By Wilson

Every year at holiday times, things get busy no matter what or if you follow a religion.  It’s a time full of traditions that grow and change as time passes. Most of them are done in units of family, friends, and even coworkers.  Remember to cut a little time during the holiday to do something for yourself. The holidays are stressful and the time you cut out for yourself may be the difference between enjoying them or hiding in you room until January 2.  

Getting pampered at a spa or salon can help to keep you on an even keel, and I would suggest it, but for you it may be helping at an animal shelter or shopping for supplies to drop at the homeless shelter.  Other things can help to start that holiday feeling in you such as watching the “Nutcracker” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Pat and I have own traditions, a couple that stay the same each year and one that changes yearly, that’s our time.  Last year, it was the Joffrey Ballet, this year was High Tea at the Drake. High tea was lovely. We were pampered by people trained to pamper as we listened to carolers in period dress sing in a beautiful setting.  The tea sandwiches and cakes delighted the taste buds with lemon curd and clotted cream to add to the plainer treats. We enjoyed this so much and it did start our holiday spirit so nicely that this may now become a tradition.  

One of our traditions, we found disappointing was Macy’s Walnut room.  Yes. I called it Macy’s because it felt like they shattered the restaurant to the point it may no longer deserve the name Marshal Fields. The staff were not manning their stations with the same care as in the past.  We only saw our waitress 3 times. We had to wave her over twice and she gave us our check before asking it we were ready for it, which we weren’t. They offered an overpriced buffet stocked with part of their regular menu, with the addition of ham, turkey, and beef.  The regular menu food was not up to their normal standard, the beef was tough, and the dessert table lacked greatly. In fact, the desert table was boring. It was all every disappointing. I’ve had better buffets at truck stops. The staff dressed more like a casual day then a work day and there were fewer fairies around spreading holiday magic.

We weren’t the only ones to report the fail of the Walnut Room this year.  Two other groups I talked to that went this year and they reported the same poor service and food quality.  One over heard a staff member complain about someone taking a picture by the tree, like everyone does, saying something on the order that “it wasn’t like people weren’t trying to work here.” The city scene in front of the tree may have been Macy’s way of saying that they were part of Chicago now, but looked garish and not every festive. One of the groups are not planning to go next year after years of going every December, the other is on the line.  The also were upset at the lack luster windows on State this year.

We also head to the Khriskinder Market in Naperville for the best Belgium Hot Chocolate, German and Polish food and crafts shopping.  The toasted cheese sandwiches is where they cook a wheel of cheese under a flame and scrape the goo on to a foot-long fresh roll is heaven. They offer a Market in the city also, but it is more crowded.  Opps, erase that. GO TO THE CHICAGO KHRISKENER MARKET. 

So, take notes and be sure to find your own traditions and find some time to do as you want next holiday season. Knowing a head of time helps you to make your me time, find your holiday spirit, and enjoy the season more.  

Don’t forget to hug your favorite Santa and pinch his ass.