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Home Hack

Create a Cozy Coffee Bar

Do you love coffee/tea or have a coffee lover in your life? A cozy coffee bar would make a thoughtful yet functional gift for Valentine’s Day! Here’s a few ideas and items to get that daily coffee consumption dialed in.

If you read our last article, you know we are trying to stay more on budget by reducing our coffee outings. The presentation and ease of use is what makes fixing a cup at home thus staying on budget easier. When designing your stations, be sure to create a fun *experience* through presentation, taste options, and functionality.

Creating a cozy coffee bar is pretty simple, and you might even already own everything you need to make it, remember the key is the presentation and experience. *magical twinkle noises*

Start with a list: What do items do you (or who you’re creating for) use to make coffee? What are the “must have” items? Is it coffee beans vs. k-cups situation? Need filters? Are there pumps for flavors? Sugar? Splenda packets? Tea bags? Paper cups? Make a list with two columns; one for what is currently used every time you make coffee, and another for wish list things that would make a home coffee experience better. It will also let you know how many containers and the type of storage that will be most useful for individual’s needs.

Space: Select a nook, unused counter space, or a small cabinet. When choosing a cabinet look for one with a flat top space, and a deep drawer or cabinet with doors for hiding supplies away.

Pro Tip: Old buffets and sideboards make for great coffee bars. Try upgrading a used cabinet if you have one with good bones.

Location: Will the location be far from water and/or the fridge? Is a trash bin nearby? Consider a mini fridge, water source, and waste basket to make the space more functional.

Organize: Small clear acrylic trays are fantastic for organizing items like tea bags, sugar packets, and non-dairy creamer cups.

Incorporate some canisters: Pretty canisters not only organize your brewing supplies, but keep the design aesthetic going too!

Pick a color scheme before you start purchasing items.

Specifically a three colors scheme:

  • Choose a main color (aqua, for example) and purchase as many items as you can in that color.
  • Choose a secondary neutral color for other items that you can’t find in the main color. (Grey or black are usually safe choices in the coffee world.)
  • Decide if you are going to have silver or gold accents, then choose items like silverware and door handles or knobs in that metal.

Choosing a consistent color palate is more visually appealing because it unified. Bonus; things will *appear* visually organized simply because the colors are the same.

Pick a theme: Will it be whimsical -or- matching to the home’s decor? Do they love Disney? Harry Potter? That’s “whimsical.” Are they more Farmhouse? Mid Century? That’s decor matching. Look up items online to get a sense of what you’re looking for to create a cohesive look. Note: You *can* create whimsical coffee bars that match the decor of a home.

Accessorize: This is the fun part! Use cake trays and baker’s tiers to further organize your coffee bar. Little signs, and small decor in your theme make it fun too.

Make it fancy: Add syrup flavor pumps or accessories like an automatic frother to feel even more like your own personal coffee shoppe.

Upgrade the brewing: If your love’s coffee maker is looking rough, give it a good deep cleaning, or upgrade to a newer model.

Deals: There are so many cute items like the ones pictured here that I have found around town. Stop in and see what you can find for less locally.

  • Target: in the “Bullseye Playground” at Target. This is the value/dollar spot at the entrance of the store. Most items are usually $5. This week they had wooden organizers, cups, tiered trays, mini shelves, mini trash cans, and so much more.
  • Dollar Tree: Placemats and runners, candy-type glass jars with tin lids for organizing, spoons, cups, mini trash cans, etc.
  • Goodwill or Garage Sales: A good resource for used furniture to convert into your coffee bar (buffets, sideboards, cabinets), bar accessories and decorations, things to use as organizers, vintage glassware, cake stands, and tiered stands too.
  • Hobby Lobby: for upgrading doorknobs and handles, little signs, decor. Don’t forget to get the 40% off coupon on their website.
  • Ross: Silverware, cute mugs, decor, coffee syrups, fancy teas and honey, even decorative disposable coffee cup packs.
  • TJ Maxx: Decor, silverware, and cute mugs – especially in popular themes like Disney, Rae Dunn, Harry Potter, etc.
  • Tuesday Mornings: Decor, mugs, and decorative disposable coffee cup packs.
Recipes

Cupid’s Bark

It’s like the best chocolate-covered crunchy goodness there ever was! What’s more, it looks cute in jars, tins, or clear baggies for Valentine’s Day! Oh, and it’s easy to make too!

Ingredients: This is an estimate of quantities. The toppings of this bark are applied like ice cream toppings, so it’s really to your preference.

  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of white chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 box of Nilla Wafers

Toppings:

  • 1 bag of Valentine’s colored m&m’s, sprinkles, or other decorations.
  • 3/4 cup of dried fruit (ex. cherries, strawberries, cranberries, or a mix)
  • 3/4 cup fresh fruit (ex. raspberries, blueberries; fruits that have little-to-no juices that will spill out and soggy your bark)
  • 1 cup of mini pretzel, pretzel squares, or broken pretzel pieces

Directions:

  1. Start by arranging Nilla Wafers (round side up) on a large, wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
  2. Melt chocolate in microwave. You can use all one type of chocolate, or create a half and half pan, or use one type of chocolate for the base and another for a decorative drizzle; there are no rules!
  3. In a microwaveable bowl, combine 1 bag of chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
  4. Microwave on high for about 3 to 5 minutes; stirring the mixture every 20 seconds until fully melted. A heat-safe silicone spatula works best, in our opinion. Melt times will vary, do not over cook.
  5. Using a heat safe spatula, spread the melted chocolate over the Nilla Wafers. (Then the hard part is over!)
  6. Spread your toppings over the chocolate quickly while it is warm so that they will stick to it. Be sure to gently press larger pieces down into the chocolate.
  7. I like to cool the creation (pan and all) in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Break apart the bark with clean hands, or by using a kitchen mallet.
  9. Place in parchment bags, bakers boxes, or air-tight containers.

Store this bark in the fridge to keep the chocolate firm and to preserve the fruit toppings.

Curb Appeal

Updating Door Hardware

We recently updated an exterior door, painted the front door, and upgraded our fence door; so now we have door hardware on our minds! We’ve found a LOT of modern options for doors when it comes to aesthetics AND security. Let’s see what we can find on Amazon!

Did you know?! Copper, brass, and bronze door handles are naturally “antimicrobial?” Meaning, door knobs made of these materials continuously fight germs and bacteria all on their own, while standing up to the wear and tear of daily living. Who knew!

Entryway Doors:

The hardware on a door can make an old door look more modern. (Once you update the hardware, you’re probably going to want to paint it too – luckily we have an article to show you how we did it and what products we used.)

If security is your concern:

Touch pad and keyless options are popular, because most models allow you to change the “pin” as often as you want. That’s like getting a new lock and key every month, should you desire it. There’s also models where you can set specific PIN numbers for specific people so you know what happened, by who, and when; should anything go awry.

For an extra sense of doorway security, consider popular doorbell camera options. Even upgrading an old non-working doorbell can help better alert you to guests on your doorstep.

Security isn’t just for entry doors and doorways. Secure closets and storage spaces with interior versions.

Non-Locking Doors:

“Passage doors” (doors without locks) are fantastic places to introduce a little decorative flare. Consider these “pretty” door knobs that are faceted shimmering glass, brushed brass, or oiled bronze.

Speaking of non-locking doors; you can even update dresser and cabinet pulls to match your fancy new door knobs with these options.

Sliding Doors:

Bring an old patio door back to life with new slider hardware.

Don’t Forget the Garage:

A garage door might not have traditional handles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give this door a simple update with accent magnets, keyless entry, and rubber moulding to help keep the rain out during storms.

Fence Gates:

You can even update old rickety fence door handles. (However, updating the whole fence tends to warrant a professional.)

How will you be sprucing up your home this spring? Share your home project wins with us on our social @DeAnnaAndCompany 

Curb Appeal

Buying a Home in 2023

It’s no secret that the 2022 real estate market was a volatile one. Today we’re discussing the current real estate market to decide if home ownership in 2023 is a viable option for you.

  • Goldman Sachs’ G-10 home price model suggests home prices will decline by around 5% to 10%from the peak.
  • Freddie Mac anticipates the for-sale cost of a home to drop .2% in 2023.
  • These stats are from this article on Houwzer.

While it is not predicted that housing costs will drop significantly in 2023, it is widely predicted that prices and loan rates will remain more stable, rising slowly instead of the craziness that was 2022. However, in order to get that stabilization of the market, interest rates remain higher than average. What that means for consumers is less home for more payment.

All hope is not lost. Home ownership is still an option for a lot of people with steady incomes and good credit. It’s important that you start behaving like you are applying for a home loan, even before you start looking for the house.

  • Keep paying the rent on time.
  • Make credit card payments on time.
  • Make auto loan payments on time.
  • Do not make any new big purchases.
  • Do not apply for new credit; which includes not financing things like furniture or big trips.
  • Do not buy a new car just because you are tired of the old one.

“How do I buy a home in this market? Everything I want is so expensive and home ownership seems impossible.”

This is the hard part. We believe, if you are committed to being a home owner, you must enter the market as soon as you can, even if the house you can afford does not check ALL of your boxes. To explain, you might have to get a starter home that appropriately reflects your budget, not your dreams. While you may *want* 5 bedrooms, but only *need* 2; find a desirable property that gets you into a home and matches your budget. In other words, new home hunters will likely have to settle for a bit less than they desire.

“If I buy within my budget, what should I be looking for?”

You should still look for *smaller* versions of your ideal home. Find the “worst” house in the best neighborhood.

“What do you mean by ‘Worst home in the Best Neighborhood?'”

Think mild to moderate fixer upper. Look for a solid home with “good bones,” but may need help with cosmetic things like paint, landscaping, updating cabinetry or faucets, etc. Ask your realtor if there is any inspection information available for the homes you are interested in. If you find a home, be sure to get an inspection on the property before you buy the home. Find a home that needs a little love, but not one that will become a money pit. Home Inspectors can help you identify the potential of expensive problems like:

  • Outdated electrical
  • Structural issues
  • Plumbing problems (especially ones that seem to be reoccurring)
  • Water well trouble
  • Sink hole warnings
  • Septic tank issues

“Why should I buy a home that is not my dream home?”

When you are a home owner, you leverage your current home to get you into your next home. It becomes easier to buy the next level of home when your current home increases in value.

“If I am already a home owner but am struggling with inflation and making mortgage payments, what is your advice?”

Make. Your. Mortgage. Payments. Defaulting on your mortgage impacts your credit score significantly. You need good credit to get credit. Equally important payments to attend to are:

  • Credit Cards
  • Auto Loans

If you are struggling, do not put items you cannot afford on credit. Credit cards should only be used to buy you a little time and build your credit, not to “worry about later” or purchase things you cannot afford.

We have created a list of income leeching culprits to investigate to help you FIND MONEY QUICKLY without creating a “budget.” Check out the article here.

What is the downside to owning a home?

The downside is, you pay for everything. There is no more landlord to “fix” things for free, so you want to keep in mind that there will be hidden costs of home ownership. Typical expenses that arise (usually over several years) of owning a home are;

  • Lawn Care
  • Pest Control
  • Tools
  • Broken Appliances
  • Broken Water Heaters
  • Failing Air Conditioners
  • Plumbing Issues
  • Roofing and Leaks

What is the upside of owning a home, rather than renting?

YOUR Investment: The upside of home ownership is the money you used to pay to some else as rent, becomes an investment in something YOU OWN and can leverage for future housing.

Predictable Payments: Home ownership with a fixed rate also locks you into a predictable payment, instead of getting the rent raised on you again and again.

No more moving to save money: In a similar vein, when you own a home, you don’t have to move again every 6 months to a year just to get a better rental rate from another landlord.

Refinancing for even lower payments/loan rates: A few years in to owning the home, should interest rates drop, you can refinance your mortgage loan to potentially receive an even lower predictable payment. (That’s where you call us again! 😃)

How can I help my children buy a home in the future?

If you can afford to finance a second property, that is the best way you can secure a home for your children in the future. This is a means to lock in today’s purchase prices, instead of the potentially higher home pricing that will exist 10 to 20 years from now. The idea is; investing in a second property now and using that home as a way to generate extra income through renters. In the future the property would be turned over to their grown children; to live in, leverage for another home, or manage the rental for income.

Home Ownership is a topic that we could discuss forever, and this article is aimed to give a general insight into purchasing a home in 2023. We feel it is better to get advice based on real-world numbers for individual situations. Call us for a more personalized suggestion based on your client’s or your own exact situation.

Contact DeAnna today! D&CO. is always here to help with your mortgage and industry questions.

Recipes

Hoppin’ John

“Hoppin’ John” is a popular New Year’s Day tradition. Some say this savory black-eyed peas dish brings you good luck and fortune if you eat it on January 1st. Because this version has sausage, it’s great on its own; kind of like a jambalaya. We’ve seen it served with smoked meats, rotisserie chicken, and recently had it with blackened catfish – which was a very tasty combo.

This is how DeAnna makes it!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup – Long Grain Rice

2 tablespoons – Olive Oil

1 large – Clove of Garlic

1 medium – Onion, chopped

1 medium – Green Pepper, cut into 1/4″ pieces

1 – Jalapeño, sliced thin

2 – 15oz. cans of Black Eyed Peas

6 oz. – Andouille Sausage, sliced into half moons

3 cups – Baby Spinach

Directions:

  1. Cook the rice according to package.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan and cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer sausage to a bowl.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the same pan you cooked the sausage in. Add onions. Cover and cook for 4 minutes.
  4. Add green pepper and stir occasionally until the vegetables are softened. About 5 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add black eyed peas and 1/2 cup of water. Cook until heated through.
  7. Add sausage back to the pan.
  8. Add spinach to the pan and cook until the spinach is wilted. About 2 minutes.
  9. Serve over rice.
Home Hack

How to Save $$$ Without a BUDGET

Time to get a jump on Spring Cleaning by starting with our bank accounts! There are likely SEVERAL ways you are losing hard earned cash every month. The good news is; most of the items outlined below just require a closer look at your spending than sticking to a dreaded “budget.”

TV Streaming Services

If you are like us, you have so many streaming services you forget they are even there. Cable, this app, that app plus; chances are you do not need them ALL. UNSUBSCRIBE to the streaming services you rarely access. Don’t even go in and explore the app to make your decision; if you haven’t watched it in the last month or more, get it out of here. (Don’t worry, you can always reinstate your account in the future.)

  • Make sure you go into whatever settings and actually hit “unsubscribe.” Deleting the app does not stop it from charging you.

“FREE TRIAL!”

Many apps; like music, sports, audio books, certain cable channels; offer *so many months free,* then start charging you. If you ever took the free trial on anything, it’s time to see if you accidentally became a paying subscriber!

Cable Providers

Unfortunately, most of us need cable for the internet. That’s how they keep us from being completely cable-free, but many cable companies have accepted our streaming ways and offer streaming-only options that are lower in cost. They don’t usually talk about these plans, you have to inquire about them.

If you signed up for x amount of dollars a month and think cable keeps it that way forever; they don’t. Check your account to see how much you think you are paying versus what you are actually paying now that they “discontinued” your deal.

Ask for a deal. Sometimes, if you tell the cable companies you simply cannot afford to keep paying this high of rate, they will give you a discount for a period of time – but they never just offer it up, you have to tell them the bill is too high and ASK if you qualify for any discounts. This is especially true if you live in an area with multiple cable providers.

Shop around! Cable companies compete with each other, see if one will give you a better deal for longer by switching providers.

Your Cell Phone Carrier

Your mobile phone subscription might have freebies already included in your plan! Inquire with an agent to see what streaming apps might be free with your cell phone plan. For example, Apple TV+ was included with our new iPhone purchase, and Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ were included with many Verizon unlimited subscriptions.

This sounds odd, but check to see if your CABLE PROVIDER offers CELL PHONE SERVICE. Yep, you read that right, most major cable companies offer cell phone service now. In our experience, bundling our cell phone plan with our cable provider brought the bill down to less than 1/4 of the normal cost. The only catch is you have to remain their cable customer and live within their service area to qualify for their cell phone plans and service.

Streaming Music

If you have streaming radio, be sure to check the bill. They sneakily raise the subscription, sometimes MORE THAN DOUBLE, after a period of time. However, if you call and tell them you cannot afford to keep paying that rate they will often give you another deal for a certain amount of months. Then, you call again.

Stored Credit Cards and Saved Passwords

Go through a month of charges to see what charges are going to where for what. Check the apps you share with family to make sure nothing is a wry. Uber, Amazon, Walmart, Grub Hub, even Taco Bell has an app. If your card is stored in it, if you ever shared the password to it, chances are someone could be using it without you knowing or accounting for the extra costs from it.

Amazon

If you have children and family members who you have given access to your Amazon account, consider going in and tightening up those purse strings. We have a friend who, unbeknownst to her, was ordering over $200 of Amazon orders a month… only it wasn’t her, it was her teenagers treating it like a free shopping market and video store because they had total access to the account with the password.

  • Start by changing the password and see who comes a knocking.
  • You can share “Prime” with your family without sharing your password and credit cards.
  • Services like two factor authentication on your credit cards often sends a text or email to you to ensure you approve any cards trying to be added to apps or stored online. Check with your credit card provider for what safety measures are offered with your exact card.

Other Subscriptions

Especially as a small business owner, there were a few subscriptions I was unaware of were recurring. When you sign up for something for the year to get free or reduced shipping is a good place to start investigating.

Food Delivery Services

The services that run and pick up food for you and deliver it to your door cost a LOT of money. Even worse, they actually TAKE a lot of money from the restaurants you love. Often menu prices are inflated to cover the expense, then add on the fees and tip and you’ve turned a burrito into the cost of fine dining. You’ll be surprised how much money can be saved by simply calling or visiting your local restaurants for take out.

Dining Out

Now, we all love a good meal at our favorite spot. Things are more expensive theses days and continuous dining out costs A LOT. We’re talking new car payment “a lot.” It’s not just meals, it’s drinks, coffees, cocktails, desserts too. Daily cheap Fast Food off of the value menus cost us more in our overall health. Set a monthly dining out budget and try to stick to it. If you stop for coffee 7 days a week, try only 5, then 3, etc. etc.

“But I love restaurant meals!!!” Try a meal subscription service like Every Plate or Hello Fresh. It’s restaurant quality meals that you make at home, for less. Makes sticking to the budget easier too!

“For just the cost of a cup of coffee a day…”

This phrase is buried in our subconscious equating coffee with “inexpensive.” That’s because back in the day, plain coffee was about seventy-five cents. Now days a custom coffee order can easily reach $6 to $7 dollars for the MEDIUM. (This just happened to me!) Switch to cheaper coffee experiences. For example, opt for McCafe instead of Starbucks more often. Order a simple cup of coffee from your favorite place instead of lattes and mochachino-frappe-what-ies. Try to make coffee at home more enjoyable. Even office coffee can be delicious when you bring your own coffee making supplies like flavored creamers and/or syrups. Many major coffee chains even have grocery store options of their products that will make it easier to enjoy what you love for less money at home.

Shop Around for Insurance Providers

It is a time consuming task, but take the time to compare rates at different insurance agencies (for auto, home, renters, business, etc.). When shopping, it’s important to make sure you are getting the SAME COVERAGE and with a reputable agency. We have found significant savings just by shopping our policies around.

D&CO. wishes you a prosperous 2023!

Curb Appeal, Home Hack

Shop Small!

Here are a few of our favorite places for SHOPPING SMALL and LOCAL in Central Florida this holiday season!

CLERMONT AREA 

  • Kim’s Cabbage Patch – Local produce, plants, and specialty items.
  • The Winter Garden Farmer’s Market – Local vendors, food, crafts, and artists. Saturday mornings.
  • Sunshine Book Company – An independent book store with goods from creative vendors.
  • South Lake Animal League Thrift Shop – Find some gifts and help animals at the same time.
  • Gray Bridal Boutique – Not just for weddings. They have a great selection of non-bridal jewelry and clothing.
  • McKenley Rae Boutique – Fashion, sunglasses, and jewelry.
  • Sugar Mama’s Candy Bar – “A sweet experience” candy store with retro favorites and holiday finds, but check out their handmade candy-inspired beverage counter. Their “coolers” are Instagram-worthy drink creations!
  • Ritter’s Frozen Custard – Stop in for burgers, frozen custards, but also whole frozen custard cakes and pies for holiday meals and parties. 

 NEAR APOPKA 

  • Kasheta Farms, Inc. – Live Christmas trees, a farmer’s market, with a small vendors fair on the weekends. 
  • Deb’s Garden Shop at the Liner Patch – Plants and pottery.
  • Aunt Gingibread’s Bakery – Delicious cakes, pies, and GINGERBREAD!
  • Yalaha Bakery – Breads, rolls, soft pretzels, cookies, desserts.
  • Yalaha Bootlegging Company – If gifting alcohol is your thing: this is a local Craft Distillery. They also sell AMAZING PIES!
  • Maters & Taters Produce – Local produce.
  • Trader Mae’s – Local vendors with all kinds of goods, candles, jams, antiques, furniture, and handmade merchandise too.
  • Porky’s BBQ – If you’re hosting a holiday party, Porky’s smoked ribs, pork, chicken, or brisket by the pound are a crowd pleaser.
  • Sweet Memories Cookie Co. – Our favorite custom cookie maker in Lady Lake!

 Just incase you need to REST from all that shopping in Apopka: 

 MOUNT DORA 

  • Stroll down 5th Avenue or Donnelly. Most shops in downtown Mount Dora are small businesses, and this town KNOWS HOW TO SHOW IT’S HOLIDAY CHEER! Lights and decorations everywhere!
  • Maggie’s Attic – A great single-bottle beer and wine selection – often with many seasonal and celebratory flavors. Drink them there or bag bottles to go.

 ORLANDO-ISH 

  • The Southern Home Bakery – Sugar cookies that are as beautiful as they are absolutely DELICIOUS! Makes great gifts! (Edgewater)
  • Petty’s – Gourmet meats, cheeses, and more. (Longwood)
  • The Winter Park Farmer’s Market – Local produce, handmade goods, food, plants, and more. Saturday mornings in the park near the train station.
  • Light on the Sugar – Light and airy pastry desserts (Winter Park)
  • The East End Market – Small business food vendors (desserts, breads, cheeses, cured meats). Also vendors with gift-worthy goods too. (Main level and upstairs.) They also host outdoor pop-up events with local art/craft/handmade/artisan vendors outside too. (Audubon Park)

Home Hack

Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?

Merry Christmas AND Happy Holidays!

Here at D&CO. we LOVE Christmastime, and we fully embrace the “Happy Holidays” greeting. When we wish someone Happy Holidays, we’re not rejecting the notion of Christmas, but wishing others to celebrate whatever holiday or traditions they embrace during this wonderful time of year.

For us that means, “Christmas!”

For others it may be:

Hanukkah – Sunday December 18th to Monday December 26, 2022

“Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with nine branches, commonly called a menorah or hanukkiah. … Hanukkah festivities include singing Hanukkah songs, playing the game of dreidel and eating oil-based foods, such as latkes and sufganiyot, and dairy foods.” (Read more about Hanukkah from this article on Wikipedia)

Kwanzaa – Monday December 26th to Sunday January 1, 2023

“During the Civil Rights Movement, Kwanzaa founder Maulana Karenga, PhD, professor and chairman of Black studies at California State University, Long Beach, was determined to find a way to bring the African American community together to persevere through hardship. And that’s how the week-long cultural celebration highlighting family, friends, and community was born.” (Read more about Kwanzaa from this article in Cosmopolitan)

Winter Solstice – Wednesday December 21, 2022

Winter solstice is the longest night of the year and is observed in many cultures around the world. One of the most popular things to do for this observance is appreciate the natural world. Many give back to nature on the day by spreading some birdseed for wildlife. (Read more ways to celebrate the Winter Solstice from this article in Sunset Magazine.)

 

Boxing Day – Monday December 26, 2022

“Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated after Christmas Day, occurring on the second day of Christmastide (26 December). Though it originated as a holiday to give gifts to the poor, today Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday. It originated in Great Britain and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously formed part of the British Empire. The attached bank holiday or public holiday may take place on 28 December if necessary to ensure it falls on a weekday. Boxing Day is also concurrent with the Catholic holiday Saint Stephen’s Day.” (Read more about Boxing Day from this article on Wikipedia.)

Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and no two families celebrate any holiday exactly alike – but that is how traditions are created, after all. The common thread we see among all of these holidays and traditions seems to carry a message about caring for one another. Cheers to embracing others’ happiness during all of the holidays that fall in this most magical time of year!

D&CO. Wishes you and yours a very Happy Holiday of your own tradition, and a Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it!