Living the San Francisco Dream


Pre-planning Personal and Family Time This Holiday Season

I have written about my business planning, what I'm doing to benefit my business this winter.

It's equally important to make plans to enjoy this busy time of year with family and friends in a healthy and sane way, removing stress to allow time for joy and happiness and good health.

My biggest tricks to surviving and enjoying the holiday season:

  • Simplify! Easier said than done, but if it's important to you, it's possible
  • Delegate, a practice I'm finally getting better with
  • Decide which activities are non-negotiable and which are optional

On my Non-negotiable list this holiday season:

  1. Time with family. Our granddaughter's 12th birthday celebration on November 26--we'll take the ferry boat to Sausalito and have a family dinner at The Spinnaker, a nice restaurant right on San Francisco bay. Thanksgiving - hosted by my daughter Susan, for whom I am exceedingly grateful, and her husband, Gary (for whom I'm also grateful.)The Merrills
  2. Time with my husband. Attending my husband's choral concert at Mission Dolores on Friday, and later his Christmas caroling event at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. A 3-day get-away with Gene in early December -- we're heading to our favorite yurt, in nearby Pt. Reyes Station, where we'll relax, hike, cook a nice dinner, enjoy a nice dinner out, soak in the hot tub, sleep, laugh, talk --savor the time we have togetherWindsong Cottage
  3. Time with close friends. Attend a chocolate tasting event; Ursula is a master chocolatier with a new business; Karen is a wonderful event planner and floral arranger (these women are part of the team I used to run with.) A surprise birthday dinner for one of my closest, dearest friends.friends
  4. Time for me. My sun-damaged skin is benefiting from some facials; my tense muscles are loosening up a bit with massages; my body is strengthening from Pilates classes; my spirits are heightened by walks and hikes, and I've found a nearby hatha yoga studio which hopefully will be a good fit. I also plan to break away for an overnight, by myself, so I can journal, meditate, pray, and learn to accept some difficult issues in my time

My number one holiday celebration, absolutely non-negotiable, is a post (or two) in itself - our family has "adopted" two families here in San Francisco for Christmas, each a mother with a young daughter. We'll all be shopping to fulfill their requests, we'll add a few surprises, we'll have a gift-wrapping evening at our place in mid-December, and then drop off the gifts at the local collection center.

I encourage you to focus on what is important to you, put aside that which isn't, and enjoy the season. With a bit of planning, it can be done.


--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Peninsula Living Business Page



Comment balloon 48 commentsLottie Kendall • November 13 2013 10:35AM


Lottie - Loved your personal photos that you have shared with us!  You have your priorities straight and you're going to have a beautiful holiday season!

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) almost 7 years ago

Thank you, Laura. It's easy to put ourselves and our loved ones on the back burner--not a good idea!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Lottie, thanks so much for sharing the photos it sounds like you've got an excellent plan for making the most of the  holidays. Here's wishing you and your family all the best this holiday season and all year long.

Posted by Nancy Laswick, Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun (United Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Thanks, Nancy. I'm off to read your plans!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago


Wow, what a wonderful and special time ahead of you. I am so impressed! It's a great combination of time with others and time for you - precious times indeed.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Jeff, thank you. I've said 'no' to a number of parties, a number of musical events, but not to my family, and I'm treating myself better too. Our lives are works in progress, right?

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago
Lottie, it is certainly important to play as hard as you work. Sounds like you have it taken care of. Great pictures. Have a great holiday.
Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 7 years ago

Lottie, Focusing on family and your health is so important.  I don't have family any more, lost the last member this year in June (my husband), but I do need to focus on my health and my friends.   As you say, I need to just say "no" to other things.

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

The plans sound great, everyone needs to take some time to themselves to rest and recharge.

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Grant. I love to work hard, but it's just as important to play, and laugh, and take time for family, friends and myself.

Gail, I remember well how hard this year has been for you. I hope your friends are a source of great joy, that you stay healthy and find laughter and peace to lighten your heart.

Gerard, I have been running on empty for too much of this year. I'm focusing on what I need now, and how I can best replenish my energy and health.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

That sounds like an award winning combination to me! I think I will adapt some of it...

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Lottie, I loved your photo journey on what you will be doing this holiday season.  I am especially inspired by the families that you have adopted.  That is so wonderful.

Posted by Christina Sanchez Hood, #SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living almost 7 years ago

Nothing beats relaxation and quality time with the family!  Sounds like fun!

Posted by Rosie Moore (Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City) almost 7 years ago

I'm so glad your priorities aren't to spend more time in the business - your family and friends are lucky you've got your priorities straight!

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) almost 7 years ago
Lottie, what a wonderful line-up of activities and gatherings you have this Christmas!
Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 7 years ago

I think the surprise up there just became well known for the friend with the Dec Birthday! What a nice list!

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge almost 7 years ago

Congrats on the WIN, Lottie!  Loved this post!  :-)

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 7 years ago

Lottie, sounds like you are going to have some fun times with family this holiday. Time for yourself will also be beneficial.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 7 years ago

Lottie:  Your personal plan is a thumbs up indeed!  You balanced your life with biz and personal time...WONDERFUL!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 7 years ago

Good Morning and this is a great Post!!  keep up the good work and good luck in 2014.  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) almost 7 years ago

thanks, Ed.

Sally, thank you for encouraging us to nurture ourselves and loved ones as well as our business. I appreciate all you do for us here on Active Rain.

Michael, it's my recipe to stay sane and enjoy the holidays.

Debe-I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Hi Evelyn, Super Agent (love that handle!) Thanks!

Christina, hard to say who benefits most from our Adopt-a-Family program. It's definitely the highlight of the holiday season to me.

Rosie, Wayne and Jean Marie, my family is super important, and strengthen me so I can be a better Realtor.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Judi - I'm always on the quest for balance!

Cheryl, I'm counting on my friend not reading my blog posts!!!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Delegate ... a VERY hard thing to do, Lottie.  Hard to let go of the work .. hard to let go of the control.  But you're oh so right that we have to have priorities and remember what truly is most important to us ...

I think I'm going to frame your post!!


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 7 years ago

As realtors our time can be rather hectic, so always important to schedule the most important things like family time. 

Posted by Aaron Hofmann, aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings (Atlanta Communities) almost 7 years ago

You are right, Gene, and delegation isn't something that comes easily to me.

Aaron, life is a balancing act, right?

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

I am with you on this one. Nothing in my business is more important than the non negotiables at Christmas!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

It's important to know which activities are non-negotiable, Gary, and say 'no' to many of the others.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Actually, that sounds just wonderful, Lottie. Excellent plans. Enjoy.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) almost 7 years ago

It is great that your business plan incorporates your personal life too- you never want to lose touch with those that are loved!

Posted by Shanna Hall, I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311 (Real Estate Solutions) almost 7 years ago

Work hard, play hard, enjoy!  we all must remeber that this is NOT a 24/7 job.

Posted by Bill Morrow, Bill Morrow, Associate Broker (Keller Williams of Central PA) almost 7 years ago

Being part of a family with branches that encompasses all three of the major monotheistic  religions we get a lot of holidays and gatherings. They vary from great to better than that. I sometimes think the the REAL reason we have knees is to provide a place for grand kids to sit.

Wishing you all the most wonderful of Christmas seasons with family and friends.

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Marshall, I hope your knees and lap hold many sweet bundles this holiday season!

Bill, definitely we need to take time to 'sharpen the saw'as Stephen Covey used to remind us.

Jill, I'm glad you like my plan. Wishing you great holidays, with time to enjoy friends and family.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Shanna, you are so very right. I book my appointments with my family as I do my clients. Happy holidays to you!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Lottie, How I loved reading your post & remembering all the places you named as we lived around Berkeley while my husband went to school, and years later San Jose for 4 years ... thanks for the memories.

Also loved your message & especially how you made it so simple up front - simplify, delegate (love that my decorator does this for me every year) and prioritize starting with what's non-negotiable. 

I might add that it's also important to capture (lots of photos) the memories during the holidays, so you can continue enjoying the holidays ... so for ideas, here's one of my articles, Home Photos For Magazines or Memories

Posted by Tina Gleisner, Home Tips for Women (Home Tips for Women) almost 7 years ago

Celebrating life is a daily activity, choosing who celebrates with you, when and where is simply a planning issue but can and should be done whether it's a holiday or not, IMO.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 7 years ago

Great way to spend Quality Time! We have a few Unbreakable Traditions, that this year will have to be bent a bit due to family health issues, but they will go on....just later.

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner, email: / cell: 334-494-7846 (Travis Realty) almost 7 years ago


It's sounds like you are going for a very "balanced" Holiday season! A little time to make memories, a little time to spend with loved ones and a little time for yourself!

And,hopefully, very little stress!

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) almost 7 years ago

I love the Adopt a family idea. That is such a great way to do something nice for someone during the holidays.

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) almost 7 years ago

Tina, I'm glad you enjoyed my post, and that I brought back good memories for you.

Kimo, most definitely we shouldn't wait for the holidays to enjoy our families and friends, but should write our personal appointments down, just like we do business engagements.

Travis, being flexible in life is important. I'm sure your traditions will be enjoyed, even if delayed. Wishing you very happy holidays.


Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Kathy, that's the plan!! Wishing you much happiness and happy holidays.

Elisa, that's the highlight of the holiday season for me. We'll be busy elves here Friday evening, wrapping gifts!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Lottie...Great Blog!  I always recommend to all of my friends and contacts to spend as much time as it takes to be with family and loved ones.

I rarely miss an event that involves my kids  or family and in fact on Sunday will be at my niece's concert...and at her request...taking photos of her and her fellow singers. I will take around 150 photos...and give them to her and the other performers to use as they desire!!  Great fun!!

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) almost 7 years ago

Mike, enjoy your niece's concert; your photos will be appreciated by everyone, I'm sure. Happy holidays!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

I hope and trust you are having a wonderful time, Lottie. You've certainly got your priorities straight.

Posted by Elva Branson-Lee, CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent (Solid Source Realty GA) almost 7 years ago

Lottie, your plans sound wonderful.  Family and friends are at the top of my list as well. I love the idea of a chocolate tasting event.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 7 years ago

Hi Elva - we're enjoying the holiday season, quite pared down and simple. I hope you are, too.

Sharon, I'm excited about the Art of Chocolate presentation and tasting on Sunday. My friend, the chocolatier, is an amazing woman of talent and I know will provide a ton of information for us. I hope you're enjoying these busy days.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Sometimes we lose touch with what's important and need a place - an event - that will help us turn down the "noise" and hear our hearts.

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) about 6 years ago

Hello Inna Ivchenko I love your phrase, "turn down the 'noise'." You understand exactly what I try to do during the holiday season. My best to you.


Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago