Happy Holidays from The Kolb Team!
The Kolb Team would like to extend our sincerest wishes for a wonderful holiday season to all of our clients and friends! We are so grateful for all of you and hopeful that this holiday season will be filled with love, abundant generosity to others, and most of all, new memories with family and friends. It is a season of joy and happiness, and we thought it would be fun to share some unique holiday traditions from around the world.
Krampus (Germany, Austria, Hungary):
Santa’s worse half is a hairy, devil-like creature called Krampus. Legend has it that while Santa brings toys to “nice” children, Krampus’ job is to punish kids on the “naughty” list. Mostly he just frightens the children with his beastly looks, but it’s said that he throws particularly bad children into his sack, or chains them up in his basket and carts them off to Hell. People in Austria and neighboring countries often dress up as Krampus in early December and wander the streets to scare children into behaving until Christmas… and it probably works for long after that too!
Hide the Broom (Norway):
Some Norwegians believe witches and evil spirits roam the night sky on Christmas Eve. And what is a witch’s preferred mode of transportation? A broomstick. So out of an abundance of caution, people in Norway hide all of the brooms in their houses to prevent any witches from getting their hands on them. Sometimes people will take it a step further by firing a warning gunshot into the air to scare them off. Putting brooms under ‘lock and key’ may keep those evil witches from ruining your Christmas Eve!
Dead Horse Caroling (Wales):
You’re probably familiar with Christmas caroling, but you’re definitely not familiar with the carolers who might show up at your door in Wales. At some point in December or January, you could open your door to find someone hidden by a ribbon and bell-adorned sheet, holding up a real horse skull on a stick, with a few fellow revelers in tow. As part of this Mari Lwyd (“Gray Mare”) tradition, the group will sing to you and then challenge you to a battle of rhyming insults in Welsh (called a ‘pwnco’). After the contest, the party is usually invited inside for refreshments
Feel free to leave the horse skull on the porch before you come inside!
Potato Menorahs (Romania, Austria):
Jews in Romania, as well as Austria and other central European communities, would scrape out potatoes, filling each potato space with oil and a wick to serve as the menorah. Rather than putting all eight out at once, each day they would add another potato. While the origin of this custom is unclear, it likely came about due to economic struggles. If so, maybe they used olive oil, and made those potatoes into a side dish!
All of us at The Kolb Team are so grateful for every one of you and feel so blessed to be doing something that all of us love with people like you! Let’s all go make 2023 a safe and blessed year for everyone we touch.
The Kolb Team
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing. The prohibitions specifically cover discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status (pregnancy or children under age 18).
The Fair Housing Act specifically exempts three types of housing for older persons from liability for familial status discrimination. Such exempt housing facilities or communities can lawfully refuse to sell or rent dwellings to families with minor children only if they qualify for the exemption. In order to qualify for the "housing for older persons" exemption, a facility or community must comply with all the requirements of the exemption.
The Housing for Older Persons exemptions apply to the following housing:
- Provided under any state or federal program that the Secretary of HUD has determined to be specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons (as defined in the state or federal program);
- Intended for, and solely occupied by persons 62 years of age or older; or
- Intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older.
The 55 or older exemption is the most common of the three.
Pet of the Month
Meet this month's Pet of the Month
Congratulations to Wendy the Diving Dog – our December Pet of the Month. Tell your parents to look for your Chewy gift card in their inbox.
If you would like your pet to be featured in our Pet of The Month and win a Chewy gift card for your sweet family member, send a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why your furbaby makes you happy. We look forward to seeing all of your awesome pet pics!
Recipe of the Month
- 3 c all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 T ground cinnamon
- 1 T ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 12 T butter, at room temperature, cut into 12 pieces
- 3/4 c molasses (dark molasses is best)
- 2 T milk
- Gingerbread man or woman cookie cutters
Ingredients for Frosting:
- 2 T butter, at room temperature
- 2 c powdered sugar
- 2 T milk
- Add flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt to a mixing bowl and mix.
- Add the butter pieces and use a pastry blender to cut the butter in until the mixture resembles a fine meal.
- With a mixer running on low speed, gradually add the molasses and milk and mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Divide the dough in half, forming each into a ball. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, or place in the freezer for about 20 minutes until firm, if you’re in a hurry.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove one dough sheet from the fridge/freezer and place on the counter. Roll out the dough (use a little flour on your rolling pin if needed), until it’s about ½ inch thick. Cut gingerbread men and place them on prepared baking sheets.
- Refrigerate the gingerbread men for 5 minutes (meanwhile you can roll out the other dough ball).
- Bake the cookies until set in the centers and the dough barely retains any imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, about 8 to 11 minutes (depending on the size of your cookie cutter). Do not overbake!!
- Remove the cookies to a wire rack. Allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.
- Store gingerbread cookies in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers. Eat and enjoy or freeze for up to 3 months.
Directions for Frosting:Add butter, milk, and 1 cup of powdered sugar to a bowl. Mix until smooth. Add an additional cup of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add frosting to piping bag if desired. Pipe on details like faces, buttons, sleeves, and pants / skirt, or just cover with frosting!
Toy and PJ Drive
Our Toy and PJ Drive was a huge success thanks to you! 100s of foster children throughout the Valley will have a brighter holiday, and The Kolb Team and all of them thank you for your generosity!
Self-Care Tips for The Busy Holiday Season
The holiday season is one of joyfulness and celebration, but sometimes we can get stressed out, either because we are striving for perfection or there is just so much to do. Like the old saying goes, you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself, so we wanted to share some ideas that may help you de-stress and enjoy this time of year more!
Create… Anything! Do you like to cook? Try tweaking a recipe from a cookbook or a family tradition, or come up with something completely new. This activity takes your mind off of holiday stresses, and you may even discover a new favorite dish or dessert! If cooking isn’t your thing, consider taking up or returning to a favorite craft – it could be knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, writing a poem, creating DIY holiday décor, painting, pottery, sculpting, music, or… whatever strikes your fancy. Expressing yourself in a creative way has been linked to wellbeing and less stress.
Journal or consider something you’d like to improve or learn. Gratitude journals help you remain grounded and connected to daily life, as well as lift your mood. There are so many good things that we don’t even realize or register in each day, and that includes great memories from the past, tasks we’ve gotten done, or other accomplishments. Did you used to play an instrument or be fluent in a language that isn’t your native tongue? Now is a perfect time to return to it!
Reach out and touch someone! While that is an old tagline for AT&T long-distance phone service, it still applies today. Letting someone know you are thinking about them lifts both you and them. Video chat is a great way to reconnect also. If you’re camera- or phone-shy, a simple card or e-card has the same effect.
Put the phone down. We are bombarded with texts, notifications, ads, and other sounds from our phones and devices that often make us feel a sense of urgency – but most of the time, these aural announcements are not things that need our immediate attention. If nothing impending is imminent, put your connected devices down for a while, and enjoy the peace that you’ll feel when you do.
Music calms the holiday season beast. A new playlist or music-streaming channel can really put you in a great mood and frame of mind. The right one can bring up the best memories! Perhaps you can play it while taking a bath, strolling around the neighborhood, or coming up with that potential new family favorite recipe!
These are just a few ideas to help you manage the holiday stress so many of us feel, and to take a little time to nurture yourself. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
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and work ethic is excellent.”
Buyers of the Month
We have buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase and can’t find homes. If you or someone you know is thinking of selling and can accommodate, get in touch with us.
We have your buyer!
- Buyers looking for a 2 bedroom + Den in Oakwood or Ironwood in the $450,000- $500,000 range.
- Buyers looking in Cottonwood and Palo Verde on the Golf Course with a nice backyard and 2+ bedrooms.
Recent Real Estate Sales in Sun Lakes
Wondering about your Neighbor’s Home Sales Price? Find out here to see what sold last month. The report is broken down by HOA, address, and floor plan (if the agent listed the model in MLS).
Vendor of The Month: Friends for Life Animal Rescue
Thinking of adding a new family member in 2023? We encourage you to think of Friends for Life Animal Rescue!
The organization is a privately supported, limited intake, no-kill, rescue organization located in Gilbert, Arizona. Friends for Life receives no government financial support and is powered by volunteers. If you’re looking to adopt a dog or adopt a cay in the Phoenix metro area, this is the right place! If you’re unable to adopt today, there are other ways you can help the volunteers and the animals they care for.
We Are Committed to Helping End Polio Now!
Would You Like a Free Buyer Guide or a Seller Guide?
Get Insider Information
We live, work, play, and volunteer in Sun Lakes and we know the ins and outs of this community
As always, if you or someone you know is considering buying or selling a home,
we are here year-round and would love to help! Visit us online at
TheKolbTeam.com or call 480-809-5759.