Nine years ago, when I used to be more active (and had more time on my hands) in writing blog posts, I penned an item during this time of year on the origins of the Yule Log. 2007 was a tumultuous year for the world, our country and even on a personal level. Many were looking for something… anything to celebrate and be thankful for. Today, as we struggle out of the quagmire of a historically contentious political season and look to throw off the yoke of 2016, I wanted to simply write a note of thanks and hope to celebrate the fortunes of friendship and start the spark as we look ahead to a new year.

So what is a Yule Log? If you take time to look it up it has many stories and cultural adaptions from the last several centuries. Whether the burning of the log was to celebrate the Winter Solstice, to encourage good fortune in the year to come, or (if you’re from Holland) to prevent lightning from striking your house, the Yule log has always been about a celebration. It symboloizes the renewal and “burning off” of that which we’d like to shed from the year that was.

Personally, I liken my journey in 2016 on a different sort of log:

yule

If you look closely, I’m the guy with the white headband. =)

This “log” photo better sums up my outlook and the point I’d like to make in this brief note. If you take time to analyze the scene, you see risk, concern, anguish, exhilaration and so much more. What I see most is support, teamwork, happiness, and the coming together to celebrate a journey however short and bumpy it may be.

My wish is that as the ride slowly ends this year that we all take time to give thanks to those who have helped support us, to celebrate the friendships we have created this year, and to reflect on the gifts we’ve all been given. We are blessed to be in a great industry filled with wonderful people and we have a lot to be thankful for. I hope that all of you take time to recharge over the holidays, spend time with family and friends and I look forward to what they next year brings for all of us.

To celebrate together, we would like to invite you to join us in Chicago, this December for a warm evening with great friends.

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