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Thanksgiving: A time for Celebration and to Give Thanks

by Linnea Lavell

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, many people are planning meals or preparing to travel to visit loved ones. Some of you are excited about the holiday and some are stressed out about it.  

I wanted to share a little history on the upcoming holiday and to give you a few ideas that may alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling. 

Thanksgiving originated as a time to celebrate the harvest with family and friends through a festival.  A time to be thankful for the harvest and bounty of the year.  Thanksgiving Day is public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and has been nationally celebrated on and off since 1789 after a proclamation by George Washington.

Through the years as times changed so has the celebration.  The basic premise has remained a time for celebration with family/friends and a time to be thankful but now we also enjoy football games, turkey dinner, movies, family traditions and many people even get ready for Black Friday shopping. Whatever you elect to do on Thanksgiving, take time to reflect on the people and what you are thankful for in your life.

If your plans include preparing a meal for your family and friends, it can be stressful. Especially if you are not used to cooking for a large number of people.  To help ease the stress, plan the meal in advance and if items can be prepared early prepare them.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, assign side dishes or desserts to those attending the celebration.  This allows your guests to be part of preparing the feast and exposes your guests to dishes they may not have had an opportunity to try prepared in a different way than they are used to having them.  Having side dishes prepared by your guests also will free you up to enjoy time to visit with everyone.  If guests are traveling from out of town that cannot prepare a dish, ask them to help in different way.  Maybe have them bring wine, rolls, a salad or ask them to help set the table or help in the kitchen.  

Traveling a long distance in a car with children is never easy as they can get bored easily.  Make sure they have things to keep them entertained while they are in the car.  Technology is great to keep kids busy but research some games that the entire family can participate in while traveling or better yet make one up as you are traveling.  Discuss towns you are traveling through and what each town’s “claim to fame” is or something the town is known for producing.  This a good way to turn a boring road trip into a learning experience without the kids even realizing it.  It may take a little planning on your part but it will be worth it.  You can also have a conversation about what you are thankful for and why.  Be creative and make the trip a fun for everyone.

Whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving.  Take time to reflect on what you are thankful for in your life, celebrate what you have and enjoy those who are with you.  Don’t forget, if you have a friend or neighbor that may not be attending a celebration of their own, ask them to join you.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to have loved ones near them so include those people in your celebration of thanks.

As for me, I am thankful for my friends, family, teachers, employees and clients that have taught me life lessons and helped me with my successes or encouraged me during difficult times.  I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Do You Use All Your Vacation and Paid Leave?

by Linnea Lavell

We have busy, crazy lives and according to statistics, the majority of us do not take the time we are allotted from work for paid leave.  According to an article in Fortune, paid leave whether sick days, vacation days or paid hours off is rarely used and makes up and makes up nearly 7% of total compensation in private industry as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  On average workers fail to use nearly five vacation days annually.

 It is important to take some time for yourself to allow your body to unwind, de-stress, relax and let your mind/body heal.   Something as simple as making a picnic lunch for you or your family while enjoying an afternoon at a local park can go a long way in rejuvenating your body and soul.  

There are many ways you can utilize your paid time off from work. Some of them cost little or no money while others can cost a considerable amount.  It is up to you to figure out what your budget is and start enjoying your paid time off.

Here are some ideas that run from simple to elaborate. 
  • Go for a drive to your favorite lake or beach. If it fits into your budget, rent a hotel and make it an overnight adventure.
  • Take a blanket, a book and a packed lunch to the park.   You can enjoy being outdoors and get your daily dose of vitamin D.
  • If you like camping or have an RV, plan a weekend trip.  Get away from civilization and spend time with your family roasting marshmallows or hot dogs while having fun in the great outdoors.
  • Plan a trip to a city you have always wanted to visit.  You can drive or fly depending on how far it is from your home.  Visit local restaurants, art galleries, go shopping or just learn about the history of the city.
  • Enjoy fishing?  Plan a fishing trip.   Those of us that fish, find it a relaxing way to spend the day even if you don’t catch anything.
  •  Go on a cruise.   You can cruise to the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Hawaii and various other locations.  You have many options of locations and length of cruises so do your research and set sail for the port of your dreams.
  • Maybe an international trip is more of what you are looking for to use those vacation days. Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, France, Italy and many more destinations wait for you.
  • Look into all-inclusive vacations to destinations such as Mexico, Jamaica, The Virgin Island or other tropical.
  • Visit a vineyard.  Learn how wine is made and taste some of the local wines for the area. You might find a new favorite.

Life is too short to spend it working all the time.  Pack your bags, grab a fruity drink, be adventurous and get out there to explore this great big world but most important of all relax and have some fun!

Bon Voyage and safe travels.


Information on Cruises

Information on Hotels, Airfare, Car Rentals

How to apply for a passport

Travel alerts and warnings


If you want resort-style living all year long, why not purchase a home in Savannah, Texas?






Motorcycle Safety Tips

by Linnea Lavell

Many people enjoy riding motorcycles and it is a very cost efficient way to get around town,  Did you know that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in an accident than in a car?

Before you hit the road on your motorcycle you need to think about some basic safety tips that will reduce your risk.

Wear Protective Clothing - This not only means wearing a helmet but also goggles, long sleeve shirt, leather or reinforced jacket, long pants, gloves and boots that come over your ankles are important to wear even on short rides.

Practice Defensive Driving - Always be alert to potential dangers.  Maintain a safe driving distance from other vehicles, avoid cars that are driving erratically and watch for hazards such as loose gravel or debris in the road.

Think of Yourself as Invisible - Remember that to drivers in cars, you may virtually disappear.  Wear bright colors, keep your headlight on and position yourself in the best spot to be seen. 

Avoid Bad Road Conditions - When possible, avoid bad weather.  If you do get caught in changing weather conditions, be careful with brakes, throttle and steering. Remember that the most dangerous time is right after precipitation begins to fall as oil residues will rise to the surface of the road.

Learn Proper Techniques - Take a motorcycle safety course in your area.  In addition to the basic skills you will need to get a motorcycle license, you need to learn how perform evasive emergency maneuvers to keep you safe from other drivers on the road.

Stay safe and let's ride!


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Contact Information

Photo of Linnea Lavell Real Estate
Linnea Lavell
Lavell Realty, LLC
P.O. Box 1243
Little Elm TX 75068
Fax: 877-488-1740