Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Eve Caroling in Lexington

Please bring family and friends to Lexington’s 9th annual Christmas Eve Caroling event!  Caroling will take place from 4:00 – 4:30 pm on December 24, 2011 at the Hastings Park Bandstand in Lexington, which is located at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Worthen Road.

Join in this town tradition that is enjoyed by several hundred residents and neighbors each year who gather to sing an assortment of traditional and favorite carols.  Children will be invited up onto the bandstand with the musicians to ring bells to the final song - Jingle Bells, of course!  Song sheets, hot chocolate, and cookies will be provided to all!  Please bring your own candles or flashlights.  

For years, Hank Manz and Peter Kelley have been helping out with the event by dutifully donating and serving up hot chocolate and cookies for the carolers.  In addition, for some time the Dance Inn has been lending jingle bells for the children to ring during "Jingle Bells" and the Lexington Rotary Club and the Lexington Lions Club have joined in to help organize and co-sponsor this community event.
Email or call  781-861-8772 with questions.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun-to-Make Holiday Crafts

Brighten your Lexington holiday home with these clever handmade Christmas decorations. From bright ornaments and creative wreaths to cozy pillows and festive garlands, we have tons of projects that you'll love to help make your home holiday-ready.

Better Homes and Gardens shares 28 cute and simple ideas. Below are just two. Click to see all 28 ideas.

1. Crystallized Christmas TreesThese rock candy-embellished cones are a fun -- and easy! -- holiday craft project. Pour horizontal rows of candy crystals in three or more colors on a baking sheet with the rows flush together. Wrap solid light-color cardstock around foam cones, slightly overlapping the paper at the back of the cone and securing it with hot glue. Do not apply the glue directly to the cone, which will melt. Larger cones may need two sheets of paper to be completely covered. Spread crafts glue on the cones and roll them in crystals; let dry. Re-glue and re-roll, if needed, to cover cones completely with crystals. Use hot-glue to fill in small gaps with hand-placed crystals.

2. Bright Sequined Christmas Light Ornament

These colorful ornaments will light up your tree in vintage style and bold colors. For the bulb base, press a 1-1/2-inch plastic-foam ball on a work surface to flatten one side; repeat to flatten the opposite side. Roll the shape back and forth on the rounded edge, pressing down until the bulb base resembles a marshmallow. Press in one flat edge of the bulb base with your thumb, making it concave. Hot-glue the concave edge to the wide end of a 2-inch plastic-foam egg (this will form the ornament shape).
Place a line of hot glue between the bulb and bulb base and attach one end of colorful sequin trim. Continue adding lines of glue and wrapping the trim around the bulb, overlapping the trim slightly as you work; cut off excess trim. Poke a hole in the center of the flat edge of the bulb base with the tip of the glue gun. Make a small loop at one end of a length of metallic cord, leaving a long tail. Push the ends of the loop into the hole; let the tail trail out of the hole. Place hot glue on the bulb base around the loop; attach and coil the cord on the base around the loop. Continue wrapping and gluing the cord to the bulb base until it is completely covered; cut off excess cord.

Read all 28 great ideas by Better Homes and Gardens

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tipping Guidelines this Holiday Season

There are no hard and fast rules on holiday tipping, experts say. How much to tip, or whether to tip at all, depends on several factors, including the quality and frequency of service, the relationship you have with the provider, how long they have worked for you, where you live (since amounts can be higher in large cities), and your budget. 

The Emily Post Institute offers the following guidelines for holiday tipping, but also advises consumers to let common sense and the holiday spirit be your guide. If financial circumstances limit what you can give, a handwritten note or something homemade (when appropriate) is suggested. Remember, these guidelines are for service providers that you use on a continually basis. If you see a massage therapist once or twice a year, tip at your own comfort level.

• Babysitter - One evening’s pay, plus a small gift from your child(ren)
• Barber/Hair stylist - Cost of one haircut or a gift (gift card)
• Child’s teacher - Check the school’s policy. If allowed, give a small token gift of appreciation, not cash. School supplies or items for the classroom are usually appreciated.
• Day care providers - $25 to $70 for each staff member, plus a small gift from your child for providers who give direct care to your child(ren)
• Dog walker - One week’s pay or a gift (gift card)
• Pet groomer - Cost of one session or a gift (gift card)
• Personal fitness trainer - Up to the cost of one session
• Housekeeper/maid service - Up to one week’s pay or a gift (gift card)
• Doorman - $15 to $80
• Garage attendant - $10 to $30 
• Massage therapist - Up to the cost of one session or a gift
• Handyman service - $15 to $40
• Yard/garden worker - $20 to $50 per worker 

Happy Holidays (and Tipping)!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Buyer Pet Peeves

A real estate agent's job entails more than assisting clients with the nitty-gritty details of buying or selling a home. Good agents also tour as many homes as possible. Knowing the local inventory gives them an edge over the competition and provides great value for future buyers and sellers because those agents know the market -- their product.

Having toured hundreds of homes (my personally, exclusively in Lexington)  through the years, agents have come to loathe certain sights. They sometimes leave houses wondering whether the seller even knew a showing was scheduled for that day.

Here are five reasons buyers don't want to see your home. (click to read all 5)

1. Pets and Stuff
2. Toys and Stuff
3. Clutter and Stuff
4. Personal Items and Stuff
5. The Toilet and Stuff