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Suburban Life DECEMBER 2017


Cut-it-yourself Christmas trees page 10

Great grab bags page 14

Out-of-the-box gift options page 21

Fashions to keep the season BRIGHT!


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Let Roberto’s Cater Your Event



1/2 Pan

Full Pan

1/2 Pan

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28.00 Spaghetti or Mostaccioli



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56.00 Baked Mostaccioli



Fried Calamari


78.00 Ravioli



Funghi Ripieni


64.00 Tortellini



Baked Clams


74.00 Gnocchi




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Full Pan





42.00 Raviolini Salvia E Basilico





Diced Seasoned Plum Tomatoes Over Toasted Bread

Choice of Meat or Plain Sauce

Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced Tomatoes, Roasted Red Pepper, Olive Oil & Fresh Basil Breaded Calamari with Marinara Sauce Stuffed Mushrooms with Breading Medium Clams Breaded & Baked with a Lemon Butter Sauce


With Melted Mozzarella, Parmigiano Cheese & Choice of Meat or Plain Sauce Meat or Cheese Filled, Topped with Choice of Meat or Plain Sauce Meat or Cheese Filled, Choice of Meat or Plain Sauce Choice of Meat or Plain Sauce

Romaine, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Onions, Olives & Dressing on the Side

Choice of Meat or Plain Sauce

Mini Cheese Filled Ravioli Topped with Butter, Fresh Sage, Fresh Basil & Parmigiano Cheese



52.00 Lasagna

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Lasagna 46.00 92.00 76.00 Vegetable Fresh Spinach Pasta Layered with Ricotta, Asparagus, Artichoke Hearts, Spinach,


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Italian Sausage & Peppers



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Add Alfredo Sauce or Vodka Sauce 104.00 Add Chicken Add Broccoli

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Romaine, Parmigiano & Croutons Grilled Chicken, Romaine, Parmigiano & Croutons Chopped Assorted Meats & Cheese over a Salad

Layers of Pasta with Ricotta, Ground Beef, Parmigiano Cheese, Baked & Topped with Plain Sauce or Melted Mozzarella

Parmigiano Cheese, Baked & Topped with Plain Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese

Italian Sausage Sauteed with Mixed Peppers in a Garlic & Oil Herb Broth (½ pan-16 pc. full pan-32 pc.) Bone-In Chicken Cooked with Garlic & Oil, Fresh Herbs & White Wine Served with Roasted Peppers

Breaded Veal Topped with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomato Sauce & Melted Mozzarella Served with Side of Pasta

Rigatons Pomodoro - Salsiccia - Piselli44.00 Pasta with Ground Sausage, Peas, Tomato Sauce & Parmigiano


Vodka Sauce – Alfredo Sauce Polo Parmigiana 39.00 78.00 Meat Sauce Breaded Chicken Breast Topped with Tomato Sauce & Melted Mozzarella Served with Side of Pasta Eggplant Parmigiana 48.00 96.00 Marinara Sauce Bolognese Sauce Breaded & Layered Eggplant Topped with Tomato Sauce & Melted Mozzarella Served with Side of Pasta Boneless Chicken Breast 49.00 98.00 SIDES

• Marsala with Mushrooms & Marsala Wine Sauce • Piccata with Capers & Onions in a Lemon Butter Sauce • Pepperonata with Roasted Red Pepper, Onions, Touch of Garlic & Oil, Brandy Wine Sauce, Served with Potatoes • Vesuvio with Garlic & Oil, Herbs & Wine Sauce, Served with Potatoes

Italian Beef (by the Pound)

Fresh Sliced Italian Beef in our own Herb Broth (Bread Not Included)

8.00 8.00 6.00

88.00 16.00 16.00 12.00 Full Pan

10.95 8.95 7.95 11.95 1/2 Pan

Full Pan

Vesuvio Potatoes 24.00 48.00 Loaf of Bread (with Butter) 4.25 Tiramisu 39.00 78.00 10.95 Lady Finger Cookies, Espresso Coffee, Mixed Liquor & Marscapone Cheese

Homemade Italian Sausage –Mild or Hot (by the Pound, Raw) 5.25

All Trays Do Not Come With Bread 1/2 Pan Serves 8-10 • Full Pan Serves 16-20 Please give 24-hour Notice MON-THURS 11AM - 11PM, FRI 11AM - 12AM, SAT4PM - 12AM, SUN 2PM - 10PM Tax Not Included with All Pricing Prices Subject To Change Without Notice. We also do Catering and Private Parties before our regular hours. Lunch Catering is also Available with 1 Day Notice


For Dining Room Reservations Call: 630.279.8474 • Fast Delivery & Carryout Service

Carry Out Orders can also be placed from our Dining Room Menu or Specials Menu


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Merry Christmas ANNUAL from our Family CUSTOMER APPRECIATION to Yours JOIN US FOR OUR




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33 W Jefferson Avenue • Naperville, pe , IL I 630-355-1311 474 N Main Street • Glen Ellyn, IL 630-790-3272 SUBURBAN LIFE MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2017 | 3

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Editor’s Note

Here’s to a sensational season! The happiest of holidays to everyone from the team at Suburban Life Magazine. And what a fantastic month it is going to be!

list of outstanding local restaurants offering special dinner experiences on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

In this Holiday edition of Suburban Life, we help you get to embrace the arrival of the season, ready your home for family and friends, and hunt for the perfect gifts for everyone on your list.

And if you’re looking to start a new tradition with your friends or family during the holidays, consider day of service to others. We’ve got the low down on all opportunities to volunteer time and energy throughout the month to those in need around our communities. It’s a great way to give of yourself and embrace the spirit of this season.

You’ll discover great decorating trends for your home, from unique color choices, to great home made ideas. And we have advice on where to go to get what you need, and learn how to make it all work perfectly!

We round things out with cheery and bright winter fashions, and way to keep calm and stressed free during the often hectic days ahead.

It’s not Christmas without a tree, and this year, why not cut your own? We have a list of great We’re so happy to bring you this holiday edition, farms, not too far out of town, where you and and celebrate the season with all of you! your family can head out with boots and saw and The warmest holiday wishes to you and yours. embrace this throwback holiday tradition. And when it comes to gifts…look no further! We have great ideas for grab bags, guy gifts, pet gifts and clever out-of-the-box ideas for everyone. Not into Christmas dinner at home? Why not visit one of the area’s great restaurants for a special holiday feast? We have an expansive

Thanks for reading —

Sherri Dauskurdas Editor

Suburban Life Suburban Life Magazine Published by Shaw Media 1101 W. 31st Street Downers Grove, IL 60515 Phone: 630-368-1100

Director of Niche Publishing Laura Shaw Advertising Bill Korbel 630-427-6230 Editorial Sherri Dauskurdas 630-427-6263

on the COVER Keep your season bright with cheery cold weather looks! Page 16 Photos by RON McKINNEY Hair and makeup by MARIO



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Kelli Murray Designer Allison McCaleb 815-526-4485 Correspondents Allison Horne, Elizabeth Harmon,Aimee Barrows, Vicki Petersen Photographers Ron McKinney

Suburban Life Magazine is available by subscription for $24 a year. If you would like each month’s edition mailed to your home, send payment information and address to Suburban Life Magazine, 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 or via email at

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Visit www.Stratf m for more in formation on these a nd other events goin g on at Stratford S quare

Santa Photos

November 11th - December 24th Located on the Lower Level near Michael Hill

Lunch With Santa at Red Robin

December 3rd | 11 AM - 12:00 PM This is an RSVP ONLY event. $4 per person donation requested to benefit WDSR. Please call 630.351.9400

Pet Photos with Santa

December 4th & 11th | 6 PM - 8 PM Located on the Lower Level near Michael Hill

Storytime With Santa and The Bloomingdale Public Library Thursday, December 7th |11 AM Located in the Santa Set near Michael Hill

Artisan Holiday Show December 7th – 9th Located throughout the mall

Movie with Santa, The Star

December 9th | 10 AM FREE Admission. We do ask that you bring 1 canned food item and we will donate it to the local food pantry

Carson’s | Kohl’s| Pink | Burlington | Victoria Secret Harley Davidson Apparel | New York & Company | Bath & Body Works Famous Footwear | Century Theatres | Round 1 | Red Robin SUBURBAN LIFE MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2017 | 5 Army Trail Rd. & Gary Ave. Bloomingdale, IL | 630.539.1000 |

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INSIDE DINING & ENTERTAINING 7 HOME DÉCOR FOR THE HOLIDAYS Do DIY your way, and fill your home with fun and festive adornments. 10 A CUT ABOVE Head out with axe in hand for a freshly cut Christmas tree this season. 12 FEAST WITHOUT THE FUSS Satisfy your Christmas cravings without dirtying your dishes. 14 GREAT GRAB BAGS We’ve got an Editor’s Choice list of clever gifts for anyone on your list.

FASHION & BEAUTY 16 BUNDLE UP IN COLOR Forget the gray and chilly weather, we have bright and cheery basics to layer and love, all winter long.



Satisfy your Christmas cravings without dirtying your dishes


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BUSINESS & CIVIC 22 GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME Start a family tradition of community support as local groups seek seasonal volunteers. 24 WANT TO PLAY? Holiday giving includes all your furry friends, and we have great ideas for pets and pet lovers.

HEALTH & WELLNESS 26 SEASON’S STRESSING? Take tips from our experts on how to stay relaxed and enjoy the holiday season.

FAMILY IN FOCUS 18 GIFTS FOR GUYS Whether brother or father, husband or son, wrap up a wish he’ll appreciate all year long. 20 EXPERIENCE, THIS CHRISTMAS Give an out-of-the-box gift and create memories that last all year.

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Home décor for the holidays DIY, your way, for fun and festive adornments | By ELIZABETH HARMON It’s time to deck the halls! This year, along with your family’s old favorites, why not add a few on-trend looks to update your holiday décor? Pinterest and HGTV offer endless inspiration to add a touch of 2017 to your holiday traditions. Think clean, simple and uncluttered. Neutral tones, natural elements and textures. Bring in festive notes with oversized vintage ornaments, or with twigs and pinecones sprayed with flocking or metallic paint. And don’t be afraid to think beyond candy cane red and Christmas tree green.’s Brian Patrick Flynn suggests a dozen unexpected holiday color combinations. Sure, you can head to the holiday aisle of the closest discount store, but why not create a unique item your family will treasure?

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Local art and craft shops not only offer an array of supplies, many offer workshops, classes and even private studio space to help you bring your holiday vision to life. Not sure what to make? Flynn’s unexpected holiday color combinations are sure to spark inspiration. With each pairing we’ll suggest a project that could incorporate those colors, plus a local shop or studio where you can find supplies and know-how! Ready to get started?

Green & brown Earth tones bring the outdoors in. Flynn recommends decorating a green tree with brown ornaments or mixing shades of green to decorate walls and hallways.

Where to Try It: The Growing Place Garden Centers in Aurora and Naperville will offer a Dec. 2 workshop to create a wreath, porch pot or door swag. Classes are filling quickly, says marketing manager Becca Masset, but groups of 10 to 15 are welcome to schedule a private workshop session. Call Becca at 630-355-4000.


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Parchment & white Neutral shades bring timeless elegance. Mix in metallic accents for a modern, urban look, or keep it rustic with burlap, twigs and raffia.

Where to try it: The nonprofit DuPage Art League offers art classes and workshops for adults and children. On Sunday, Dec. 3, the league will host a Paper Ornament Workshop, for teens and adults. Instructor Kay Wahlgren, a

long-time paper sculptor, created the design herself and has sold the ornaments at the Art League’s annual bizarre. “We’ll take a sheet of paper, cut it into parts and assemble those into the ornament,” she says, adding that participants will construct two and possibly, three ornaments. “My daughter, who doesn’t consider herself to be artistic, could follow the instructions and construct an ornament in about forty-five minutes, so I’d say that’s very successful,” says Wahlgren. Supplies will be provided, but Wahlgren recommends bringing a small pair of scissors. Register online, at Fall_2017/Fall_AdultSchedule_2017.pdf.

Kelly green, baby blue & white When paired with red and white, Kelly Green is a classic holiday combination but Baby Blue adds a crisp, wintery brightness that brings in the sunshine.

Where to try it: Artist Mansi Hans decided to open A Colorful Affair in downtown Naperville to inspire kids and adults to discover their creativity. “Life is all about judgement but art can’t be like that,” she says. The family-friendly community-oriented art supply shop offers open studio time, private parties and workshops. Throughout December, A Colorful Affair offers evening workshops to help you create fused glass ornaments, a fused glass cheese plate/holiday bowl, candles and soaps. A Colorful Affair branded craft kid sold on their website and through Amazon makes a great gift. Hans says that open studio time and parties should be reserved in advance. Register for workshops, at downtown-naperville-events .


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Violet, brown, bronze & white

Robin-egg blue, red & white

Bold and masculine bronze and brown are lightened with white, while violet accents bring a festive holiday touch!

Give your table a classic vintage twist by pairing pale blue tableware against red and white linens. For another vintage inspired combination try Teal, Red & White.

Where to try it: On Monday, Dec. 4, Water Street Studios Batavia will offer a Holiday Card Calligraphy Workshop. Instructor Robin Stephens calls the workshop a fun, relaxing evening that will introduce students to a few calligraphy basics. Try out your new skill by creating a handmade gift or holiday cards, using provided black and metallic chisel-tip markers. “We’ll have blank cards, envelopes, and scrapbooking supplies like colored paper, ribbons, glitter and colored pencils,” says Stephens. The goal is fun and creativity, not perfection. “If you want perfect, stick to computers,” Stephens says.

Where to Try It: Joann Fabrics offers sewing classes to help you create a table runner, home décor pillow, or a paper-pierced quilted stocking. Dates and availability by location. Visit and search by zip code to find a store near you and class schedule.

Bubblegum pink & purple A combination sure to please the tween-girl in your life! Give it fabulous ‘50s flair, by softening the pink with deep purple accents.

Where To Try It: In December, Michaels craft and fabric stores will offer holiday craft classes for adults. Create a gingerbread house one week, then White & gold return the next to create a holiday t-shirt and the week after to make Okay, maybe not so unexpected, but a rich, festive and vibrant personalized gifts. Visit to combination that evokes snowy beauty and the warmth of candlelight. sign up for a class near you. Where To Try It: Create such beautifully wrapped gifts, your family and friends might The Growing Place: 2000 Montgomery Road, Aurora or 25w471 Plank Road, not want to open them! The Paper Source will show you how. “We’ll Naperville, 630-355-4000, show tips and tricks to wrap gifts, create fun bows and DIY heatThe DuPage Art League, School and Gallery: 218 W. Front Street, Wheaton, embossed gift tags,” says Oak Brook store manager Sarah Miller. 630.653.7090, Participants in the workshops, scheduled for Dec. 2 in Oak Brook and A Colorful Affair: 124 S. Webster St. #102, Naperville, 331.229.8527, Dec. 7 at the Naperville location, should bring four boxes to wrap, shirt size or smaller. The Paper Source provides the rest. Sign up at www. Water Street Studios: 160 S. Water Street, Batavia, 630-761-9977, The Paper Source: 433 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-572-1955; 215 S Main html. St., Naperville, 630-778-8925, Joann Fabrics: various locations, Michaels: various locations, Register at


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ometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle of shopping for presents and decking the halls. This year, why not escape to the quiet woods where you can cut down your own Christmas tree together as a family. Here is a list of area farms where you can begin a new holiday tradition. Since some may be a bit beyond the borders of your hometown, make a day of it! And enjoy the hospitality (and the hot cocoa) many of these locales offer visitors. Abbey Farms 2855 Hart Road, Aurora 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (630) 966-7775 Try your hand at cutting down a tree or opt for a pre-cut tree available for purchase. Once you find your tree, step inside the Nagel Emporium for a hot chocolate and apple cider donut or the Pine Tree CafĂŠ for a bite to eat. Youngsters can share their wish lists with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 2-3 and 9-10.

A CUT ABOVE Head out with axe in hand for a freshly cut tree this season

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Anderson Tree Farm 508 W. Route 126, Plainfield (815) 436-2140 On the weekends, enjoy a country skillet breakfast from 8-11 a.m. before heading out to find the perfect tree among the variety of evergreen trees available. Wrap up your visit with a free cup of hot chocolate and some popcorn while the staff shakes and wraps your tree to take home. Ben’s Christmas Tree Farm 7719 Ryan Road, Harvard 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (630) 279-0216 The farm features nine varieties of fir and pine trees, including Scotch pine, Norway spruce and Fraser fir. After selecting the perfect Christmas tree, enjoy a cup of complimentary hot chocolate or coffee while waiting to see Santa or sit back and enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride on the grounds.

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Holiday Magic Sale

Green Garden Christmas Tree Farm Route 45 and Pauling Road, Manhattan 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday (815) 735-2372 The farm offers a variety of pine and spruce trees, including Scotch pine and Norway spruce. After making your selection, stop by the warming house for free coffee, hot chocolate, juice and cookies. Kids also get a free coloring book. The farm offers lightweight rope to transport your tree home.

Your Source for

Rare Gemstones & Custom Designs Featuring

Exquisite Rubies & Diamonds Tis the Season to Sparkle!

Larson’s Family Farm 4404 Somonauk Road, Sandwich 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 24, then 2-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closed on Monday. (815) 786-2249 Navigate through 18 acres of cut-your-own Christmas trees in six varieties, including Norway spruce and Scotch pine. Once your tree is selected, step inside the Barn Store to view antiques, vintage holiday decorations and gifts. The farm also uses its own greens to create evergreen wreaths and roping. Lee’s Trees 45W002 Lees Road, Lily Lake 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (630) 365-2116 The 14-acre farm nestled in western Kane County offers both cut your own trees on-site as well as pre-cut trees harvested weekly from Lee’s two farms in Wisconsin. The farm also features fresh, hand-crafted wreaths, swags, centerpieces, roping and decorations made daily. Customize your wreath with bows and decorations while you wait.

Old World Quality & Trusted Services SM-CL1476113 SM-CL14761 SM-CL1 476113 4761



Celebrate An Irish NEW YEAR'S with a 6:00PM champagne toast on NEW YEARS EVE (Midnight in Dublin)

Bar Open Christmas Eve Regular Hours Bar open Christmas Day 3:00pm-2:00am

WALSH’S Bar & Grill

Now with 4 Craft Beers on Tap

Plus… Guinness, Miller Lite, Stella, and Labatt’s

(630) 968-5957

202 W. Naperville Road, Westmont

3 blocks S. of Ogden Ave, 3 blocks W. of Cass Ave, Westmont

A Neighborhood Favorite for 20+ years! Home of the unique “Pocket Sandwich”

Hours: Sun-Thur 11am - 1am Fri-Sat 11 am - 2am Grill Hours: 11am - 10pm Daily

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Lucille at Drury Lane

FEAST without the fuss Local holiday dinners satisfy your Christmas cravings without dirtying your dishes | By AIMEE BARROWS


hile the holidays are often the most wonderful time of the year, they can also be the most stressful. Between parties, shopping and family gatherings, the non-stop hustle and bustle can leave you exhausted by the time December 25 rolls around. Preparing a large meal may be the last thing on your mind, so leave the cooking and clean-up to the professionals! Many restaurants in the western suburbs are offering Christmas Day meals where you can relax and enjoy the holiday without the stress of making a formal dinner.


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Glen Prairie This popular Glen Ellyn restaurant features contemporary American cuisine using natural and organic ingredients from local farmers. The Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menu features pan-seared salmon, amish chicken, braised short ribs and much more. To make reservations, call (630) 613Glen Prairie 1250 or visit 1250 Roosevelt Rd., Glen Ellyn Jameson’s Charhouse Guests can enjoy a selected holiday menu on Dec. 25 from 12-7 p.m. that includes a variety of fresh fish, freshly-cut steaks, homemade soups and a traditional ham dinner. Reservations are recommended and can be made at (630) 671-9090 or at www. 94 Stratford Dr., Bloomingdale

McCormick and Schmick’s The popular Oak Brook seafood establishment will serve a variety of seafood, steak and more from a special holiday menu.


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Holiday hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and reservations can be made at (630) 571-3700 or at www.mccormickandschmicks. com. 3001 Butterfield Rd., Oak Brook

Glen Prairie

Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse Harry Caray’s goes all out for the holidays as the dining room sparkles with lighted garland, holiday wreaths and ornate Christmas trees in an energetic atmosphere filled with sports memorabilia. The special holiday menu will feature the best of the Italian steakhouse’s cuisine. Call (630) 953-3400 or visit for reservations. 70 Yorktown Center, Lombard

Francesca’s Amici The rustic Italian favorite will serve its regular dinner menu on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Reservations are required on Christmas Eve and are recommended for Christmas Day. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 25. Call (630) 2797970 or visit 174 N. York Rd., Elmhurst

Sugar Toad Guests can enjoy a four-course prix-fixe holiday dinner at the Hotel Arista’s Sugar Toad restaurant. The meal includes soup, salad, a rustic carving platter and dessert. The restaurant puts a modern culinary spin on its fresh, organic ingredients to give guests a fine dining experience in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Call (630)778-8623 or visit www. 2139 City Gate Ln., Naperville

Allgauer’s Restaurant

roast and Christmas cookies from the breakfast station, savory station, carving station, omelet station, dessert table and more! Adults are $50, children 6-12 are $15, children 3-5 are $10 and children 2 and under are free.

The restaurant also is hosting a New Year’s Day Champagne Brunch on Jan. 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests will enjoy eggs Benedict, French toast, baked Atlantic salmon and much more from ten gourmet stations. Adults can indulge in the Bloody Mary Bar while children can choose from favorites like mini corn dogs and chicken tenders at the kids buffet. Adults are $36, children 6-12 are $16, children 3-5 are $10 and children 2 and under are free. To make reservations, call (630) 530-8300 or visit www. 100 Drury Ln., Oakbrook Terrace

The Clubhouse The Clubhouse will host Brunch with Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 24. Families will enjoy the Clubhouse’s famous Sunday Brunch as children mingle with St. Nick and get their photo taken. Adults are $39.95, children 6-12 are $19.95 and children 5 and under are free. The restaurant is closed on Dec. 25. Reservations are recommended and can be made at (630)472-0600 or at 298 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook

William Tell Restaurant This long-standing restaurant in the Holiday Inn Countryside has been delighting guests with its mix of traditional European dishes and classic offerings of prime rib, veal marsala and more since 1952. The restaurant will host a Christmas Day Brunch, featuring some of its best selections from its popular brunch menu. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (708) 354-4200 or at 6201 Joliet Rd., Countryside

This west suburban favorite, located in the Hilton Lisle/Naperville, will host its annual award-winning Christmas Champagne Brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 25. Guests can choose from more than 100 menu items including hand-carved prime rib, carved roast turkey, oysters on the half shell, snow crab legs, made-to-order omelets, eggs benedict, a kids’ buffet and a dessert buffet. Adults are $49.95 and children ages 6-12 are $22.95. Reservations can be made by calling (630)245-7650. 3003 Corporate West Dr., Lisle

Lucille at Drury Lane A holiday feast awaits at the Lucille at Drury Lane’s Champagne Christmas Brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 25. Guests will enjoy delicious selections like roast prime rib, herb stuffing, pot

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Lucille at Drury Lane DINING & ENTERTAINING


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editor’s CHOICE

Grab bag goodies! Gifts so good you’ll want to choose them for your own!


hether it’s work colleagues or the neighborhood book club, bowling night or even a family-based “Secret Santa” the grab bag gift can be a source of as much holiday fatigue as festive fun. But it doesn’t have to be! We have ideas at a variety of price points to make gift-giving simple, receiving really fun and the gift card all but obsolete!

COFFEE Forget the chain store gift card and turn up the heat on a cup that will make even the greatest java lover swoon. Independent coffee roasters and local shops offer unique, flavorful options. Café La Fortuna, in Hinsdale roasts its own beans from Chiapas, Mexico, where they have been grown on the company’s own family plantation since 1908. Take home a gift bag of one of the Café’s signature roasts (and one for yourself) or if you’re looking for more, pair it with a unique artisan designed mug from ArtQuest Gallery, just down the street. Two Brothers, famous for their craft brewed beer, has built an awesome reputation as a coffee roaster. Two Brothers offers single origin and custom blends, using beans from the Americas, Africa and Indonesia. Roasted in small batches, in lots of options for the discerning coffee drinker. Complement it with a bottle of Two Brothers flavored coffee syrup, in vanilla, hazelnut or caramel.

HAND CARE Anyone who has hands would appreciate a gift to keep them healthy, beautiful and touchable, every day. Combine a rich and luxurious lotion with an on-trend nail polish color for the perfect pampering present.


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We love the Molton Brown Gingerlily Replenishing Hand Cream, made with White Truffle Extract (which sounds as impressive as it feels) available at Blue Mercury in downtown Hinsdale. Another favorite is Lucy B’s Apothecary Creams, found at Jayne Boutique in La Grange and Glen Ellyn. Available in various scent combinations, we were partial to the Royal Water Lotus Vanilla Musk hand and body crème for its soft and understated fragrance, perfect for workday or date night.

FUN AND GAMES Who says coloring books are just for kids? Experts agree that coloring can be a huge stress reliever, not to mention downright good fun. Grown up coloring books have become a huge segment of the bookstore market, and we can see why. From mandalas to geometrics, to cartoon characters and even dirty words, there’s truly something for every taste. A visit to Anderson’s Bookshop in Downers Grove nets a wide array of choices, our favorite a nostalgic Peanuts coloring book by Posh. Coloring not your style? Perhaps a puzzle book to stretch the mind and memory. Kakuro Puzzle-a-Day Book will have your gift recipient challenged, and thanking you each and every day of the year.

ONLINE FINDS If you want to shop without the hustle and bustle of a busy storefront, there’s plenty to find online. Peruse in your pajamas, shop from your sofa, or even your office (we won’t tell). Here are some great grab bag gifts, delivered: Motivational Pencils Try a grab bag of 30 cold foil pencils, engraved with such statements of inspiration as “Be Awesome,” “Be Happy” or just “Be You!” We found them on Etsy’s Gifts by Daisy. Vintage record coasters One of our greatest finds of the season are Vintage Record Coasters, the perfect addition to a rec room, man cave, bar or office. Made from an original record, trimmed to fit the label size, they are two-sided as were the records! Buy them

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online from and a portion of the purchase supports public broadcasting. Keychain phone charger This might just be the most useful gift you’ll give this season. The inCharge Ultra Portable Charging Keychain cable means the owner never will be caught without a charging cable ever again. At just 1.5� it hangs from a keychain so it always is at hand. Available in multiple colors on

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Bundle up in color! It’s all about style this season, and color is key to making a gray and chilly winter festive and fun! From patterned knit hats to bright and cheery basics, warm up your winter wardrobe with something sure to get you noticed. Find this look at Sierra Trading Post in Wheaton. | Photos by RON MCKINNEY


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‘Tis the Season for Fur & Fine Outerwear A Super Cape

Loro Piana Cashmere Blend Cape with Matching dyed Fox Trim, “Hugs & Kisses” Box Clutch

FUR . . . A Gift with Presence!

For him or her, yourself or a special someone, discover perfect gifts for everyone on your list. Choose from Chicagoland’s most extensive selection of gorgeous furs, stylish fine outerwear and awe inspiring accessories. Stocking Stuffers to Great Coats, the entire York Holiday Collection is ON SALE NOW! Elmhurst City Centre | 630-832-2200

Deer Park Town Center | 847-550-2200 Connect:

Furs | Cashmeres | Leathers | Shearlings | Accessories

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Wrap up a wish he’ll appreciate all year long


anyone who hates cold feet.

et’s face it – guys aren’t always the easiest to shop for. With the holidays approaching rapidly, we’re sharing some of our best unique gifts – including clothes, gadgets and massages - for the men in your life.

“People think wool is really scratchy, but Merino is really soft,” Gros says.


While Yeti cups and coolers were originally marketed as an outdoor lifestyle product, their water bottles and tumblers are perfect for daily use as well.


Clothing doesn’t have to be a boring gift this season – with many stores offering unique spins on your average garments, anything from socks to underwear could have the guy in your life jumping for joy. Underwear might not be on the top of any guys’ list this year, but two unique pairs may change their mind. “We have some really good premium travel underwear, Saxx,” Hunter Gros, sales associate at Erehwon in Naperville, says. “It’s built to be really comfortable and really articulated and it’s a really nice material so they breathe really nice and they’re cool feeling.” Duluth Trading, which has a location in Downers Grove, also offers a unique pair of underwear, Buck Naked. “We’re very famous for it,” an employee said. “We get a lot of people who come in here, buy one pair (they’re definitely not cheap) and it’s neat when they come back for more. It’s just a really good quality underwear that’s breathable and quick drying.” Like underwear, socks aren’t thought of being a great gift, but Erehwon offers a Merino Smartwool Sock that is a game-changer for 18 | DECEMBER 2017 | SUBURBAN LIFE MAGAZINE

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If clothes are out of the question, there are so many other unique gifts that won’t sit in the garage or cabinet after the holidays are over.

“Yeti products fly out the door as soon as we get them in,” Gros says. “They’re all insulated, so they can keep your drink really cold or really warm.” He notes they have everything from bottles and cups to tumblers, which are great for daily drinks on the go. For the gadget lovers, Bass Pro Shops (among others) carries GoPros, the popular versatile waterproof camera. “They can really be used for anything,” says Bass Pro Shops manager Tim Pritchett. “Hunting, fishing, watching your kids’ activities, sporting events – you can use it for just about anything.”

Pritchett notes that Bass Pro also carries practical items for any man who loves to grill or spend time on the patio, like smokers for deep frying turkeys, barbeque grills, and other outdoor patio items. “There are so many ideas at our stores,” Pritchett says. “Honestly if someone has not ever been to the store they’ll find something they can use in a practical aspect of their life or even something they’re passionate about.”


From hunting and fishing to hiking and camping, there’s no shortage of gifts this holiday season for a man who likes to spend his time outdoors. While pricey, Pritchett can’t help but recommend a boat as a gift for any dads out there. Bass Pro Shops carries aluminum, pontoon boats, fishing boats, and plenty of other options. “Price is insignificant when you’re putting a price on fun and time on the water with friends and family,” Pritchett says. Bass Pro Shops also carries a variety of other outdoor gear, ranging from fishing reels and rods to guns and camping gear. For any guy who likes hiking or simply enjoying the scenery outside, a portable hammock is a great gift that will definitely come in handy in a pinch.

Another popular gadget (that can also be used in conjunction with a GoPro) is a drone, a remotecontrolled aerial vehicle. Remote-controlled boats “We do a ton of hammocks,” Gros says. “They’re and cars are also good gifts. really popular right now. They’re portable so you “You can use [drones] for real estate aerial views, can hook them up to trees anywhere you go and fishing grounds, hunting property and spying on they fold up into the size of a cantaloupe.” your neighbors,” Pritchett says, laughing. “There’s Erehwon carries ENO hammocks, which generally even racing drones you can do through obstacle run around $60. courses.” FAMILY IN FOCUS

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Come celebrate the season with us! Horse and carriage rides, visits with Santa, roasted chestnuts and the aroma of warm cider, these are the things that make the Christmas season so special in Downtown Wheaton.

“Most of our gifts are things you’d go out and use,” Gros says. “It’s not just something for the house, it’s something for the outdoors as well as active clothing. It’s all a bit pricier, but it’ll last a long time and you can use it a bunch.”

Living Wheaton Christmas Parade November 24th • 6pm Front Street in Downtown Wheaton

Holiday Gingerbread House Contest December 16th • 10am Wheaton Public Library

Living Wheaton Christmas Festival December 2nd • 7:30am -9pm The Reindeer Run, holiday treats, caroling,and family activities throughout the day

Santa visits and complimentary horse and carriage rides are offered each Saturday from 12pm to 3pm starting Nov. 25-Dec. 23rd at Martin Memorial Plaza on Front Street.

‘A Gift to Remember’ Wheaton Christmas Art Walk December 12th-24th 12 fine art pieces displayed in selected shops that tell the Biblical story of Christmas

The Downtown Wheaton Association • • 630-682-0633 SM-CL1476121


While it may not seem like a traditional gift for that man in your life, a day at the spa can be a special treat. “If someone is not taking care of themselves and they should, a gift kind of motivates them,” says Glenn Bach, co-owner of GT Massage and Skin Care in Wheaton. “They get a gift and they come in, and a lot of times that kick starts them do doing regular maintenance. It seems like the ladies don’t need that much of a push as the guys do.” Massages are the most common service Bach sees for males, and can range from deep tissue and a sports massage to Swedish and even hot stones. “Usually the guys come in and want deep tissue,” Bach says. “We get a lot of runners who come in and want their legs worked on for extra time.” While massages are common among their male patrons, GT Massage and Skin Care also sees plenty of facials and back waxing as well. For anyone looking to get a facial, GT will take some photos, put it in a skin analysis program and discover what the issues are with the skin. From there, they’ll determine what facial is the best for the customer. GT offers glycolic peels, a variety of deep cleaning and treatment facials, and even a gentleman’s facial. Gift certificates are available at GT for either a service or a dollar amount and can be purchased online or in-store.

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Give Differently An out-of-the-box gift can create memories that last all year



If you have a racing enthusiast in your midst, consider gifting them with the chance to get You don’t have to travel to the city for great theater behind the wheel at high speed! Chicagoland f you’re looking to give something beyond of superior music performances. So many options Speedway is a 1.5 miles tri-oval speedway in Joliet, the standard this season, why not try giving are offered across the suburbs, from community which currently hosts NASCAR racing including the the gift of a great experience to satisfy a theater productions to operas and symphonies, opening event in the NASCAR Cup Series Chase hobby, interest or bucket-list item? and more. Check out Giuseppi Verdi’s La Traviata for the Championship. Your loved one can have You don’t have to worry if it’s the right at the MAC at College of DuPage in January, a chance to drive a real NASCAR racecar! Meet color or the proper size, and in most cases, your or the U.S. premiere of performance artists with Crew Chief, get training and instruction and recipient even has a chance to choose some Mummenschanz on stage in March. then you drive around one of the nation’s premier of the final details themselves, creating a truly A subscription to the 2018-19 season at the Drury speedways. Talk over 2 way in car radio with a individualized experience, and a gift they wont Lane Oak Brook includes such stage feats as personal racing instructor while you drive. And soon forget! South Pacific, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Little Shop when you’re done, get a Graduate Certificate with of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, and Mama Mia. Here are some great local ideas to get you top speed for bragging rights. Subscribers to the entire series net tickets as started: A variety of options are available, from ridelow as $30 a show, and include one free ticket alongs for one or two people, to fully independent exchange, priority seating, discounts on dining and solo racing experiences complete instruction, Do you have a fantastic foodie on your gift list? Or more. raceway time, pit stops and more. Prices start maybe a friend or family member who is uncertain McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage at about $100 and head up to several thousand. about cooking and want to learn more? Give the Fawell and Park Boulevards • Glen Ellyn Find out details, restrictions and pricing online. gift of great meals with a cooking class experience. Racing dates are in June July and August, but the Marcel’s Culinary Experience in downtown Glen experience is worth the wait! Ellyn has a full calendar of cooking classes, demos Drury Lane Theatre 100 Drury Lane • Oakbrook Terrace Chicagoland Speedway and the like for kids and adults. A Marcel’s gift card 500 Speedway Blvd • Joliet and a description of the course offerings can be the perfect item under the tree. January offerings include Cooking for College Do you have a wine lover on your list this year? Students, Farm-to-Table, Soups and Stews, Dim Why not offer up a Guided Wine tasting event, You can give the gift of rejuvenating to a friend in Sum, Burgers and Bourbon, Spirited Entertaining at the granddaddy of Illinois Wineries? Lynfred need of de-stressing with a trip to a salt cave for and more. Winery’s flagship location in Roselle offers a a dose of halotherapy. Said to greatly benefit the A kid’s workshop of one-three days is offered variety of guided tasting events, some paired with upper respiratory system, Pink Himalayan Salt also during winter break – January 3-5. food and tours of their facility, providing a unique is known for purifying and balancing your body’s Courses run from an hour and a half to up to five, depending on the topic. There are evening classes, glimpse at all that goes into a great glass of wine. ratio of negative to positive ions. Suburban spas reEvents are intimate in size and require advance create the same environment as natural salt caves mid day selections and weekend experiences registration. Pair it with a bottle of Lynfred wine, -- the thick beach of crushed salt that lies beneath available. Visit online for a complete calendar and and you’ve given them a gift they can enjoy now, your feet as you enter. Participants will recline as class details. and an experience to savor later in the year. you are covered in a clean, warm blanket. Relaxing Marcel’s Culinary Experience music will play. Electronics are turned off. The gift Lynfred Winery 490 N. Main St. • Glen Ellyn of a single session starts at around $40 and special 15 S Roselle Rd • Roselle 630-790-8500 packages and experiences are available. 630-529-9463 Primal Oceans Salt Cave 8 South La Grange Road • La Grange





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Local groups seek seasonal volunteers | By AIMEE BARROWS

‘Tis the season of giving, and there’s no better way to give back to your community than to offer your time and talent to nearby nonprofit organizations that are looking for seasonal volunteers. Opportunities are everywhere, whether it’s just a few hours or several days over the Christmas season. You’ll feel great about yourself, while making the holidays a little bit brighter for those in need.


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DuPage Care Center

People’s Resource Center


DuPage Habitat for Humanity

Volunteer opportunities abound at this Wheaton nursing home. Staff members are looking for extra help at events like the holiday banquet on Dec. 8, the Sacred Christmas concert on Dec. 13, the resident and family holiday party on Dec. 17, the holiday gathering on Dec. 25, and many more. Volunteers would assist residents to and from these events and help serve food. Most time commitments are two to three hours. For more information, contact Barb Kolton at (630) 7844260 or at 400 N. County Farm Rd., Wheaton

DuPage PADS is hosting a holiday party for clients in Supportive Housing on Fri. Dec. 8th at First United Methodist Church in Downers Grove. Volunteers are needed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to decorate, set up chairs and tables, re-stock food and clean up, and volunteers may be asked to help with games. For more information, call (630) 6823846 or go to 1032 Maple Ave., Downers Grove

Volunteer opportunities are aplenty at this Wheaton-based nonprofit that provides food, rent and clothing assistance, and more services to DuPage County families in need. Both adults and children volunteers are needed to work in the Clothes Closet, food pantry and more. Volunteers can also organize toy drives over the holiday season. For more information, call (630) 682-5402 ext. 243 or visit 201 S. Naperville Rd., Wheaton

This nonprofit organization is always looking for volunteers to help with construction, retail and warehouse and special events. Several volunteer shifts are available through December. The organization is also seeking volunteers to help in the ReStore, which sells low-cost building items. Volunteers can sort, work as cashiers, perform small repairs and more. Volunteer hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (630) 517-2080 or visit

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Ten Thousand Villages

West Suburban Community Pantry

Westchester Food Pantry

B.R. Ryall YMCA

Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans

Salvation Army

Help greet customers, stock shelves and wrap gifts at this nonprofit retail store that carries jewelry, pottery, clothing, home décor, fair trade coffee and more from artisans from around the world. The organization ensures the artisans earn fair wages. For more information, call (630) 790-1166 or visit 503 Pennsylvania Ave., Glen Ellyn

Volunteers are needed to work in the Christmas Tree lot, a tradition that dates back to 1961. Proceeds from tree and wreath sales benefit the YMCA’s scholarship fund. Volunteers are needed on weeknights between 5 and 8 p.m. and weekends. For more information, call (630)858-0100 ext. 212 or visit 49 Deicke Rd., Glen Ellyn

WSCP provides food and supportive programming for DuPage County families in need. Volunteers are needed for food distribution and as substitute food donation pick-up drivers. Call (630) 512-9921 or visit 6809 Hobson Dr. Unit 118, Woodridge

Volunteers are needed to help in the Freedom Commissary, which offers free food, clothing, shoes, household items and more. Volunteers will sort, clean and organize donated items. For information, call (630) 871-8387 or visit www. 433 S. Carlton, Wheaton

Volunteers are always needed on Fridays from 1 to 2 p.m. to help set up and also from 5 to 8 p.m. when the pantry is open to clients. Westchester Food Pantry provides nonperishable items, produce, dairy, meat and holiday meals to those in need. For more information, email 10300 Roosevelt Rd., Westchester

Santa’s helpers are needed to sort through donations and gifts for the Angel Tree program. Volunteers can sign up for Saturday shifts, which are between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Aurora location. Contact volunteer coordinator Cindy Lawrence for information at (630)897-7265 ext. 13. 437 E. Galena Blvd. Aurora

To find additional opportunities, visit Giving DuPage at to be directly connected with many organizations in the area that are seeking seasonal and ongoing volunteers.

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Want To Play? Holiday gift ideas for pets, and pet lovers | With THOMAS F. DOCK, CVJ


ith the holiday season upon us, everyone is planning how best to surprise their loved ones with unique and creative gifts. While big retail stores will cash in as parents find the latest video system and games for their children, many people also are spending time and money finding something special for their pets. Almost 60 percent of pet owners will give their four-legged friend a holiday gift this season. Many pets simply enjoying “unwrapping” their gifts, regardless of what is inside. Of course, the extra attention from their owners is not bad either. Social media will be full of pictures and videos of our furry friends tearing into the wrapping paper and racing around the house with their exciting new toys!

Pet owners and those looking to give gifts to pets or pet lovers could consider actual physical gifts, gifts that benefit other animals, or a gift that might benefit the pet in the future. While there are a lot of cute clothing options, incredible beds and a plethora of toys, consider getting your pet something that will improve their health or prevent possible future issues. There’s an old saying… “a tired dog is a good dog.” Interactive toys that dispense treats or encourage activity are great ideas. Some of the top presents for our dogs this year include interactive puzzles that reward the curious canine with some sort of treat. Busy Buddy Toys from PetSafe ( provides distinctive items that take advantage of a dog’s natural instinct to chase, shake or tear at things. Likewise, Kong Pet Products ( have been stimulating pets with a selection of durable and exceptional chew toys for several decades. Let’s not forget our feline friends! Two big issues facing every cat owner include keeping the pet active and engaged in an environment full of things your kitty is not supposed to touch! Food Puzzles for Cats ( has created a fun line of puzzle toys that provide your cat’s meal as he/she solves the conundrum of the feeder. In a similar fashion, interactive toys to encourage activity can be a great way of keeping kitty lean and trim. At (www.heavy. com/pets), you can find a list of the top interactive cat toys, including remote controlled mice. Other inventive ideas for your pets may not sound “fun” for the animal, but could certainly save you some heartache! It is vital that pet owners are prepared for emergency situations, the loss of a pet or even a protracted illness. One easy and quick step to take is to make sure your pet has a microchip. According to our veterinarian,


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Dr. Melanie Murphy, 25 percent of pets are lost at some time in their lifetime. Microchips are an inexpensive, safe and permanent way to make sure that your pet gets home to you just as quickly as possible. Pet insurance, pet health savings plans or even credit cards dedicated to veterinary care are some of the ways that pet owners are protecting their pets’ health and even, their lives! Emergency situations, such as a dog being hit by a car or your cat experiencing urinary blockage, can be stressful and costly. Having a game plan for covering those expenses will put your mind at ease and allow you and your veterinarian to focus on getting your furry friend back to normal. A great comparison of Pet Insurance Plans can be found at If pet insurance is not for you, consider having a financing option available in the event of tragic circumstances. CareCredit ( offers a range of interest free payment plans and extended payment arrangements specifically suited to veterinary services. Local shelters and rescues do so much great work to help homeless pets and those with special needs. Why not give a monetary gift (in your pet’s name, of course) to your favorite LOCAL animal group? If money is tight, ask your local shelter what

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Dr. Melenie Murphy & Dr. Nicki Ciura

and our incredible team are ready to meet you and your furry friend family member. Our Services include: • Wellness exams • Vaccinations • Dentistry • Digital Radiology • Laboratory

kind of supplies would be helpful. You might have some old blankets, towels or even pet items that could get a second use at the shelter and help the staff care for pets. These wonderful organizations often are in need of people to simply come and spend time with their shelter pets as well as foster homes when kennel space gets tight. Whether it’s a rescued pet or purebred, a dog or a cat, the gift of time matters to them the most. Make it a point to spend a little more time with your pets each day, and you both will benefit! Happy Holidays from all of us at Noah’s Animal Hospital at Wheaton! Thomas Dock, BSC, Certified Veterinary Journalist, is the Practice Director for Noah’s Animal Hospital at Wheaton. With more than 27 years experience in the pet and veterinary professions, Tom helps the Noah’s team focus on “Putting the Needs of the Pet and the Pet’s Family First.” See more at

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• Dermatology • Nutritional Counseling • Behavioral Counseling • Pharmacy • Exotic Pet Care

The best friend of YOUR best friend! 414 South Main Street Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 665-8700 SM-CL1478073



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SEASON’S STRESSING? Experts offer tips for keeping your holiday calm and bright | By ALLISON HORNE


he holidays can incite feelings of excitement, joy and anticipation to see beloved family and friends. But that’s not always the case for everyone.

From family drama to the expectation for gifts, parties and perfect décor, the holidays can often end up being overwhelming and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be that way. “There are a lot of expectations that people put on themselves and each other,” says Dunham Counseling director, Jeff Lucas, LCPC, CADC. If you are experiencing stress, it helps to be able to pinpoint the origin of it. Life Insight owner and psychotherapist Sarah Stukas, MC, LCPC, believes there are three main factors that play into holiday stress: expectations, losing sight of what’s important and unresolved issues within families. “We have this idea of what the holiday season should look like and how we should be able to float through the season,” Stukas says. “It doesn’t have to be a certain way.”


One of the simplest ways to avoid holiday stress altogether is to simply lower expectations. “Don’t try to be the Martha Stewart of the holidays,” Stukas says. “Lower your expectations in general and go back to what’s important – think about what the holiday season means to you.” 26 | DECEMBER 2017 | SUBURBAN LIFE MAGAZINE

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I’d much rather see people seek out therapy than a bottle of wine. - Sarah Stukas, Life Insight owner

Stukas is practicing what she preaches, especially this year, when her daughter Ava, who went away to college at the University of Kentucky this year, will be returning for the holiday season. “We’re not worried about decorating the house like Santa is getting ready to land,” Stukas says. “We’re looking to be able to connect with [Ava] to celebrate being home.” Another way to prevent stress is to avoid going to every single holiday gathering. That may mean skipping the annual holiday work party, missing out on drinks with your girlfriends, or simply skipping out on seeing the neighbors this year.

goes into the holiday season. “If there’s this expectation that gifts should be expensive, but you’re not in the financial position to do so, don’t,” Stukas says.


If stress being intertwined with the holidays is completely unavoidable, both Stukas and Lucas have some ways to cope with it. “I’m a big preacher of practicing radical self care,” Stukas says. “So many people come in and their self care has gone out the window. We actually need our self care the most.” When Stukas says self care, it can mean something as simple as being mindful of what foods are going into your body, getting enough sleep, taking time for yourself or time with a friend, or yoga and working out. Lucas also recommends yoga and other deep breathing exercises to help keep stress under control. Instead of trekking to a yoga studio, Lucas says watching an instructor on YouTube can be helpful.

“Practice deep breathing and meditation and find someone you trust to talk to for love and support,” “It’s a much better idea to circle around in January, Lucas says. “You can even just take a deep breath when it’s more quiet and more fun to catch up and count to 10.” with a neighbor or girlfriend without the hustle And ultimately, if even thinking about the holidays and bustle,” Stukas says. starts to incite stress, both Stukas and Lucas both Another way to avoid stress during the holidays say there’s nothing wrong with seeking help from is to set a straightforward budget from the a therapist or counseling center. beginning. The budget should not only focus on “I’d much rather see people seek out therapy than gifts, but also food, décor and anything else that a bottle of wine,” Stukas says. HEALTH & WELLNESS

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A community of family.

Making the decision to move your loved one into a memory support community is simple when you choose Artis Senior Living. You can rest easy knowing that we treat them as you would — like family.

Put your mind at ease. Contact Artis Senior Living today to become a member of our family.


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