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Holidays

Let Someone Else Cook for the Holidays

It’s not laziness, it’s helping the local community!  This holiday season, consider supporting local restaurants that have been severely affected by the pandemic by ordering a to-go holiday dinner.  Whether you want to save your energy for baking in the lead up to the big day, or decide you need a total break from Christmas cooking this year, we’ve got options for you.  Not only will you be doing yourself a favor, you’ll also be helping these restaurants to pay the bills so they'll still be around for future Holidays. There are also take-out options for New Year’s Eve celebrations, so you can say wave goodbye to 2020 in style!

A Tavola on Church St, Winchester has a Christmas to Go menu - order by 12/19

Sister restaurant Bistro 5 in Medford also has a Christmas to Go menu - order by 12/23

Lucia Ristorante Winchester is offering Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve / Day menus - order by 12/20 for Christmas, 12/26 for New Year.

Farfalle Italian Market in Concord has a special Italian-themed Christmas menu.   Order by 12/18 for pick up 12/24. 

Woods Hill Table, also Concord, offers a variety of pre-prepared options you can finish at home.  Pick up is 12/23.

Trail’s End Cafe is offering a Cuban take-out menu for Christmas with a difference!  Pick up 12/24 from 3pm.

The Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington offers Christmas At Home and New Year’s Eve at home menus.  

Via Lago, also in Lexington, has catering options for 4+ people - order by 12/19 for pick up 12/24.

The Capital Grille in Burlington has 3 and 4-course Holidays at Home menus to pick up for Christmas or New Year.  

The Stones Common House and Kitchen, Stoneham has a Xmas Eve dinner and NYE Cocktail Party to Go!  Order by 12/21

At Joe’s Marketplace from Not Your Average Joes you can order a glazed ham or turkey feast, as well as other family favorites. (48 hrs notice required).  Locations in Acton, Arlington, Burlington, Waltham.

Looking for something different from ham or turkey?  Bamboo Fine Asian Cuisine in Westford has special Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus.

Did we miss your local favorite?  Email us - marketing@barrettsir.com - and we'll add them to the list!

Photo by picjumbo.com from Pexels

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Holiday Lights - Take a Self-Guided Tour

There’s something very special about the drive around your neighborhood at this time of year, seeing the beautiful lights and decorations people put up outside their homes to brighten the dark winter.  However, some homeowners have taken it to the next level, with elaborate light displays to rival Clark Griswold! 

There are even homes whose owners have gone all out, setting their displays to music for the ultimate festive experience.  We’ve asked our realtors for a list of homes in their neighborhood that are worthy of a visit.  So grab the hot chocolate, load the family into the car and take a drive around our towns for a fun, pandemic-friendly activity to mark the season! 

Belmont - Pleasant Street

Billerica - Pratt Street, Biscayne Drive

Concord - Elm Street, Bedford Street / Nancy Road, Virginia Road

Lincoln - Trapelo Road

Melrose - Washington Street

Saugus - Lynn Fells Parkway (16 and 22), Lynn Fell Parkway and Forest (near Target)

Wakefield - Davey Lane and Woodcrest Drive (tune your radio to the station advertised for the full effect!)

Wilmington - Concord Street 

Winchester - Hill Street

Medford - South Border Road

Somerville - The Arts Council will release a map on Dec 12th listing all the decorated homes - click here to see the Somerville Illuminations Tour

Stoneham - Franklin Street, Pearl Street

Tyngsborough - Town Common (Middlesex / Kendall), Lawndale Farm (91 Frost Road) 

Woburn - Elijah Street, Shields Street

(stock images)

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Homes for Gathering at a Distance

Holiday gatherings pose new challenges this season, as we try to balance spending time with loved ones with not putting anyone’s health at risk.  Our Sotheby’s International Realty colleagues have compiled a list of glamorous homes where you can remain safely socially distant while enjoying company - from a spacious 11-acre estate in California to a luxury beachside home in the Balearic Islands.  We were inspired to look a little closer to home, and put forward our own recommendations for homes in Bedford, Concord and Lexington with options to gather more safely and maintain your social distance.

5 Childs Road in Lexington, a beautiful new construction, has a spacious sunroom leading to a private backyard with an oversized stone patio and a stone fireplace - perfect for the chilly winter evenings.  

 

 

539 Strawberry Hill in Concord features multiple sunrooms and patios for indoor/outdoor gatherings -  throw open the doors to let the fresh air in while enjoying some shelter from the elements.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

251-A Old Billerica Road, Bedford offers much to keep you and your guests entertained outdoors, with an outdoor basketball court, plenty of wooded trails and a custom treehouse! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Pickman Drive, Unit 5 in Bedford has a sunroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and a pretty patio that can be accessed via glass doors from the family room, creating a pandemic-friendly gathering spot.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more aspirational homes from across the globe, read the latest blog from Sotheby’s International Realty.

 

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New Year's Resolutions for Any Home!

Whether you’re looking to enjoy the home you’re in or invest in a new one, these New Year’s resolutions for your home are a great way to start the New Year!

Minimize the Clutter

  • Start your year off by giving everything in your home a place to live. Designate space and stick to it! If it does not have a home, evaluate if it’s really needed in your house and proceed accordingly!
  • Label when necessary. This is especially helpful for kids once you set a designated area for each item. Shoes? We know where those go! Jackets? They’re in the coat closet. Laundry? You get the idea.
  • While shopping in bulk may often be a time and money saver, if you don’t have the space for the item, save the peace of mind and keep only what you need on hand.

Maintain the Clean

  • Spend 15 minutes each day speed cleaning! Take a break from social media or spend your commercial breaks wiping down the counters.
  • Set daily, weekly, and monthly rules for yourself and others in your home. Daily tasks might include filling the dishwasher right after eating or wiping down the bathroom counter. Weekly rules might include vacuuming the carpets and changing the linens, while monthly cleaning might include checking the pantry for expired items.

Maximize the Safety

  • Sometimes a New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be an overarching goal. Making a to do list of all the items that have been piled up and making a goal to complete them all over the next year is a great resolution to set! This can span from fixing the squeaky hinges in your home to more safety-oriented things like cleaning out the vents and ducts behind your dryer.
  • If you’re planning a renovation of any kind, be sure to do research into what new safety measures may apply to the job. For instance, adding ventilation to your bathrooms and attic can help prevent mold spores from developing.
  • Doing a check for radon and confirming the carbon monoxide and fire detectors are working are also great things to do at the turn of the year for added safety.

Invest in Expertise

  • If these tasks sound overwhelming, it’s always a great idea to invest in professionals to help you complete your goals.
  • Looking to keep a squeaky-clean house? Invest in cleaning services.
  • Adding, expanding, or repairing your home? Not everything needs to be DIY, so reach out to a professional.
  • Looking to sell your home or buy a new one? We might be able to help with that!

Holiday Cheer in the Community

Barrett Sotheby's International Realty is proud to sponsor and participate in several holiday events. We hope to see you there! 

Concord Museum Holiday House Tour

Saturday, December 1st from 11am - 4pm
Tickets and Maps to be picked-up at Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike
Seven of Concord's most beautiful private homes will be professionally decorated in the holiday spirit by local and Boston-based interior designers. Guests will be welcomed inside these gracious residences, each decorated in a different holiday theme.
Tickets: $45 members/ $50 non-members

Bedford Winter Walkabout

Saturday, December 1st from 4 - 6pm
Bedford Town Center and Common
There will be live music, family friendly activities, treats, business give-aways and discounts. The tree lighting will take place on the common at 5pm. Our office, located at 49 Great Road, Bedford will be providing hot chocolate and free professional photos with Santa! 

Concord Tree Lighting and Parade

Saturday, December 2nd from 3 - 7pm
Concord Center
This annual tradition is sure to delight with festivities including dozens of roadside attractions and a parade highlighted by Santa leading the tree lighting. Our office, located at 33 Walden Street, Concord will be providing cookies and a visit with Rudolph! 

Acton Holiday Stroll

Saturday, December 8th from 12:30 - 4:30pm
West Acton Village
Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy hot chocolate, peruse the craft fair and gift basket raffle, explore local businesses and go on a scavenger hunt for the grand prize 40" TV. Our office, located at 525 Massachusetts Ave, Acton will be one of the stops for a clue along the hunt!

We are also fortunate to be participating in opportunities to give back.

Toys for Tots Collection

Now through December 7th
Donations can be made at any Barrett Sotheby's International Realty Location.
We're collecting new, unwrapped toys this holiday season. Please consider dropping off a gift for a child in need.

American Girl Doll Raffle

Now through December 20th
Tickets purchased at our Concord office located at 33 Walden St, Concord.
Three dolls will be raffled to benefit Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. Suggested donations are 10/$10, 3/$5, and 1/$2.

 

Shop Small Map: 2018

Shop Small Saturday 2018 is November 24th. We are fortunate to have an abundance of small shops to frequent year-round and during the holidays! We asked our agents what their favorite stores to stop in for gifts are to prepare our Saturday plans. The recommendations were abundant!

Acton, MA

Handworks was suggested by Linda VanEmburgh. VanEmburgh said, "Handworks in Acton has the most distinctive, artistic gifts."

Concord, MA

"Favorite holiday small shop… hands down Nestings!" said Anna Travias. A favorite of many, this name popped up with agents and staff alike!

Revolutionary Concord was also a repeated recommendation, mentioned by owner, staff, relocation department, and our agent Nancy Wright.

A new addition to the center of Concord, Graham was mentioned by Laurie Cadigan.

Sharing a good laugh, Laura McKenna mentioned Priscilla's Candy Store, my favorite local shop for holiday gifts, quality chocolate truffles packaged beautifully, and they make the most gorgeous chocolate Santa Claus. Just don't put them in the stockings when there's a fire! Did that!"

Lexington, MA

Bobbi Tornheim mentioned the Holiday Marketplace of LexArt. Tornheim said, "Over 150 local Artisans sell hand made crafts priced from $5 to $1,200. Jewelry, hand woven clothing items, wooden bowls and boxes, some furniture, some excellent children's toys and puzzles, painting, photography, note cards, wide range of ceramics, sweaters, etc. Much of the work is Gallery  Quality." Tornheim also mentioned the location, 130 Waltham Street in Lexington, open November 30th through December 23rd from 10 AM to 5 PM most days.

Lincoln, MA

Something Special in Lincoln was noted twice, first by Terese Surrette who said "They have something special for everyone on your list."

In Lincoln, Terry Perlmutter mentioned the Old Town Hall Exchange.

Surrounding Towns

Although our offices are located in the towns mentioned above, as well as Bedford and Carlisle, they are not the only places we are fortunate to enjoy!

In Littleton, Cataldo's came up more than once. "They decorate dozens of trees with themed ornaments, have great stocking stuffers, and fun unique items," said Karen Wallace.

Nicolette Mascari also suggested B Happy in Wayland, MA, with great gifts for any home.

We hope you'll have the opportunity to visit one of the towns we get to call home during your holiday shopping this year!

Hungry for Inspiration and Insight? Recipes for any dietary restriction or preference this holiday!

There are so many things to look forward to throughout the last few months of the year. Holidays galore, time with friends and family, and often tremendous meals to gather around.

For some, these meals pose difficulty as they navigate traditions that do not match their eating habits. You may find yourself in this situation, or on the other end cooking for diets you do not have much experience with. No matter if it's a dietary restriction for health, religious reasons, or simply a lifestyle you (or your guests) adhere to, accommodating everyone around the holiday table is an important element to plan for and can really make your house feel like home.

We've asked our agents' what their favorites for the holidays are and sprinkled in a few links to resources that might help you plan your meals!

For those following a low-fiber or low-residue diet, Anna Travias has a beautiful go-to meal that will leave your taste buds wanting more and your stomach happy as can be. Travias says, “My holiday tried and true favorite is lemon-garlic roasted leg of lamb with potatoes, a genuine Greek salad which (shocker) contains no lettuce, and tzatziki dipping sauce.”

After hearing about the meal Travias offers, we looked into additional gastro-friendly Thanksgiving sides.

Laura McKenna offers vegetarian and vegan options at her holidays. McKenna shared, "My husband makes a simple black beans and rice with salsa on the side for our vegetarian guests. It's real yummy, and the meat eaters gravitate to it as well!" 

Plant-based options are a great addition to any meal, as well. Not only do they offer choices for your guests who may want them, but they also often accommodate many other health-related diets as well. Martha Stewart has a whole plan for Vegan Thanksgiving, with lots of sides, and Minimalist Baker has some great "mains" that won't leave you asking where the Turkey is! 

For desert, Sheena Santos has a go-to, "an amazing chocolate torte that is gluten free but everyone (gluten free or not) loves."

For those who need (or want!) to eat gluten free, these options are simple and sound delicious, too.

Of course, these suggestions are not an exhaustive list. There are many other restrictions your guests may have in their diets. When it comes down to it, the real ingredients for the holidays are understanding, compassion, and openness to discuss what others may need and enjoy!