Thanksgiving is almost here, offering a chance to spend time with loved ones and reflect on all that you are thankful for. We typically think of Thanksgiving as a uniquely American holiday, but there’s actually a long tradition of harvest-time celebrations in many parts of the world. Enjoy a look at how Germany, China, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Jewish culture, Brazil and Ghana celebrate the holiday.
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The German harvest celebration is observed in September or October. The day begins with church services, a parade with music and a Thanksgiving procession in which a traditional “harvest crown” is presented to the harvest queen (Erntekönigin). The day continues with music, dancing and food with the unused food being distributed to those in need. In some places, there is also an evening service with a lantern and torch parade and fireworks for the children.
China: “Chung Ch’ui” Moon Festival
China’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is celebrated with families gathering on the 15th day of the eighth lunar cycle. Chung Ch’ui is the most celebrated Chinese holiday and lasts for three days with a feast of mooncakes filled with sesame seeds, ground lotus seeds, and duck eggs. The mooncake’s center is filled with a salty yolk to represent the full moon. Families and friends often exchange them as a sign of unity and peace.
United Kingdom Harvest Festival
The Harvest Festival is one of the oldest known traditions in the UK. The tradition began with Saxon farmers offering the first cut sheaf of corn and a sacrificial animal to one of their fertility gods to ensure a prosperous harvest. Today, the English celebrate by making corn dolls and a meal featuring the season’s produce. Children will take fruit and vegetable gifts to churches and schools for the elderly and those in need.
Canadian Thanksgiving is very similar to the U.S., but takes place on the second Monday in October due to an earlier harvest season. The first Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated prior to the Pilgrims arrival in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Typical traditions include decorating churches, a Thanksgiving feast, a holiday parade, watching football and of course turkey is a must.
The Jewish Harvest Festival, Sukkot
In the Jewish culture, families celebrate Sukkot. This is the last of the harvest festivals following Passover and Shavuot. The festival has been celebrated for 3,000 years by building a hut of branches called a Sukkot. Jewish families eat their meals beneath the Sukkot under the night sky for eight days. The ancient Egyptians participated in a harvest festival in honor of Min, the god of vegetation and fertility. Parades, music and sports were a part of the festivities.
Brazil: Day of Thanksgivings
Established in 1949 and known as “Dia de Acao de Gracas”, a day of Thanksgivings, after the ambassador of Brazil was inspired by a visit to the U.S. Similar to the U.S. the festivities take place on the fourth Thursday of November, but it isn’t an official holiday, so not all Brazilians participate. A typical holiday meal consists of turkey and stuffing with accompanying dishes such as mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn stuffing, and pumpkin pie enjoyed with family and friends.
Ghana’s Homowo, or Yam Festival
Celebrated in between May and August in Accra, a coastal region of Ghana, yams are essential to their festivities. Yams are a major crop in Ghana and commemorate a period of famine in the region’s history. Everyone wears multi-colored togas and dances with a large feast taking place with traditional yam dishes.
Hotels and bars are transforming as the holiday season is upon us. Escape to a charming winter wonderland filled with treats, impressive décor, luxury amenities and so much more. From New York City to Scottsdale, Arizona to London and Paris you will be left in the best of holiday spirits.
Celebrate the splendor of the season in Scottsdale with holiday festivities galore. Enjoy a romantic skate around the ice rink and curl up by the rink side fire pits. Explore the three million LED lights as you stroll through the resort’s majestic lagoons via the princess express trains. Wander through the Nativity Garden and enjoy a variety of shows at the Enchanted Plaza.
Delight in this one-of-a-kind Italian Alps pop-up restaurant while dining in a cute cabin. Maintaining a cozy feel, the rooftop bar is enclosed by a retractable roof with heaters throughout. Views of the city skyline will take your breath away as you enjoy delicious tastes from northern Italy like Barolo-braised hearty beef shanks, rustic polenta, house made sausage and mulled wine.
Gordon Ramsey’s York & Albany Hotel offers gingerbread house décor with a seasonal menu of the finest dishes around, naturally pulling inspiration from the storybook itself. Complete with venison croquettes and the Gingerbread Espresso cocktail, a blend of gingerbread-infused vodka, L’Orange, Kalhua, amaretto and espresso. A joy for all foodies alike.
Danico has joined the small group of “Miracle Bars” initially inspired by the Manhattan pop-up bar Christmas tradition for the 2016 edition of Miracle of 9th Street. The eggnog party at Danico is unforgettable with handcrafted creamy cognac cocktails to get you in the Christmas spirit. Not to mention it’s in Paris. Paris, the holidays is surely a memorable treat!
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Cheeze Wizz on crackers and onion dip with potato chips fuel many low budget parties, but your guests expect the sophistication of fine offerings elegantly presented and served. Following are some suggestions that raise the bar on luxury and will be sure to please your guests:
A wine that has reached its peak of maturity offers nuances and textures a young wine cannot achieve. An old, fine wine is a sure party-pleaser that illustrates your elegant taste. No old wine should be opened until it is brilliantly clear, and the sediment has completely settled. So be sure to order these wines well in advance of the party. A bottle of old red wine can take two or three weeks to settle after it is delivered. Keep it in a cool, dark place.
According to Food and Wine, some of the best older vintages include 1999 and 2001 Red Bordeaux, 2001 and 2003 Red Burgandy, 1996 and 1998 Barolo, 1999 and 2002 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1993 and 2002 German Riesling. Reported as “outstanding” are 1999 Mondavi Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet and 1993 Forstmeister Geltz Zilliken Spätlese Riesling.
Uncorking the wine will often involve removing an old cork, and the wrong corkscrew can plunge pieces of cork into a prized bottle. Food and Wine recommends the Corkfish wine cork retriever, which is available from Amazon. Decant most red wines about two to three hours before serving. However, if the wine is twenty or more years old, decant immediately before serving because the amazing aromas and flavors quickly vanish.
Serve caviar in the original container on top of ice. Do not use silver spoons, which may affect the taste. Mother-of-Pearl spoons are elegant servers. Garnishes can include chopped onions, hardboiled egg, chives, dill, crème fraiche, and lemon wedges. Be sure the crackers are top of the line, crispy, and fresh. You can also serve caviar with freshly buttered toast points. Beluga is the rarest and most desirable caviar, a coveted delicacy, but it has an acquired taste. Orange or red salmon caviar has larger pieces and a more subtle flavor. White sturgeon caviar is very salty with milder fish flavor. If most of your guests have a sophisticated palette, go for the Beluga. Otherwise, offer milder caviar along with Beluga.
There over 60 varieties of truffle. The Italian white truffle is one of the most sought after and highly regarded. This fungus that is worth its weight in gold is an elegant addition to a party. Truffle cones are elegant, tasty finger foods. Twist thinly sliced, cured bresaola into cones and fill with arugula, shaved cheese, a spread of truffles, and serve with lemon wedges. Put a half teaspoon of truffles on deviled eggs. The best way to use truffles is in eggs, cream, and butter. They lose their taste quickly when combined with other ingredients, so plan ingredients and cooking times accordingly. Serve as soon as possible after preparing.
FINE AND RARE SPIRITS
To help you chose the finest spirits for your guests, Forbes suggests the following among others:
Auchentoshan American Oak, Scotch Whisky is smooth and light with notes of vanilla and caramelized sugar and a bit of spice;
Hibiki 12 & 17, Japanese Blended Whisky. Japanese spirits have become increasingly available and desirable, and they are receiving an increasing number of global awards, including the world’s best whiskey;
George Dickel Rye Whiskey differs from similar bourbon because of a final charcoal filtering that removes taste impurities;
Bowmore Small Batch Single Malt, Scotch Whisky has the traditional Islay character without overpowering the palate. Tropical fruit flavors and a rum-like note make it different from most spirits on the market today;
Green Spot, Irish Single Pott is rare and prized and made in the traditional copper pot still instead of large, commercial stills;
Midleton Very Rare, Irish Blend won the Double Gold at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition. The triple-distilled whiskeys are aged in bourbon casks that are more than 12 years old.
Balblair, Single Malt Scotch Whisky is smooth, rich and full-bodied. Spirits’ Expert Larry Olmsted calls it “perhaps the greatest hidden gem in the world of Scotch.”
The most expensive spirits you may wish to serve discerning guests may run your home bar tab into the tens of thousands. Click here to see the most expensive bottles on the market today and select your favorite(s). Hint: it is mostly Scotch. Prices range from $3,500 to $50,000. The Balvenie 50-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Speyside tops the list, but your guests will not feel diminished when served the $4,000 Bunnahabhain Limited Edition 40-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Islay.
The top five cigars of 2018 include The Wise Man Maduro Robusto, Padrón Family Reserve No. 44 (Natural), H. Upmann Sir Winston. Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art, JFR Lunatic Habano Short Robusto, and Olivia Serie V Melanio Churchill. Invite your cigar smoking guests to a separate area with comfortable conversation area seating, abundant ashtrays, low light, a fire if possible, and enjoy their appreciation of your thoughtful hospitality.
Please your guests with these lavish treats at your next dinner party and relax knowing you are providing the finest.
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The days are growing darker and there’s a chill in the air–Halloween is near and we’re ready for a scare! Spooky season is in full swing, and the frightening festivities in Dallas kick off this weekend. Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly fest, a high stakes costume contest, or a swanky holiday bash, we’ve rounded up all the best bashes in town.
The Forth Worth Zoo will host their annual Boo at the Zoo event October 25-27. This family-friendly event will have Halloween-themed activities throughout the park all day included with the price of admission.
Winfest at Win Kids will be held on October 27 at 2p.m. to 5 p.m. Open to kids of all ages, there will be bounce houses, games (including a ninja warrior course) and a costume contest.
Malloween, hosted by Music City Mall in Lewisville, will provide a safe, indoor trick-or-treating opportunity on October 31 from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are free; characters will be attending for photo ops, and popcorn and cotton candy will be provided while supplies last.
Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival will be held October 26. Activities for the day will include coffin races, a pumpkin patch and the Twilight Lantern Parade, where the kids can walk the streets of historic downtown Denton with their own paper lantern.
The Fort Worth Stockyards will host their annual Treat Street event on October 31 from 5-7 p.m. Full of treats, games, and hayrides, this free event is fun for the whole family. Kids that come in costume will also have the opportunity to enter the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze for half-price.
Friscovania, a massive Halloween extravaganza, returns to Toyota Stadium on Saturday, October 26 from 3-8 p.m. This year, the free event includes a haunted carnival, games, DJs and live entertainment, a costume contest, and a fashion show and concert.
The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano are hosting an unusual holiday affair, a Halloween and Christmas Mashup on Saturday, October 26 from 5-8:30 p.m. You can carve pumpkins and decorate ornaments, meet Santa, and watch a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s a free event.
Mutt’s Canine Cantina in Dallas hosts its annual Howl-O-weenparty on October 19 from 1-4 p.m. Arrive early to enter your pup in the costume contest!
Fangoria and the Dallas Museum of Art are teaming up for Mid-Century Modern Horror, a day full of retro thrills on the big screen in the Horchow Auditorium. There’s a screening of A Bucket of Blood at 3:30 p.m., a screening of Peeping Tom at 6:30 p.m., and a special preview screening of A24’s In Fabric, which will include a conversation with the film’s costume designer, Jo Thompson. Tickets are $10-30.
Danielle Georgiou Dance Group and Theatre Three present a haunting new dance musical, The Bippy Bobby Boo Show, from October 25-November 2. The play is styled after a ‘60s musical variety show, with talented ghosts taking the stage one after another to entertain you with music, dance, and comedy. Ticketsare $20.
The Mesquite Arts Theatre, which is housed in an old hospital, revisits its past during its annual fundraiser on October 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. The Haunted Hospital Tour will be filled with surprises and restless souls. The event is open by donation.
Halloween Bash at the Boo-tanical Gardens in Grapevine is happening October 26 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be activities, food, a costume contest and live music from the Michael Hix Band. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
Spooky Sprint North Dallas will take place on October 26 at the Carter Softball Complex and Duck Creek Trail in Garland. Entry fees start at $33, and they are partnering with Hope Clinic-Garland to collect personal hygiene items and basic medical supplies. Be sure to stick around after to show off your costume, and participate in one of many activities.
Rainbow Vomit will open its doors to guests to bring a special Halloween version of “Night Mode.” Their art exhibit will be transformed for a new interactive Illumination Station, which features a curated sonic experience. This event is 21+, and is BYOB. Costumes are encouraged, and tickets start at $23.
Stomping Ground Comedy Theatre presents Slay: Halloween Variety Hour, a holiday-themed improv on October 26 at 8 p.m. Hosted by Jamie Zeske, the sketches will feature local comedy talent. Tickets are $5; The event is 18+ and BYOB.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is performing the haunting score to The Nightmare Before Christmas while the movie plays on the big screen at the Meyerson Symphony Center from October 31-November 3. Costumes are encouraged. Find tickets here.
The Statler is hosting Leather and Laces: Halloween Edition on Friday, October 25. The party will be hosted by Jeremy Piven (a.k.a. Ari Gold) and DJ’d by Brandon Olds. Tickets start at $45–but with $10,000 in prizes at stake in the costume contest, you might come out a little richer.
Denton Halloween Fest, hosted by Denton Pride Foundation, will take place on October 31 at the North Texas Fair Grounds. Think your costume has what it takes? Along with their drag shows, they will also host costume contests and a catwalk, where there are multiple prizes, including a first place prize of $500. This event is free and open to all ages.
Join the Terror at Texas Live!Halloween Party on October 26. The night will include music from DJ Dynamix and a costume contest starting at 11 p.m. that has prizes valued over $5,500. Tickets are $5, or $10 at the door.
Heroes Lounge will host the 9th annual Heroes Halloween Ballon October 26. Tickets are $15, and there is a cash prize of $500 for the costume contest. This event will include live music from DJ Petro, as well as a full bar and a Caribbean-based menu.
Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Dragons Halloween Ball, hosted by the Wyndham Garden Dallas North Hotel, presents their theme for this year; ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Doors open at 8 p.m., and the $1,000 and other prizes will be given away at 11:30 p.m. Tickets for this event are $40.
Disco, TX is kicking off Halloween a little early with a Euphoria-themed costume party at Ferris Wheelers on Friday, October 18. Entertainment includes DJs Blake Ward and Christy Ray, drag by Bleach, Ruby Diamond, and Kylee Ohara Fatale, and more. Buy tickets here.
The famous Oak Lawn Block Party is back on October 26 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the 3900 block of Cedar Springs. The area is fenced off from traffic for the event, making it perfect for a Costume Promenade with live commentary. Round Up Saloon will be decked out in Halloween decor and open during the fun.
The W Dallas will host their annual Halloween Costume Ball on their rooftop bar, Altitude. Tickets start at $35, and attendees can expect champagne, live music, and plenty of Halloween-themed party favors.
House of Blues Dallas will host their 9th annual Mega Masquerade & Costume Bash on October 26. Hosted in their VIP Foundation Room, guests are free to engage in whatever mischief they want to for a night full of live music and fun. The event starts at 10 p.m., and tickets are $15.
Canton Hall’s 3rd annual Throwback 90’s Halloween Party is set to happen on October 31 at 7 p.m. The DJs will be bringing their best playlists, including music from the late 80’s through the early 2000’s. There will also be a free photo booth, and a costume contest with a $200 prize. The show is 18+, and tickets are $10.
The SWEET BAR in Deep Ellum will host this year’s House of Halloween. This year’s theme is Glitter Party, so costumes are encouraged to get as sparkly as possible, and there will be a $500 prize for whoever is deemed best dressed. The event starts at 6 p.m. on October 26, and will include music from DJ ROGERTHAT, NIVEK and MVNKEE. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Status Night Club will have three rooms for partying on Dallas’ Horror of the Year party on Halloween night, including Top 40, Hip-Hop and EDM music from KYLECANNON and TWALK. The party starts a 10 p.m., and there will be prizes for the best costumes. Tickets for this event as $10.
Face your fears in style with Hotel Zaza’s annual Halloween Bash. Starting at 10 p.m. on October 25, the party will include light snacks, local DJ’s and spooky specials you won’t find anywhere else. Tickets are $75.
Lizard Lounge holds its 27th annual Halloween Bash on October 26 with music from DJ Johnny Funk and Xavier Grigsby, and a $1000 costume contest. It’s free for everyone before 10 p.m.
Double Wide throws its Spooktacular Halloween Bash on October 26 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. with live music by The Rich Girls, Weezing (a Weezer tribute), and The Texas Jesus & Mary Chainsaw Massacre, a $500 costume contest with Frida Monet, and drag performances. Tickets are $10.
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Buyers, age 40 and younger, are taking over the luxury second home market, but lack the experience of Gen X and Boomers
Luxury second home buyers and sellers have similar demographic profiles in terms of age, geography, education and professional status. As a result, their financial profiles are similar, with the only noticeable difference being that sellers have slightly higher asset levels.
Interestingly, this group has notably high assets for their age. About half of the qualified consumer market is under the age of 40, yet their aspirations for purchase are in the millions of dollars.
For most, this is not their first time purchasing a second home—the average number of residences is over three and 14% own at least five residences currently. Driven not by the Millennial group, but rather by Gen X and Boomers. Of Gen X luxury second home buyers, 17% have more than five homes, along with 19% of Boomers in this buyer group.
Current State of the Resort and Second Home Market
Affluent consumers are in acquisition mode
Those who are in the market to purchase a luxury second home are adding to their portfolio and unlikely to sell their existing second home at the moment—thus there are more buyers than sellers. Interestingly too, this means that sellers are also buyers, but buyers are not necessarily sellers.
Buyers show more confidence in the market than sellers. More than half of buyers believe that now is a good time to purchase a second home, while relatively few think it is a good time to sell. As noted previously, these consumers are quite savvy when it comes to homeownership; 76% own two or more properties currently.
What are Second-Home Buyers Looking for?
Wellness is the New Luxury
Affluent consumers have begun living with wellness in mind and this also influences the second home market. In fact, 96% take at least one aspect of wellness seriously as part of their daily routine. Beyond physical and emotional wellness, which most affluent consumers focus on, luxury buyers are keen to improve their intellectual, social and even spiritual wellness.
Amenities that address these needs are sought by buyers and especially resort and second home buyers because of a growing demand for communities that take a holistic approach to overall wellness.
The Bottom Line
With more buyers than sellers, the demand for second homes is keeping home values high for luxury properties. Younger buyers are becoming more prominent, currently making up nearly half of the market, however, older generations have more experience buying second homes. Multiple residences, as well as customized experiences, including wellness amenities becoming a priority.
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LOOK at this! Whether you are looking to overhaul your space or simply change a few accents to update your favorite room, we have researched some of the hottest trends to help you modernize your favorite room. Take a look at some of our favorite home décor trends and get inspired to update your abode.
These pieces are trending in the design space in a big way. Incorporate an antique into your living or dining room area for an interesting conversation piece.
ADD A POP OF COLOR
Update a space with a rich pop of color for fall. Pinks and greens are go-to colors for many but for a bold statement, incorporate rich reds in pillows, curtains or furnishings.
Fall’s staple color orange has been an accent color for years and now, it is coming into its own. For a daring change, try orange walls or flooring in your space.
Embrace the outdoors with a biophilic design in your home. Incorporate plants or highlight your garden area to bring the outdoors in.
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Often, homes crafted by notable architects are revered by owners who appreciate excellent craftsmanship. Many famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Donald Olsen, have designed beautiful homes that are admired by modern architects and artists. These homes showcase some of the creations from some of the most famous architects around the world.
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Tirranna was designed by famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright in 1955. Frank Lloyd Wright is known as one of the greatest architects of the 20th Century and designed more than 1,000 structures during his career. The unique mid-century home hosts 7-bedrooms and 8 and one-half baths near the Noroton River. Unique accents in the home include glass walls, classic wood finishes and gold leaf chimneys. The space also has a tennis court, a pool and access to sculpture paths through the woods that lead to the nearby river. Web ID: UVIT
Awe inspiring design can be found at each turn in this contemporary space located just north of the sunset strip. Designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, this home has several spaces for relaxing and entertaining guests including a pool and a nearby terrace. Inside, an expansive master suite envelops the entire second floor of the home and features picturesque windows peering out to magnificent ocean views. Web ID: MRFD
This breathtaking modern home was built after the original plans by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a pioneer of contemporary architecture. Modern accents including floor to ceiling windows and clean white walls can be found throughout the space. The master suite on the first floor has and en-suite bathroom and access to a terrace. Additional amenities include an outdoor garden, pool and sauna and a double garage with home access. Web ID: TPDQ
Designed by architect Donald Olsen, the Olsen house is listed in the National Register of Historic places. This striking 3-bedroom is positioned to complement its natural surroundings. The “crystal box” structure of the home provides great views of the nearby greenery, and in some areas, thrusts out toward the trees surrounding the space. Additional amenities in the home include expansive storage space, a painting studio, and an entryway featuring an original mural by artist Claire Falkenstein. Web ID: EUOC