A Sony playstation. A Brock Purdy Jersey. A Kings win. Fuzzy slippers. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store book. Tickets to watch Jake Browning, former Folsom standout quarterback start for the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Wow, those are all great gifts, right? On the top of everyone’s or at least someone’s list. The holiday season is fun and special. Every year I look forward to getting into the “Christmas spirit”. I host a wonderful annual event at a local microbrewery where my friends and clients get a free flight of beer and a tasty pumpkin pie to take home.

Not only do I hope that it helps them get into the holiday spirit, but it sure does wonders for me. But the Christmas spirit is hard to define. It’s a feeling. And it takes me awhile to get into the spirit. Christmas shopping for my loved ones. It’s fun but it borderlines as a task.

Decorating the tree. Sure, that’s a 7 on the Spirit-o-meter. Because it’s also a ritual in our family. It’s togetherness. It’s tradition (which is important to me) and it’s a time of reflection. Every year, Lynne gets each of our two daughters a Christmas ornament to mark time in their lives.

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When we decorate, we reach into the box and pull out an ornament. When we see which one it is, it sparks joy and conversation as we remember those past moments.
Usually the comments start with, “Wow, remember when you did (this)?” or “Has it been that long since you….(started playing the piano)?”  That’s what drives up the spirit score. The act of decorating is just the vehicle that engages us.

The gift of giving. It’s such a cliché, but you know, for me, it really sends the dial of the Spirit-o-meter spinning. Every holiday season, (as many of you know, because you donate) I collect warm coats, blankets and more for donation to Green Valley Community Church, a local church that distributes them to those in need.

Again, a borderline task on my to-do list. But then something happens, and the switch flips and I can feel it. As my wife and I arrive at the church, we’re greeted by volunteers that are working tirelessly with big smiles on their face. They are organizing & sorting these items and hundreds more. Those in need get their opportunity to get items that they need; items that most of us take for granted. It’s the big “Thank you” that I receive from so many of the workers.

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But the “Thank you” that really ignites the Spirit fire is the ones from those that are receiving the donations. But in the end, I feel like also I owe them the “thank you”. I had just a small part in the machine that is required to make all of that happen. And it’s a joy to see everyone helping and giving to help others and one another. It’s this activity that enhances and grows my holiday spirit.

I hope everyone finds whatever gets their holiday spirit into full gear. Share with me what works for you. If you are unsure, try out the old cliché and participate in the gift of giving. While getting the best gift at the White Elephant gift exchange is fun, really, what are you going to do with that KFC fried chicken fire log? Does it really crank up the Spirit-o-meter? Go check out opportunities to volunteer and give back.

Create your own toy drive, coats collection, whatever. Volunteer at a local church, or be a Big Brother or Big Sister, work at a soup kitchen or do work for Habitat for Humanity. You can apply your specialized skills or you can find something where you get to explore a different side of yourself.
Whatever you choose, rest assured, trust that your spirit will have notched up several levels. So at the end of the day, when you sit back and watch your favorite holiday movie (it’s gotta be Elf) with your loved ones, pour yourself some hot chocolate, egg nog or your favorite holiday beverage, fire up your KFC-scented log, and you’ll be feeling “holiday spirit”. Check out your Spirit-o-meter. It’s gotta be hitting 10!

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In El Dorado Hills (EDH) and Folsom, the local real estate market is fairly stable. Sales activity has slowed down so I don’t think it’s spinning up the score on the Spirit-o-Meter for buyers or sellers. Year-To-Date numbers through 11/2023 in EDH & Folsom are down when compared to the same time frame in 2022. The number of homes sold is down again this year. In EDH, home sales are down approximately 21% while down a little more in Folsom at 24%.
Home prices in EDH are down just a fraction of a percent while in Folsom, prices are down over six percent when compared to same time frame in 2022. Buyers that are waiting for home prices to fall significantly will have to keep waiting. Homes are taking approximately 20 to 25% longer to sell. From my experience with recent buyers and sellers over the past months, buyers have less urgency in submitting offers. While there are still a high percentage of homes that receive multiple offers, buyers are usually in a less competitive environment when submitting their offer on their dream home. 2024 should be an exciting year in local residential real estate.

I love where I live. I’m excited to continue to help more families in 2023 with their real estate needs. With proper planning and a good Realtor (Luckily, I know a really good one….), you can smoothly get to your next stage in life. For more tips on how to successfully navigate the real estate purchase or sale, or suggestions on Folsom topics, please contact me at Coldwell Banker Realty, 916.812.4341, pquan@cbnorcal.comwww.PatQuan.com. CA DRE #01918240

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Pat Quan
Author: Pat Quan