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Friday Five // December 13th, 2019

It’s Friday again, which means it’s time for the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events taking place in the Charleston area over the weekend. Get a special view of a boat parade, have cookies with Santa Claus, view a holiday parade, and more! As always, no matter what you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very happy and safe weekend!

Board the USS Yorktown this Saturday evening for the inaugural Lights on the Harbor: A Boat Parade Watch Party from 6pm until 9pm. Join Live 5 News WCSC and Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum for the best-ever view of the Charleston Boat Parade high above the harbor. Along with the can’t-be-beat views, you’ll enjoy holiday music, a cash bar operated by Special Ops Events’ Top Shelf Catering, and all your favorite holiday snacks and sweets available for purchase. Pose for photos with Santa as well as Scrappy, the Patriots Point mascot. Access to the Yorktown’s flight deck opens at 6pm, and the first boat of the parade is due to pass by at 6:20pm. Dress warmly and bring a chair. Coolers, food items, and wagons are not permitted on the ship. 

Still not finished with your Christmas shopping? Don’t fret; we’re not done either. Thank goodness for the 5th Annual Holy City Holiday Market this Saturday from noon until 5pm, held at Holy City Brewing’s original taproom (4155 Dorchester Avenue). Sip and shop local with more than forty vendors available to help you find the absolute perfect gift for those loved ones left on your list, featuring the likes of 138 Woodworks, Apis Mercantile, Bootlegger Soap Company, Carolina Clutches, Lowcountry Candle Company, Modern Apothecary, and many more! Don your holiday best and strike a pose for BadJon’s Big Shot camera, the same style of camera Andy Warhol used for his famous portraits. Then spread the holiday cheer with a donation to Camp Rise Above, which provides fun, life-changing camp experiences to children with serious illnesses, life challenges, and disabilities. The Holy City Holiday Market is a rain-or-shine, family-friendly event. Bring the kiddos and snap a selfie with Santa! 

Haven’t had your fill of holiday parades yet? Head down to Folly on Saturday for the 29th Annual Folly Beach Christmas Parade! Line up along Center Street and enjoy creative floats and festive community groups as they march down the street in hopes to win prizes for Most Original, Best Band/Music Group, and Best Christmas Spirit. The parade begins at noon and is immediately followed by Santa at Folly River Park and cocoa at the church across the street. The best viewing points are both sides of Center Street, south of Indian. Come early to snag your favorite spot, and don’t forget to bring bags for collecting all the candy passed out by the parade’s participants! 

Make your Sunday a festive one at the 5th Annual Cookies with Santa celebration at Mercantile and Mash. Santa and Mrs. Claus are back for this fun family event! Enjoy a homemade cookie decorating station, festive balloon artists, and food and drink specials for purchase, such as Mercantile & Mash’s famous hot chocolate with marshmallows for the kiddos, as well as spiked hot chocolate, mimosas, and Bloody Marys for the adults. Tickets for this event include one photo with Santa. (To keep the line moving along, each ticket allows for two total snapshots and one printed photo.) The cost is $15 per child. Please note that purchasing your tickets in advance does not determine line placement for photos. 

For even more holiday fun, gather up your family and get down to The Joe this Sunday afternoon for Charlie Claus at the Joe from 2pm until 5pm. Hang out with Santa Claus, Charlie Claus the RiverDog, and other beloved characters at the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Ballpark. Participate in arts and crafts, hop in a jump castle, shop the vendor village and more before A Muppet Christmas Carol starts at 3pm. Photos with Santa are free, so bring the fam and snap a pic from 2pm until 4pm. Admission is $5 (3 and under free), OR you can get in free with an unopened toy donation to The Salvation Army Charleston Angel Tree.

Tips For Keeping Your Home Show-Ready During the Holidays

If your home is on the market during the holiday season, you might assume that seasonal decorations are out of the question this year. But selling your home doesn’t have to put a damper on your holiday spirit. You can decorate for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa—whichever holidays you celebrate—and still be ready to show your home at a moment’s notice. Just use the following tips to help keep your home show-ready during the holiday season.

Keep It Simple

Homes can actually look their best all decked out in their holiday finery! The key to making it ready to show to prospective buyers is to keep your decor simple. Go traditional with some greenery (garlands, wreaths, swags, etc.) and white lights and simple bows. Anything that can be chalked up to personal taste should be left out for the time being. Leave the inflatable yard decorations and light-up nativity scene in the attic for this year. Think “less is more,” and keep your holiday decor tasteful, warm, and inviting. Or if you’re looking for an excuse not to decorate, you’ve got the perfect justification!

Create an Inviting Atmosphere

Of course it’s not always cold in December in Charleston, but if it is, be sure to keep the heat on. Offer up some treats like hot chocolate, cookies, and candy canes. Creating an inviting atmosphere makes buyers want to stay, which gives them more time to look and discuss your home’s best attributes, possibly inspiring them to make an offer.

Set Aside a “Wet Room” Area

Wet rooms aren’t quite as common in the Charleston area as they are in colder climates, so if you don’t have one, create a makeshift one. Snowy Decembers may not be typical here, but there’s always plenty of crunchy fallen leaves and the occasional rainstorm. The last thing you want is people trampling your clean floors with their wet, muddy, leafy shoes and leaving tracks everywhere. If you don’t have a defined space for wet shoes and rain gear, think about making space near the front door for a rubber mat for wet shoes, some coat hooks for rain jackets and winter coats, and an umbrella stand. 

Designate a Space for Holiday Activities

When you get a last-minute request for a showing, wouldn’t it be nice if all you had to do was quickly pick up any out-of-place items and fluff the throw pillows? You definitely don’t want to be running around from room to room, stashing stuff away and working yourself into a sweat to make your house presentable for buyers. To help keep pickup to a minimum, designate a spot in one room of the house for activities like wrapping gifts, playing games, and doing Christmas crafts. That way, you’ll just have one area to quickly pick up before your prospective buyers show up. 

Keep Important Features on Display

Resist the urge to codrapever your beautiful, reclaimed wood mantle, gorgeous leaded windows, or ornate banisters with garlands and stockings. Any selling features should stay in the limelight and not be covered or blocked in any way. 

Appeal to All the Senses

Switch on your neutral Christmas lights to bathe the house in a warm glow. Play some classical music or even some classic Christmas tunes. Have some treats like cider and cookies and festive paper napkins available for buyers and their agents. Set out a simmer pot on the stove to send a delicious, inviting aroma wafting through the house. Leave out your coziest throws and rugs to create a plush, homey feel for those buyers who tend to touch everything.

Mark Your Calendar Early

Decide which days you’ll host holiday parties or have get-togethers with friends and family, and have your real estate agent mark the dates down in your showing notes. This will alert buyers’ agents to the fact that your home won’t be available for showings on those dates. Then you won’t have any phone calls asking for showings or in-person interruptions while you’re preparing for or cleaning up after your celebrations.

Hire a Home Stager

If you’re not completely sure you can do it all on your own, think about hiring a home stager to help decorate your home in a neutral yet alluring way. A professional stager will be very familiar with what buyers will love and what will turn them off immediately. 

Friday Five // December 6th, 2019

It’s Friday once again, which means it’s time for a brand new edition of the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events happening in the greater Charleston area this weekend. Attend a parade (or two), get in some Christmas shopping at a holiday market, learn about holidays around the world, and more. As always, no matter what you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very happy and safe weekend!

The North Charleston Christmas Festival takes place this Friday and Saturday at the Felix C. Davis Community Center in Park Circle. Join the City of North Charleston to celebrate the season with live musical entertainment, kids’ activities, a marshmallow roasting pit, hayrides, an artists’ market, a petting zoo, visits with Santa Claus, a parade, festive food, and thousands of twinkling lights. The event begins on Friday evening at 6pm with the lighting of the 40’ Christmas tree. Festivities resume on Saturday at 4pm with the Christmas Parade, which starts at the intersection of Mixson Avenue and East Montague, goes around Park Circle, then heads back down East Montague toward the starting point. The festival continues with musical entertainment from New Galaxy, Wayne Daws, and the Charleston Caroling Company in Victorian dress. Visits with Santa will take place in the Felix Davis Auditorium following the parade (approx. 5:30pm) until the end of the festival at 8pm. Admission and parking are free for this rain-or-shine event, and there is ample parking available on the islands around Park Circle. 

People all over the world celebrate holidays in their own special and unique ways, from America to Scandinavia to China and beyond. The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry invites children and families into the museum this Saturday morning for a Holiday Extravaganza, a “holiday tour” of traditions happening around the globe throughout the year, but particularly during the month of December. Celebrate the Chinese New Year, play traditional Swedish games, parade throughout the museum with traditional Middle Eastern instruments… Each exhibit will feature a local group and will include décor and hands-on activities to honor holiday rituals and festivals. The Children’s Museum’s Holiday Extravaganza is a free event this year, thanks to a generous anonymous donor, but pre-registration is required at the link above. 

The Exchange Park in Ladson, Charleston’s Alternative Venue, will be transformed this weekend into a wonderland to showcase artwork from some of the best artists and artisans in the nation. Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the 27th annual Christmas Made in the South welcomes hundreds of artists and makers from 28 states exhibiting spectacular work in a broad spectrum of mediums. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, artists will exhibit their work in photography, jewelry, sculpture, woodworking, personalized ornaments, pottery, stained glass, folk art, and many others. Each maker will be present at their booth for the entire weekend, presenting the rare opportunity to personally meet the creators of the work, ask questions, and discover what motivates them. With prices ranging anywhere from $10 to $2,000, there’s something for everyone at this unique holiday market. Old Saint Nick himself will be on hand to hear your Christmas wishes too! 

Bay Street Biergarten is putting on their first Christkindlmarkt this weekend, their very own take on a German Christmas Market. Biergarten’s Christmas Market will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 4pm both days. There will be live music from the Emily Curtis Duo (Saturday) and the Jenna Feeney Duo (Sunday), visits with Santa, face-painting, gluhwein, and various local vendors on hand to help you get into the Christmas spirit and fulfill your Christmas shopping/wish lists all in one weekend. Vendors registered for the event include Charleston Slate Works (stone/slate designs), Leaf Me Alone (plants), Juliana Fisher (paintings), The Look by Lucy (pop-up clothing boutique), Simply Charleston (soy candles), Moonlight Naturals (handmade soaps), Thistle and Thatch (jewelry), Summerville Sweets (baked goods), Casey Little (Charleston-themed Holiday cards), live screen printing with Link Ink, and many more. 

Pack your chairs, blankets, snacks, and a candy-gathering bag and join Summerville Dream for the 2019 Summerville Christmas Parade! Residents and visitors will line the streets of Summerville this Sunday to watch this year’s Christmas parade, which begins at 2pm. This year’s parade theme is “All Aboard!” Businesses, sports teams, clubs, churches, charities, scouts, and many others will march to fulfill the mission of the Summerville Christmas Parade, which is to promote positivity throughout the Town of Summerville while capturing the spirit of the Christmas holiday for all to enjoy. There will also be a food truck rodeo on Little Main Street along Hutchinson Square! Check the link above for a complete map of the parade route and accommodations such as port-o-lets and reserved seating.

 

7 Ways to Get Involved and Give Back During the Holidays in Charleston

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And amid all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s all too easy to become so focused on our families and friends that we forget about those who are less fortunate than we are. As much as the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company strive to give back to our community all year long, it’s important to also think of the members of our community who face a lonely, hard, often cold reality during this time of year. It’s easy to spread Christmas cheer to our neighbors, friends, and family who are reciprocating, but there are lots of ways we can help ease the burdens of others who are down on their luck. Here are seven of the many ways you can help get involved and give back to the community this holiday season in Charleston.

One80 Place

One80 Place’s mission statement shows their commitment to ending and preventing homelessness “one person at a time, one family at a time.” This organization provides housing services, health care, food, training, legal services, and veteran services to those in need. To date, they have sheltered 41,597 people and served 2,523,210 meals. We’re proud to have partnered with One80 Place this year to hold a drive for needed supplies, and we would love to see others give in any way they can to help this organization in their mission, which is of vital importance to our community. Volunteering, fundraising, and gifting opportunities are listed on their website

Lowcountry Food Bank

Lowcountry Food Bank provides both education and nutritious options needed by partner agencies and schools that serve our community’s most vulnerable. This organization serves the ten coastal counties of South Carolina through distribution centers in Charleston, Yemassee, and Myrtle Beach. In 2018, Lowcountry Food Bank partnered with 300 agencies to serve 200,000 people, distributing 31,200,000 pounds of food. Those who feel moved to donate to this organization can give food, money, or time by joining the thousands of volunteers each year who volunteer to help fight hunger in our community. Volunteer opportunities include food sorting and packing, production kitchen, nutrition education, administrative support, and special events. For more options, check Lowcountry Food Bank’s website

Courageous Kidz

A non-medical, nonprofit organization that focuses on families devastated by childhood cancer, Courageous Kidz aims to pick up the pieces when life goes awry due to cancer, restore normalcy, and give the Magic of Hope. The challenges of a family facing cancer are copious and present long-term side effects, financial havoc, insurance conflicts, marital and familial conflict…the list is endless. Courageous Kidz strives to provide much-needed respite, mutual support, and positive activities free of charge to children and their families who are fighting cancer together. Their goal is to relieve as much stress as possible so children and their families can concentrate on beating cancer and getting well again! Courageous Kidz welcomes volunteers and donations to help them fulfill their mission of bringing a smile to children with cancer and their families. Find more information on how to do so here

I Heart Hungry Kids

In 2013, seven-year-old Jackson Silverman and his five-year-old twin brothers Gabe and Riley founded the nonprofit organization I Heart Hungry Kids. Since then, the boys have been recognized at the local, state, and national levels for their work with youth volunteers in South Carolina, living their motto, “kids helping kids to beat hunger.” I Heart Hungry Kids works with volunteers ages 5 through 15 to provide empowering opportunities for giving back through programs that impact kid hunger issues right here in Charleston. You’d be hard-pressed to think of a more worthy charity to support than one founded by children with such big hearts! Since 2013, I Heart Hungry Kids has provided 395,000 pounds of food, packed 82,000 bags of food, and provided 15,000 service hours via 5,000 youth volunteers through hands-on service, community engagement, and food advocacy. Find ways to volunteer, donate, or sponsor an event on their website.  

My Sister’s House

Founded in 1980, My Sister’s House, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides services, programs, and resources to empower victims of domestic violence and their children to live free from abuse. The organization operates an emergency temporary shelter at an undisclosed location for up to 36 women and children who flee abusive situations in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties. Their programs and services, which are all free to their clients, include outreach and training, advocacy, shelter, counseling/therapy, support groups, a children’s program, and more. So far in 2019, My Sister’s House has served 228 women and children in shelter, answered 1,768 crisis calls, and assisted with 790 court advocacy cases. There are multiple ways to donate or volunteer with this worthy organization, so check out their site for more information.

Meals on Wheels of Charleston

The primary goal of Meals on Wheels is to end senior isolation and hunger. Advances in medicine have extended the average life expectancy to a record high of almost 79 years of age. Living longer is an amazing thing, but it can also mean spending more years dealing with the struggles that accompany old age. Add to that the increase in geographic mobility of our families, and the result is millions of seniors left behind, hungry and alone. Meals on Wheels primarily provides nutritious meals, a quick safety check, and much-needed human connection to homebound seniors. In some communities, additional services are offered, like pet food delivery, senior center meal programs, and more. People age 85 and older represent the fastest growing segment of the American population. It takes a whole lot in the way of volunteers and resources to keep pace with this rapid growth, and it will take a large increase in volunteers and resources to begin to meet the needs going forward. Meals on Wheels is always looking for volunteers and donations, so check out their website for ways you can contribute

Your Local Senior Care Residence

Individuals who live permanently or temporarily under the care of assisted living are always grateful for company and donations. Many centers, rehabs, and residences welcome families who are willing to give their time and energy to help spread some holiday cheer to their residents under their care. Contact your local nursing home, assisted living facility, or senior center to see how you can help bring Christmas tidings to their residents. Throw a holiday party, play games, bring treats or decorations, or just spend some time listening to and chatting with the elderly and help make their days. 

 

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, just feed one.” ~Mother Teresa

Friday Five // November 29th, 2019

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Are you ready for December and the merry and bright holidays it brings along with it? To help you get this holiday season started off right, plan some good, old-fashioned fun times with the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events happening in the Charleston area this weekend. Enjoy a holiday parade or festival, shop local, hear some sweet carol bells and more. Whatever you choose to do, as always, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very happy and safe weekend!

Once all the hubbub of Black Friday has passed, please don’t forget about Small Business Saturday! Be a part of the 10th annual holiday shopping tradition that brings together communities in support of their favorite small businesses. Be a part of the Shop Small Movement and support those local shops and businesses not just this Saturday, but as often as possible. Many small businesses throughout the Lowcountry will be running specials for Small Business Saturday. So get out and support your neighbors, friends, and acquaintances in their small business ventures. 

This Saturday, the Goose Creek Small Business Alliance along with Oak Landing Pediatric Dentistry will host the first annual Goose Creek Holiday Festival. This festival features more than eighty local businesses, artisans, craft vendors, food trucks, fun and games for all ages, live music, and last but certainly not least, Santa Claus himself! The event takes place from 10am until 3pm and is FREE to the public. Please note that this event is put on by a private groups of business owners and is not affiliated with the City of Goose Creek’s official Christmas parade or events. 

Kick off the holiday season in a big way at the City of Charleston Holiday Parade 2019 this Sunday. The parade begins at 3pm near Colonial Lake and continues up Broad Street to Meeting Street, dispersing on Calhoun Street near Marion Square. Grab your chairs and blankets, pack a thermos of hot chocolate, pick a prime spot, and get your waving arms ready! Some of Charleston’s favorite organizations, schools, sports clubs, shops, and more will march along the route—some handing out treats if you’re lucky! The parade will be followed by the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Marion Square, beginning at 4:30pm. 

Children within every spectrum of special needs are invited along with their families to a private photo session with Santa Claus at Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre this Sunday from 9am until 11am. Santa Cares: A Sensory-Friendly Santa Photo Experience gives children with special needs access to the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa during dedicated hours. Santa Cares is held in partnership with Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. This event is not limited to children with autism, but is open to anyone who needs a little more time and a little less sensory stimulation. Visits with Santa are free, and photo packages that capture holiday memories will be available for purchase. One complimentary ticket per group or family should be reserved ahead of time on EventBrite. 

For some peaceful and glorious music to wrap up your holiday-filled weekend, head to Summerville Baptist Church on Sunday evening. The Palmetto Bronze Handbell Ensemble will present Need a Little Christmas?: a Free Holiday Handbell Concert. From 4pm until 5:30pm, enjoy many of your holiday favorites played on seven octaves of handbells and six octaves of hand chimes. Toe-tapping favorites like Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, Deck the Halls, All I Want for Christmas Is You, Wizards in Winter, Christmas Eve Sarajevo, The First Noel, and more will be featured at this event that is sure to please holiday-lovers of all ages.

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