Dear Village Neighbor / Friend,
It is a joyous time of the year when our children return from college for the holidays. We’re glad to have Katrina back with us even though she might just sleep the day away. And, we get the grandkids for a sleepover this weekend. It is a good life; isn’t it?
A few years ago and about this same time of the year, I talked to a lady from our village who was sad after her military friends had moved on to their next duty station. She felt alone and isolated from the village. I’m no Dr. Phil, but I encouraged her to get involved with the Christmas activities listed below. She said that she wasn’t aware that she could since she apparently had not joined our civic association. Yes, she could and you can! Come join us.
Holiday Decorating Contest – Saturday night (12/22) will be your last chance to vote. Drive the village with your family to pick your 1st – 5th place winners based on whatever criteria you and your family want to use (theme, use of props and lights, sounds your children make when they view a decorated home). Refer to the map in your directory to see each of the homes in the village Send your 1st through 5th place winners to Tim Royster (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tabulate and then place the highly coveted signs at the winners (1st – 3rd place). We ask you for 1 – 5 to help prevent ties. Tim will place the highly coveted signs in the yards of the winners.
Christmas Caroling - 22 December - Jason & Kerri Henry will again lead a group of carolers from their 8137 Edmonton Court home to the Cheney’s 6702 Ontario Street home. They plan to start walking and singing at/about 5:30 PM. Words to the carols will be provided to help make this another joyful, family event whether you join them or are serenaded by them if they pass by your home.
WS Village Christmas Party – 6:30 PM, 22 December - at Don & Susan Cheney’s 6702 Ontario Street home. They will start the celebration at 6:30 PM. Don & Susan will provide a nice fire, hot apple cider and treats for all to enjoy as we wait for Santa Claus and possibly Mrs. Claus to make a pre-Christmas visit to our village. You are also invited to bring holiday treats to share and a clearly marked gift for your child if you want Santa to present the present to him or her. Drop off those clearly marked gifts with your child’s name written on it before we start gathering at/about 6:30 PM. Santa believes that he will arrive at/about 7:10 PM. This is a fun family event that all of us can enjoy. Regardless of the weather or your religion, come celebrate the holidays with neighbors and friends.
From holiday parties and visits with family to nasty winter weather, it may seem like the period between Thanksgiving and New Year is not the most wonderful time of year in which to sell your home. Some realtors echo this sentiment, and the real estate market does tend to cool down during the holidays. However, if you find yourself needing to sell your home at this time of year, don’t despair! You may face less competition since many sellers do not want to balance house showings with holiday festivities, and the buyers you attract will likely be more serious as they are sacrificing time with family to search for a home. In addition, the following strategies can help you use the spirit of the season to your advantage and secure a buyer for your home, all while maintaining a sense of holiday joy for yourself and your family:
1. Deck the halls—but keep it tasteful. If you normally decorate for the holidays, don’t think that you have to eschew the mistletoe because your home is on the market. In fact, some decorations will help your home look warm, festive, and inviting. However, excessive or gaudy decorations will likely have the opposite effect and could distract or deter buyers. Additionally, it may be best to opt for generic seasonal decorations instead of those with strong religious overtones.
2. Lighten up. As autumn sinks into winter, the temperatures drop and the days grow darker. To help your home shine on dreary days, open the blinds, leave the lights on even for daytime showings, and “light” some flameless candles to safely create a warm glow.
3. Have a holiday party. Throwing a party may be low on your list of priorities when your home is on the market. However, it could also offer a great opportunity to showcase your home looking its best. Invite neighbors and acquaintances, as you never know who could know of a potential buyer. In addition, a holiday party will help diffuse the stress of selling your home by allowing you to unwind with some seasonal cheer.
4. Take extra precautions to safeguard your home. Unfortunately, not everyone is full of goodwill during the holiday season—including thieves who could potentially visit your home during open houses or even private showings. To keep your possessions secure, be sure to hide expensive gifts and other prized items before potential buyers arrive (or take them with you when you leave the house!).
5. Keep buyers safe and comfortable. Winter weather often brings snow, ice, and rain. While these may seem like miserable conditions in which to show your home, you can also use them to your advantage. For example, keep umbrellas and boot covers by the front door, clear your driveway and sidewalks regularly so that they are free of ice, and ensure that your thermostat is set at a comfortably warm temperature. To boost the seasonal cheer, have holiday music playing softly in the background or bake some cookies before showings. In addition to creating a festive vibe, these extra touches will encourage buyers to linger in your home—and picture themselves celebrating future holidays in it!
RoboCalls – Charlie Guy (Ontario) responded to last week’s complaint session about robocalls.
“I signed up for “Nomorobo” a few months ago when I got an email from Verizon about it. I have to say that I was skeptical, but desperate, so I signed up. I’m happy to report the junk calls get rejected about 90% of the time or maybe more. I used to always have a full voicemail box with junk or hang ups. I now can go as long as a week without any! It works by forcing suspected scam callers to enter a number to continue placing call. Only caveat is the phone does start to ring. But it kicks them off the line mid-ring, in the first ring tone. You can find it at https://www.nomorobo.com/.”
Volunteers Needed – to deliver the 2019 Community Directory about mid to late January depending on when the print press can get them ready. Community Service credit is available for those needing such. Thanks to those who already volunteered, but we are well short of the mark.
Amada Recinos Home Cleaning – she has cleaned my home for over 10 years. She is honest, loyal, affordable and very good at cleaning. She cleans several village homes, but has room for a few more. Your choice on her cleaning your home on a schedule (weekly, twice monthly, once per month) or just before and/or after special events / holidays. She can be reached at 703/987-5243.
Another Christmas Story – Many of you know Mr. Haidar Sadiq (703/589-3474) through his quality handyman work. He is one of the Sunni Kurds we (USA) evacuated from northern Iraq after the U.S mission there ended. During the U.S. Humanitarian Operation “Provide Comfort”, he managed my wife’s and my security, vehicles, lodging and meals. One Christmas we had to drive to Erbil where the two main political Kurdish parties (PUK and KDP) were locked in horrific fighting. Suzanne’s political job meant she had to confront the parties’ leadership demanding they stop the fight. My self-imposed mission was to protect her in the process. The fighting on Christmas Eve was disheartening, but then to drive back to Zakho through contested areas and ambush alleys made the evening very stressful. When we finally arrived home, we were greeted by Haidar smiling from ear to ear. He and his Kurdish and Chaldean Catholic staff had found, repaired and decorated an old, discarded artificial tree with handmade ornaments, ribbons and bows. Now, that was a memorable Christmas!
Stay dry and warm; hope you enjoy the holidays.