christmas

8 Fun Christmas Traditions from Our Families to Yours

by Kayla Kody on December 18, 2014

Family Reading   1. Passed Down Story Time – “My mother read my brothers and I the story “The Night Before Christmas” every Christmas Eve when I was growing up from an old and tattered book which she had for many years.  There are pages covered in crayon scribbles, torn corners and signs of use through the years.  When my oldest son was born (who is the oldest grandchild) my mother gave the book to me to carry on that Christmas Eve tradition of reading it before bedtime.  I have done so with my kids each and every year and they still will not go to bed until that tradition is honored, even though they are 15 and 19 years old.   Hopefully, they will one day read the story to their kids from the same well-loved little book.” – Douglas Venable, Sales Representative

2. Design Studio Christmas Tree at Shea – Every year right before all of us in the office leave for Thanksgiving break we put up the Christmas Lights on the office Tree.  A few members of our marketing team and our design studio team get together to put up the tree and decorate. We listen to Christmas music and work as a team to make sure the tree looks great!

 

Kids Gifts 3. Gift Coding – “My parents could never get my two younger siblings and I to take time in between opening gifts, we were always too excited. One day Santa decided to help Mom and Dad slow us down by coding our gifts. We had to break the codes to figure out who got what, and what order to open the presents in. When we were younger the codes were easy, something like: shapes with four sides went to me, any six sided shapes went to my little sister, and circles went to my brother. As we got older they went to math problems, patterns, or symbols we had to break. We used to get so frustrated, but it made us work together and as the years went on we started to love the challenge. We still do it to this day, only now we code my parent’s gifts too!” –Kayla Kody, Digital Marketing Specialist

Christmas Puppy

4. Elf on the Shelf – Most of our office participates in this Christmas tradition. One elf in particular will be delivering quite a special gift this Christmas Eve: “When the kids try to find the elf in the morning he will be dangling from our front porch light, over a box. When they open the box they’re going to be thrilled to find their first puppy, a golden doodle that we will be bringing into our family this Christmas.” – Michele Scott, VP of Sales and Marketing

5. Huge Family Reunions – “Every year my entire family travels to my parents’ house in Maine, it’s the house I grew up in. Everyone arrives on the 23rd and we have a huge lasagna dinner with at least 25 members of my family. Three of my family members have birthdays over the holiday on the 23rd, 24th, and 26th so we celebrate those as well. It’s wonderful to have everyone together to reunite and celebrate the holiday.” –Sarah McKinnon, Marketing Project Coordinator

Reindeer

6. Reindeer Get Hungry Too! – “My husband, daughter, and I go to McAdenville to see the beautiful lights the city puts up every year and bring our favorite homemade hot chocolate with us. When we get home we put out Santa’s cookies and milk, but we also make sure to leave some treats for the reindeer! In the morning the reindeer have nibbled on some of their treats.” – Melissa Ehren, Sales Representative

7. The Feast of Seven Fishes – “Every year we cook the feast of the seven fishes. We treat ourselves to foods we don’t normally buy like lobster, and oysters. We make a huge mess but it is always a delicious meal!” – Shannon Lutomski, Purchasing  

8. Advent Calendar – “We count down the days until Christmas with our advent calendar. Our daughter pulls out the prize behind each day as we get closer and closer. It’s a fun way to have little celebrations ahead of time and build up to the big day!” – Susan Lamb, Land Development

Share your fun family Holiday traditions with us! We’re on Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Twitter

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The Dream Kitchens of Stepping Stone

by Shea Homes Colorado on December 17, 2014

 

This time of year, the kitchen becomes even more of a focal point. A well-designed kitchen makes the holidays even more festive, effortlessly drawing people together to chat while snapping green beans, oohing and aahing over the roasting turkey, or sharing wine and cheese before the big meal ahead. And when the kitchen is equally well-appointed, the chef’s job is immeasurably easier.

Behold the kitchens of Stepping Stone, designed for both conviviality and convenience. Check out our model kitchen photos and imagine where you could be hosing your next holiday!  Then, take a peek at the available SPACES Discovery Collection homes.

Plan 3507

3507 Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Express your individuality and define living spaces that meet your needs in the Plan 3507 at Stepping Stone.

 

Plan 4006

4006 Dining Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan 4006 is ideal for a growing family with a kitchen that opens to a large living area.

 

Plan 5002

5002 Kitchen Dining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Break free from conventional home design and explore this innovative Plan 5002 with a well-appointed cook as the hub of family living.

 

Plan 5004

5004 Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture yourself in Plan 5004 featuring a well-designed cook with meal bar, large walk-in pantry, and butler’s pantry with adjacent dining and family rooms.

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Winterize your home to stay comfortable and warm this season

by Shea Homes Arizona on December 11, 2014

“The more the merrier” is one of our favorite phrases this time of year as your home fills up with relatives, friends and holiday cheer. To keep you and your loved ones comfortable this year we would love to share some of our favorite tips and tricks for keeping your home cozy and warm all winter long.

The best way to keep your guests cozy this holiday season is to make sure that your home is warm and that you keep the cold out. It is so easy to lose heat throughout your home in places like under the doors, this can be prevented by rolling up a towel to place under each of your doors to keep the heat in. Replacing central air and heating filters and removing sediment from your hot water heater by flushing water through the drain valve are also simple, yet, efficient ways to save money on utilities and to keep your guests comfortable.

Next, if it’s been a while, service your heating system! Call in a professional to overhaul your heating system; this will ensure you can keep your home warm. To avoid pipes bursting, this, believe it or not can happen in Arizona, purchase pipe jackets.

After you have tackled the logistical side of comfort, the time comes for making your guests feel at home. Nothing says “we’re glad you’re here” quite like having a place to sit and a space that is your own. When preparing for extra guests, walk the space of your home and count the number of seats that are available a week before your guests arrive. Make sure that the number of guests you are expecting matches the number of seating spaces available in your home. Tip, account for a few extra seats, as well you know… “The more the merrier”. This will allow you plenty of time to go shopping or borrow seating from a neighbor to ensure that each of your guests has a place to sit and share in holiday memories with you.

donations

photo credit: www.realsimple.com]

In order to make room for all of that extra seating, you may need to find inspiration from this year’s spring cleaning endeavors and begin the tradition of a winter clean. Declutter the main living areas your guests will be in, and even donate many of your items that really haven’t served much purpose in your life anymore. Hate cleaning? Make it a fun occasion by baking those cookies you have been craving, sipping on your favorite hot apple cider and listening to some holiday music!

packed-ornaments

photo credit: www.realsimple.com]

After your home is toasty, clean and has plenty of room to fit all of your beloved guests, you can begin to add the finishing touches to your winter wonderland. One easy way to make your home feel like the holidays have arrived is to change the curtains. A heavier curtain acts as another way to help to keep the heat in and can be found in a variety of colors such as rich berry hues that bring the holiday spirit indoors. Also, installing a sound system will keep the holiday vibes alive with classic Christmas tunes, and it will fill the dead space! Finally, one of the most impactful and simple ways to bring cheer to your home during the holidays is to change the lighting. As it gets colder outside, it is important to bring the feeling of warmth that light emanates inside. This can be done by moving around lamps, replacing burnt out bulbs and/or adding new light fixtures.

home-lighting

photo credit: www.freshouse.net]

At the end of the day, with a little bit of effort and a few small changes your home can be transformed into a haven for the holidays that warmly welcomes you and all of your loved ones.

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Holiday Dinner, Done Right

by Shea Homes Northern California on December 14, 2012

 

Turning your home into a Winter Wonderland is only one of the many things families do this holiday season. Most can agree that this month is about the time spent with family and friends. And boy is it! There is no doubt that you’ve already found yourself participating in holiday parties, perhaps multiple, so far this season and the biggest days are yet to come.

Some have already dined on their big December holiday meals but many families will celebrate with delicious dinners on the 24th or 25th. Whether you have a fancy feast or a casual dinner, we can all agree that a little recipe inspiration can go a long way.

Do you roast a turkey, or perhaps wow your guests with duck? Or do you go all out and cook a Turducken? Whatever your traditions, we just want to ensure you don’t end up with a Griswold family dinner.  We’ve compiled a list of the traditional Christmas menu items with a little twist. Feel free to try one or all of them this holiday season.

Appetizer Course:

Hors d’Oeuvres should be delicious but not filling. How do you do that? Create appetizers that will compliment your main course and side dishes, while curving your guest’s appetite so they don’t become antsy before dinner is served.

Pears with Blue Cheese wrapped in Prosciutto

Caramelized Onion Tarts with Apples

Main Course:

The Main course is always the most daunting part of the dinner. It typically takes the longest to cook and it truly sets the tone for the rest of the meal. Spoiler Alert: the main course doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are two recipes that will leave your guests feeling full with holiday spirit, and they’ll never have to know how easy it was.

Glazed Ham with Coriander and Fennel

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin with Cherries

Complimentary Side Dishes:

Side dishes round out the whole meal, without them we’d feel incomplete! Make sure your side dishes compliment your main dish. It’s good to use similar spices throughout the meal to bring the whole dinner together.

Broccoli with Toasted Garlic and Hazelnuts

Garlicky Green Beans with Pine Nuts

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Vanilla Sweet Potatoes

Dessert Round

For many, the desserts are their favorite part of the meal, even if they say they “loved” the pork loin they were probably waiting for the desserts to be served. If you want to be ambitious you can bring some of the flavors from dinner into the sweets you serve.

Cherry Trifle

Croissant and Chocolate Bread Pudding

Butterscotch Bananas with Vanilla Ice Cream

 

And there you have it, a delicious and fairly doable holiday meal! We hope you have a Happy Holiday, enjoy the special time with family and friends!

 

 

Find all of these recipes and more great ideas on Pinterest.

Like us on Facebook, we’re giving out gift cards daily the week before Christmas!

Follow us on Twitter for up-to-date information regarding new releases and community happenings.

Lastly visit our website for more information about our newest homes.

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A Home for the Holidays

December 3, 2012




  The winter holidays evoke a sort of nostalgic emotion for many people. Some love the decor that fills department stores and homes, some enjoy the cozy feeling that comes with the cold winter air during December, and others love the extra time with family and friends during this busy time of year. While not […]

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Community Events: October-December 2012

October 10, 2012




When we think of the holiday season, we can’t help but think of parties, good food and quality time with friends and family. What is this time of year without a little celebration? Our new home communities in Northern California are surrounded by fun events for the whole family. Here is a list of holiday […]

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