Merry Christmas 2020!

Christmas Day 2020 at Sanibel Lighthouse 1:08 p.m.

What a different one it is. As we likely are all celebrating the season in new ways this year, I bet you too are looking forward to a safer, healthier, more productive 2021. I hope you are spending your day, like me and The SanibelSusan Team, the best you can under the circumstances.

As mentioned before, the pandemic has affected the islands real estate market, some ways great, some not-so-good. We have learned social-distancing skills and developed new marketing techniques while buyers and sellers have struggled to achieve their goals too – in this wonderful place that remains special regardless of what is happening worldwide.

It was so quiet this morning at my house, that I decided to take a spin around the East End, take a few photos, and then send this from the office. So here I am in Sanibel Square doing what I enjoy most. One of those things was getting a listing under contract yesterday. It is great to have a sale on Christmas Eve.

Another event was learning that a closing scheduled to occur on Monday, may now instead be the following week. Snafus with lenders, condo associations, and overnight mail with holidays are obstacles that make us so love cash sales with few contingencies – and appreciate our clients who continue to understand that as hard as we work to prevent any delays, stuff happens. This year, it seems to be all “new stuff”.

Below are some more photos taken about this afternoon. Though there have been sporadic recent reports of red tide, I did not see any evidence. There were plenty of people beach walking on both the bay and gulf side, also many folks at the fishing pier. Some bundled up as it is only mid-50’s and breezy, but there were a few brave kids wading in the water, plus the usual kiteboarders. The four photos below were from the beach access at the gulf end of Seagrape Lane.

Moving to the other end of Seagrape Lane, on San Carlos Bay, I watched a kiteboarder who was blown into the water struggle to get close to shore and get the kite airborne again. I waited until the rider was flying again was over the water, before departing. You can see the kite (teal color) in the center of the third photo below. (Moms worry about those kiteboarders.)

Moving on to the Sanibel Marina, it was pretty quiet there. No one in sight and Gramma Dot’s is closed until tomorrow. In the bottom picture, you can see how they spread out tables for outside dining.

If you also want to follow red tide reports, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in their weekly email included a link to That is NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System. Today it shows high readings on south of here at Vanderbilt Beach and the Naples Pier. It looks to be clear on both Sanibel and most of Captiva. Here is hoping this cool weather and northerly winds keep it away!

Below are a couple of other news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Holiday Celebrations Around the World

Late Monday, I attended an on-line Zoom meeting put on by Florida Realtors® Global Business Committee. My Naples pal, Paula Angelopoulos Urbinati chairs that committee this year, while Realtor® friend Christel Silver owner of Silver International Realty in Del Ray Beach is Vice Chair.

With presentations by Realtors® with personal and family connections in other countries, it was not surprising to hear that most holiday celebrations outside the U.S. also involved sharing a special meal(s) with family, gift giving, and music/caroling. It was surprising in some instances to learn how some celebrations differ. Here are just a few tidbits.

In Greece, Christmas celebrations officially last for 14 days, starting on Christmas Eve and ending on Epiphany (January 6) with the ‘Great Blessing of Water’.

In Barbados, celebrations begin December 1 with island residents painting their homes inside and out, often also purchasing all new furnishings to welcome the season with a clean slate.

In the Philippines, their celebrations are the longest in the world, beginning in early September, through the first Sunday in January which is the Feast of Three Kings. Another holiday custom in the Philippines is parents giving children a red envelope with cash inside.

In Cuba, Christmas was not celebrated for 30 years. That changed in 1998 when the Pope visited the country. In Cuba today, the celebration includes roasting a whole pig and gifts given for 12 days following Christmas.

In the United Kingdom, it was interesting to hear that stockings are not hung on mantels, but instead are placed at the foot of the beds. Sometimes pillowcases are used instead – ready for Father Christmas to fill them up. Advent calendars are popular, and everyone listens to the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day. She has been giving those since 1957, usually about 3 p.m. Christmas crackers also are popular in the UK. (I usually have them at my Christmas dinners too. Missing that this year.) This tradition goes back to the 1800’s with the cracker which pulls apart to make a “pop”, then opens to contain a paper crown (which must be worn during dinner), a silly joke, and a tiny toy. Christmas dinner in the UK most closely resembles many in the US including turkey (sometimes goose); roast beef; brussels sprouts (no Christmas dinner complete without those); mashed carrots and turnips (together); stuffing balls with sage, onion, chestnut; roasted potatoes (never mashed); Yorkshire pudding, peas; and cranberry sauce or bread sauce (which is a white sauce).Their Christmas desserts include mince pies, Christmas pudding aged for a month or two and with a silver coin inside, brandy butter to go on the pudding, and trifle.

In Hungary, many of their traditions are like those in Germany. Their holidays begin four Sundays before Christmas. Santa Claus Day is December 6. Children put their “clean” boots on their window sill at night with the “good” children receiving candy and those “naughty” ones getting sticks instead. Their trees go up on December 24, while their Christmas Day menus typically include codfish soup and stuffed cabbage. Their trees, which are decorated with colorfully wrapped candy and chocolate, stay up until January 6, though the candies particularly those on the bottom branches, reachable by children, disappear first. Like Germany, Christmas is celebrated on both December 25 and 26.

Israel’s Hannukah or “Festival of Lights” is an eight-day rededication ceremony with dates that change each year. It is not related to Christmas, but typically ends sometime before Christmas. Part of this celebration is adding lights to a menorah (candle holder). Every person in each family has their own, so if in a large family, it can mean many lights. Each menorah has nine candle holders so that one candle is lit each night with the ninth (or shamash) for the helper candle that is used to light the others. Common food at their celebrations include matza ball soup, potato latkes (pancakes), and jelly donuts. Children receive gifts all eight days of Hannukah with their traditions kept alive with gifts like dreidels, gelt (chocolate coins), and menorah.

In Africa, Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January 1, observed by people of all faiths since it is not tied to any religion, but rather is to inspire blacks to be united, self-determined, accountable, financially invested, purposeful, creative, and full of faith. It is a celebration of life and a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home. Each day of the seven days of Kwanzaa has special meaning, also with lighting of candles, in black, green, and red.

Sanibel – COVID-19

Florida Department of Health’s daily report says that Sanibel’s total number of COVID-19 cases from March 26 through December 24 at 9 a.m. is 128. This is just the cases for residents in our zip code. It does not include the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 18 – 25, 2020



6 new listings: Sundial #G406 1/1 $519K, Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 $550K, Sanibel Arms West #H6 2/2 $579K, Sanibel Arms West #I4 2/2 $579K, Pointe Santo #B26 2/2 $689K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $690K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $475K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 now $999.5K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #541 2/2 listed at $515K (our listing), Sundial #P203 2/2 listed at $899K.

5 closed sales: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 $380K, Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 $452.5K, Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $525K, Coquina Beach #1D 2/2 $528.5K, Sundial #H203 2/2 $725K.


1 new listing: 1480 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4.5.5 $1.65M.

1 price change: 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.669M.

7 new sales: 3935 Coquina Dr 4/3 listed at $849,950; 916 Almas Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.39M, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1,395M,  1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.599M, 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.795M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.4949M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 listed at $4.495M.

7 closed sales: 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 $485K, 1603 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $570K, 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 $618K, 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $675K, 580 Boulder Dr 3/2 $799K, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 $1.24M, 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 $2.6M.


1 new listing: 539 Sea Oats Dr $420K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 3945 West Gulf Dr listed at $2.999M.

No closed sales.



1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2127 2/2 $900K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1628 4/4 listed at $2.749M.

1 closed sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #2A 2/2 $880K.


2 new listings: 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $2.795M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 $4.579M.

1 price change: 17201 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $5.65M.

1 new sale: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 listed at $2.695M.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 16685 Captiva Dr $2.45M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Jensen’s on Captiva also went under contract this week (with contingencies). Asking price $13.995M, it includes 14 historic cottages, 35 boat slips, marina, fuel dock, fleet of rental boats, ships store & office.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

You can be sure that I’ll be posting next Friday too – with a Happy New Year report! Meanwhile, enjoy your Christmas!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan