We did it! We made it to 2022. Welcome to the other side, everyone, and happy New Year. Luckily, loungewear and elastic pants are still in style, because there wasn’t a lot to do over the holidays except eat, drink and then eat some more. I appreciate all of the good tidings and cheer and whatnot, but next holiday season please send more alcohol and less chocolate. I’m still working through a NYE sugar hangover (and maybe a bit of something else), so let’s get right to the gossip and carry on with the year.
CAR past president and Santa-lover Dan Wagner from the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies was named the 2021 Daily Herald Editor’s Choice holiday lights winner for DuPage County! He got a cool article in the paper showcasing his home address and all of the inflatable Santas, snowmen and icicle lights bringing joy to his neighbors and everyone within a 10-mile radius or so. In the interview, Dan revealed it takes about 30 hours to set up the decorations, which include 18,000 individual lights, 23 separate lighted effects, 22 blowups and 19 lighted ground displays.
Tommy Choi has received yet another association award. He may have more awards now than the number of inflatable Santas in Dan’s yard. The 2019 chair of the YPN Advisory Board received the Elevate Award for his advocacy and support over the years. Not quite as prestigious as an award for decorations, but still pretty exciting.
This year for Christmas, a few friends came over and we ordered Chinese food from my favorite local eatery. Matt Laricy, on the other hand, created a menu plan to elevate the dining experience of his home-cooked meal and paired it with a “Taste of Bordeaux” wine tasting, complete with scoring cards. So, if you’re already feeling like maybe your Christmas plans could’ve been fancier, stay away from Matt’s Facebook page. I got the memo about “classing up Christmas” way too late, and so maybe next year I’ll check and see what Chef Laricy recommends first.
It’s cold and it’s winter, but I’m still proud of those folks getting together to celebrate the holidays. One thing I miss about all those Zoom events is attending parties without pants. It’s much harder to do that in person. For example, North Center’s Baird & Warner had a lot of fun at their holiday party, with plenty of dangling candy canes and booze for everyone. And, as predicted, in the photos it appears everyone is wearing pants.
There are a ton of birthdays to report. I think it’s because I have too many friends. One of my New Year’s resolutions is looking into shedding some pounds and maybe some other dead weight. Just kidding! I love all my real estate peeps, and my favorite thing to do is wish each and every one of them a happy birthday and a Happy New Year. First, HBD to Ted Guarnero on Jan. 3, then we have Kelly Price on Jan. 5, Marc Churchill on Jan. 7 and Jeff Parker on Jan. 9. Gary Ouellette, J.D. Cortese and Jennifer Peterson can hang out and party on Jan. 12, while Kevin Rocio celebrates on Jan. 13 and Alex Zupancic, Jeff Baker and Vince Milito share a Jan. 24 bday. George Schultz was born on Jan. 15 and Donna Griffin on Jan. 16. Monique Washington and Kevin Van Eck are Jan. 20 bday twinsies, and Danny Lewis, Lissa Weinstein and Michael Golden are Jan. 21 triplets. Christine Lutz is on Jan. 23 and Mike Opyd on Jan. 24. Two days later is a big day for Kevin Thornton and Jon Millikin, while Patrick Bergner and Eileen Crosson prefer Jan. 28. The 29th belongs to Sheen Baker, while Wayne Paprocki and Margie Smigel share Jan. 30. And that’s just January! In February we celebrate Craig Achtzehn on the 2nd, Sarah Bonert and Amy Settich Strauss on the 4th, Lane Sears on the 5th, and then it’s a big blowout for Marlene Rubenstein and Katy Thomas on Feb. 6.