we create.
The personal stories of one Realtor’s battles and triumphs in the highly-competitive Bay Area Real Estate Market, seeking to illuminate and humanize the very real ups-and-downs of homeownership.
No sooner did we clean up from Thanksgiving than the holiday decorations began popping up here, there, and everywhere. (Some folks didn’t wait for Turkey Day to pass before going all out.) For many, it’s an annual tradition, and why not? The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to start stringing the lights, trimming the trees, and dusting off the menorahs. Whatever you celebrate, our homes create the perfect backdrop to display our holiday spirit.
But have you ever wondered why we go to such great lengths to decorate during this time of year?
It turns out that holiday decorations help create a festive atmosphere and bring joy to both the decorators and their visitors. Decoration quite literally, lifts our spirits during the dark winter months. Consequently, it’s no surprise that Americans spend an average of $1,000 annually on holiday decorations, including lights, trees, wreaths, and other festive decor. In fact, more than 35 MILLION poinsettias are sold in the U.S. alone each year. (Not bad for a humble plant from Mexico.)
So what does a poinsettia have to do with Christmas? One interpretation of the plant is as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem; the heavenly body that led the three magi, or wise men to the place where Christ was born. A Mexican legend tells of a girl who could only offer weeds as a gift to Jesus on Christmas Eve. When she brought the weeds into a church, they blossomed into the beautiful red plants we know as poinsettias, but more descriptively known as “Flores de Noche Buena” (“flowers of the holy night”).
While I tend to keep it simple (Hanukkah doesn’t lend itself to grandeur), Sarah’s house absolutely overflows with holiday decor on every surface, and in every corner, filling her house with Christmas magic.
“So many of these were my mother’s,” she said, gazing lovingly around a room displaying copious amounts of nutcrackers, garlands, ornaments, and bows.
Clearly, it’s a generational and sentimental process for her. She’s not only pulling from her past, but building memories of her own to pass along to her kids, and one day, theirs . . . and so it goes.
Decorations mark the years and help define our lives.
Aside from the cheer such activities bring, I’m reminded that our homes aren’t just investments, but sanctuaries. As the market contracts, as Sellers worry about the “value” of their homes year over year, as interest rates remain high, and as we future-trip about what next year will look like, it’s good to keep in mind that our homes are, first and foremost, a place to house our families. While we string the lights, millions of others have been displaced across the globe through no fault of their own.In short, those of us with warm beds and roofs over our heads have much to be thankful for. (It’s all about perspective.)
So pull out those decorations, hang the lights, and spread a little joy and cheer, and then let’s collectively say a prayer for “peace on earth, goodwill toward men” (and women), because everyone deserves a warm and safe place to call “home.”
Ho, ho, ho — and how can we help you?
Julie Gardner & Sarah Abel | Compass Realty
Not just Realtors, but consultants in all things house and home, we’re here to educate, explore, examine and refer . . . In short, you may count on us to take care of your home as if it were our own and anyone who knows us, knows we take pretty darn good care of our homes.