Holiday Memories

The SW Lake Team Recalls Special Personal Moments of the Holidays

Christina Sikorski

SWL Regular Contributor

Zoo Trip

Since we were first married, we have made a habit of visiting Brookfield Zoo to see the holiday lights. Now with the kids, we have a routine of visiting our favorite cold weather animals (polar bears, gray wolves, and penguins), getting special cocoa, and taking photos all around the zoo. Last year to encourage social distancing, the Brookfield Zoo offered the “Game of Gnomes.” We trekked all around the park on our festive scavenger hunt. Every year, we enjoy the lights, the music, and most of all, the time together.

Michael Beightol

Publisher, SW Lake

Family Photos

The Beightol Family has put some thought and effort into our annual holiday card. Over the years the card has included the kids picking out a Christmas tree, enjoying a snowy wintry day or out and about at various holiday events (including Christkindl Market). One year I had the idea of mixing things up by hiring a photographer to shoot campy staged photos of our family. While the photos by Matthew Bowie were terrific, I find myself the butt of all jokes from my family.

Sean Lee

Owner, Restoration Fitness (Lake Zurich)

Seeking Warmth

The Lee family has a tradition of escaping the cold for some warmth and sun for the holidays. Our go to destination for many years now has been Naples, Florida. While Amanda and I take advantage of basking in the warmth of sunny Florida for the holidays at the beach or fishing, our boys, Jackson and Tyler, indulge themselves in yummy treats!

Lauren Eve

Lake Zurich Resident

Holiday Lights

When we tell our kids to get in their comfy pajamas (including mom and dad), grab some warm blankets, and head to the car, they know it can only mean one thing; it’s time to see Christmas lights! A quick drive-thru stop for hot cocoa is a must. Together, we spend the evening marveling at the dancing lights and singing along to Christmas carols from the radio. Our holiday adventure ends at home snuggled up together, eating popcorn, and watching The Polar Express.

Stephen Neilson

Editor & Chief Photographer, SW Lake

Holiday Music

For the Neilsons, it’s always been the music. Songs of the season, songs sacred and secular, of saints and santas and scrooges and sinners alike, they’ve spawned spectacular memories we’ll never forget.

Launching and leading the Chorale at Discover Card for 27 years of seasonal celebrations is both a personal and professional career highlight. Bringing genuine joy, cheer and laughter to workplace celebrations, nursing homes, small business celebrations, employee recognitions, support-services celebrations, civic events and more has inscribed an indelibly warm imprint on our hearts.

Directing, singing in, and writing music for church choirs and congregations in Arizona, California, Georgia and Illinois has been a center of our faith experience and our friendships. Rallying the remarkable, recklessly rowdy, raconteur-like locals to form the Wauconda Singers and for two years spread holiday cheer at local main-street businesses and help lead the march to our annual community Christmas Tree lighting a few years back was delightful icing on our holiday cake.

To our musical family connected over distance and decades: thanks for sharing your talents and spreading joy and cheer to so many. It means so much personally to Lisa and to me.

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