Yankee Home Improvement - January 2018



When you go on a trip, whether it’s a quick jaunt to a neighboring town or a weeklong stay in an exotic locale, you interact with new people and cultures. It’s one thing to hear someone talk about the laid-back vibes of the West Coast, but you can’t really feel them for yourself until you’ve meandered through the redwoods or watched the sun set over Puget Sound. Now, imagine the positive effects this kind of cultural awakening could have on a young mind! While we tend to think about the worst-case scenarios and added stresses of traveling with kids, they stand to benefit as much, if not more, from travel as we do. You never know — your son or daughter may realize a passion for a subject that will one day become their career. As you’re plotting destinations for the new year, keep these life-changing possibilities in mind. 1. History will come to life. Yes, your kids will read about World War II in school and take state capital quizzes. But in the end, nothing compares to firsthand experiences of culturally significant locations. Imagine showing a child the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin’s famous theory of evolution was conceived, or having the chance to talk about the beginnings of the Revolutionary War while strolling through Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts. As we enter into the brand-new year, many of us are reflecting on 2017, taking stock of our current position and how we got here. At Yankee Home Improvement, we took an evening last month to celebrate another successful year, highlighting the efforts of our wonderful team and appreciating all that we’ve accomplished together. Though we didn’t get to tell you about it in our December newsletter, we figure better late than never! The event was held at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee, the same location as our last Christmas Party. The whole team enjoyed a fabulous buffet spread provided by the caterers and the banquet hall was filled with the sounds of laughter and conversation. Just as we began to dig into dessert, our owner, Ger Ronan, stepped up to give a speech. “We are all in this room because of you,” he told everyone, highlighting team members who have taken calls on vacation, shown initiative to work late evenings to complete a job, and even one who dressed up in a dinosaur costume to wave at cars on Memorial Drive! Of course, there was one employee in particular he wanted to recognize: Herb Kirschner, an instrumental and incredibly positive presence in the company. Herb was the 2017 Employee of the Year. The company put him up in a hotel that night, gave him a plaque to commemorate the

2. They’ll pick up new skills. In addition to learning about history, your child may discover a new skill. They may learn a bit of conversational Spanish during a trip to Mexico or they might play soccer with a group of children and realize they have a knack for it. By fostering a sense of healthy curiosity about new places, you’ll help your child feel confident enough to branch out of their comfort zone and make new friends at home and on the road. 3. They’ll understand compassion. After a trip to Fiji, Lonely Planet Kids writer Patrick Kinsella found that, long after they returned, his eldest daughter continued to reflect on her experience. “It’s an eye- and mind-opening experience, especially for Ivy, who has never before considered that someone her age might not have a TV, let alone lack electricity,” Kinsella writes. “For many months afterward, Ivy talk[ed] about Po, imagining her Fijian friend’s life.” Because they’re so open-minded, kids are the perfect sponges for new experiences. At the very least, they’ll be less likely to take what they have for granted, and they might even develop an expansive and exploratory worldview.

CAPPING OFF 2017 WITH THE TANGO Yankee Home Improvement’s Annual Christmas Party

accomplishment, and rewarded him with an all-expenses paid weekend out of town for him and his wife.

But, obviously, it wouldn’t be much of

a party without dancing. After his speech, Ger whisked away his wife Anna (our financial director), and danced the tango. Impressively, despite all the hooting and hollering, he managed not to step on her! Pretty soon, others were joining, and we have to say, our sales manager, Leo

Duplessis, cut quite a rug out there on the dance floor. But again, the trophy went to Herb, who outdanced all of his younger peers. All in all, it was a fantastic event. Now, it’s time to look to 2018 and think up ways to top last year. As tough as that will be, we’re confident that with such a dedicated, positive team, we’ll be blasting into 2018 full steam ahead.

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