Auld Lang…What Now?

 

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, / And never brought to mind? / Should old acquaintance be forgot, / And auld lang syne.”

Come again?

Every year, we sing the lyrics to this timeless tune at midnight on December 31st, often with a flute of champagne in our hand and a hopeful feeling in our heart.

But raise your hand if your voice tends to trail off a bit after the opening lines above? Unlike the holiday carols we all know by heart, the words to Auld Lang Syne – in fact, its very meaning – escape most people. Is it really telling us to forget those individuals we’ve met in the past, and move on? Is the song itself even English?

Scottish poet Robert Burns is credited with being the first to put these words to paper in 1788, although some version of it may have been recited as far back as the 1660’s. The song caught fire in Scotland, and its popularity then spread quickly across the world. It’s intended purpose was to create a feeling of nostalgia, and a love of old relationships and times gone by.

 

 

But just what the heck does the song actually mean? The words “Auld Lang Syne” roughly translate to “old long since.” The chorus is saying cheers to days gone by – celebrating the promise of a bright future by looking back on all the good times we’ve already had. 

Seems pretty appropriate for the end of the year, don’t you think?

The traditional Scottish version can be a bit confusing – talk of ‘pint-stowps’ and ‘gowans’ may just cause you to throw back your cocktail and move on. So as the holiday approaches, check out the minimalist English translation below, and get ready to belt out the lyrics this coming Monday.

We here at d’aprile properties would like to raise a glass to you, and wish you all the best in the coming year.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine†;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

 

 


Celebrate Your Way

Call us cheesy. Call us old-fashioned.

We unabashedly love the holidays, and we’re not afraid to admit it. The songs, the parties, the food: bring it on! Every last card, cookie, and carol. Just give us a minute to put on this ugly sweater…

The end of the year is time for celebration. A time to appreciate all that we have, from the roof over our heads to the warm socks on our feet. It is a season spent surrounded by people that most often put a smile on our faces; who bring out the best of us and make us feel at home.

It is the time of year when words like ‘hustle’ and ‘bustle’ don’t bother us so much. The holidays go by fast; so fast in fact that if we’re not careful, we’ll blink and realize that the the champagne toasts are over, and it’s time to get back to the harsh reality that comes with the 2nd of January.

That is why holiday traditions are so important. Whether you light the menorah, place a star on top of the tree, or settle in for a grand karamu feast, your traditions take you back in time, remind you who you are. They help each of us realize the things that truly matter in our lives. Perhaps most important, they remind us of what it was like to see life through the eyes of a child.  When the doubt and apprehension that comes with adulthood didn’t exist, and only hope and possibility could shape the world around us.

So before December comes to a close, we thought we’d look at some of the great holiday traditions from around the world. Heck, it’s never too late to start something new.

Mari Lwyd – Wales

It’s late December. You hear a knock on the door – who could it be? Oh, it’s just an elaborately decorated horse’s skull attached to a long wood pole and covered by a sheet! Fear not, it’s only the Mari Lwyd (or the Grey Mare) and her party of revelers. Think of this tradition like a Welsh rap battle – the half dozen or so visitors engage the residents of the home or pub on whose door they knocked in a singing and rhyming contest. If they win, they are welcomed inside for good luck (and more merriment).

Photo Courtesy of This Is Gower

 

La Quema del Diablo – Guatemala

The Guatemalan’s have no time for snow – La Quema del Diablo (The Burning of the Devil) is all about ending the year with a blaze. Typically held on or around December 7, people sweep their homes and collect trash in order to basically create a massive heap of garbage in the street. The pile is then topped with an effigy of the Devil, and set aflame! Only then can the Christmas traditions begin, as the year has now been cleansed of negative energy and evil spirits.

 

Photo Courtesy of Soy502

Befana – Italy

Move over St. Nick. In Italy, once the sun sets on January 5 (or Epiphany Eve), it’s time for a visit from the Christmas Witch, known affectionately as Befana. A kind and benevolent witch, she delivers toys, clothing, and candy to well-behaved children. Just one thing – you can forget the milk and cookies. Adults traditionally leave a hearty plate of broccoli and sausage out for Befana, accompanied by a hearty glass of wine (that’s our kind of girl!).

 

Photo Courtesy of napolidavivere

Christmas – Australia

What’s the big deal? They celebrate Christmas like plenty of other people, and it even takes place on the 25th! While Australians may share most of the holiday traditions that we do stateside, consider this: December is smack dab in the middle of summer Down Under. With no chance of a White Christmas, Aussies head straight to the beach, where they typically celebrate being together by swimming and playing a game of volleyball (JEALOUS).

 

Photo Courtesy of abc.net.au

Around the world, each of these traditions has one thing in common: they are celebrations of hope, togetherness, and new beginnings. We hope that you spend the next couple of weeks with those you love, looking forward to the future.

Happy Holidays from d’aprile properties!


d’aprile locales – Make Room for Truman

Welcome to ‘Locales’, a series that highlights vendors, businesses, and organizations who stand out in their respective communities through their passion and purpose.

May we introduce you to: Make Room for Truman

THEIR STORY: Nestled in the heart of Park Ridge’s ‘Shops of Uptown’, the new venue Make Room for Truman is turning heads thanks to their proudly unique specialty concept. They utilize time-honored methods and slow-cooking, traditional recipes (think of those dinners you had at Grandma’s house as a kid) and combine them with modern techniques, served in an authentic ambience. The goal is to create a nostalgic atmosphere, while still providing enough modern options to keep you there all night! 

 

 

THEIR VIBE: The decor is hometown Americana – enjoy a night on the town, without feeling like you ever left home! The menu’s emphasis on slow-cooked food means you’ll find burgers, ribs, steaks, rotisserie chicken, and fish. You’ll also be treated to more original fare, such as Housemade Jumbo Tots and Pastrami Wings. Wine tastings and dinners, beer tastings, exclusive parties, and a whole host of fundraisers assures that there is something going on year round at Truman!

 

 

WHAT’S HOT: That name above the door does have meaning – you simply cannot leave without experiencing the restaurant’s namesake, the Truman: a rotating dessert selection, picked and perfected straight from the recipe box of one Grandma Truman. Their current masterpiece is a Baked Lemon Dutch Baby Pancake, straight from the oven in a cast iron skillet. You get your choice of sweet or savory toppings, so that each and every delectable bite can be perfectly tailored to your tastes!

 

Make Room for Truman

550 W Touhy Ave

Park Ridge, IL 60068

(847) 692-6205


Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful…

 

We live in the Midwest, and let’s face it – while the nation’s heartland boasts the best people and some truly breathtaking surroundings, the weather in winter months can be a bit… fickle. When you consider that we typically don’t thaw out until well into March or April, the kickoff to the real estate season often begins under a blanket of white.

You want to put your home on the market early, to maximize its selling potential. But by doing so, you may be presented with unique challenges brought on by the season. Cold temperatures can keep customers away from open houses. Shoppers are forced to remove their shoes, or subject themselves to the dreaded plastic ‘bootie’. Worst of all? That beautifully landscaped front yard, one of the key selling points to your property, may be buried under a foot of white powder.

So how can you be sure that people see the true beauty of your home, when all of its curb appeal has been greedily pocketed by Old Man Winter? You put your faith in your d’aprile realtor, that’s how! An experienced agent knows that first impressions can make or break a sale. It’s their responsibility to ensure that your potential buyers are WOWED by the interior of your home as soon as they step inside. 

 

 

Yes, your flashy contemporary kitchen or your enormous master bedroom closet may get mouths watering, but first you have to get people inside the door. Believe it or not, the entrance to your home can make or break a shopper’s opinion in the first few seconds. A bold splash of welcoming color or a strategically placed piece of artwork can be candy for the senses and will leave shoppers hungry to see more. 

By allowing your dedicated agent to help you stage a dynamic foyer, you’ll create the perfect way to greet your visitors by stimulating their senses and tapping into their emotions. Consider the following:

A Warm Invitation: What better way to make an impression in harsh winter than by making guests feel cozy the moment they enter? Consider defining the entryway with a bold color (such as rich red or mustard yellow) that will exude a warm welcome. From there, a nice runner just inside the doorway will draw individuals immediately in, then lead the way to all of your homes amazing interior amenities.

 

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Engage the Senses: Give your foyer’s wall space a bit of character by adding an eye-catching wall display, or position an ornamental mirror to catch the light and bring sunshine into an otherwise drab hallway. If seasonally appropriate, try sprucing up a stairway banister with garland or holiday lights. Blank spaces come off cold, but well-positioned points of interest will allow people to experience your house as a lived-in home.

Get Organized: Nothing will ruin the mood of an engaged and excited open house participant like a foyer cluttered with coats, or whose floor is lined with other people’s soaking shoes. Maintain order with a combination of hooks, racks, or bins to store all those coats, scarves, and boots. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, add a touch of simple hospitality with a small bench for people to sit on while they discard their winter layers.

 

Photo Credit: Let’s Move!

Most importantly, when it comes to make your entryway a scene-stealer, put your faith in your devoted d’aprile real estate expert. They have spent years training themselves to see homes without bias, through the eyes of a potential buyer. With their guidance, you can guarantee that buyers will come through your doorway wanting to see more, and leave it ready to make an offer.

 


Let Us Give Thanks

 

Can someone tell us where 2018 went?

It seems only yesterday that we were gearing up for the spring real estate market. Now all of a sudden, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Your neighborhood is likely awash in twinkling colored lights, and we’ve already survived winter’s first blizzard. The year is hurtling toward its grand finale; before long we’ll be raising a glass at midnight, singing a song whose lyrics we can never quite remember, and thinking about how we can better ourselves in 2019.

It’s true that the holiday season is best spent in the moment, surrounded by friends, family, and those whose company you crave most. But many of us, quite naturally, spend this twelfth month looking to the future. After all, a new year means a new beginning, and it’s hard not to gaze off toward the horizon, imagining everything that could be.

 

 

But before we begin wrapping presents or jotting down our resolutions, we at d’aprile properties wanted to take a moment to look back on a year that began with so much hope and promise, and will come to an end as one of the best in our history. For the fourth year running, we added to our tremendous growth. Our leaders joined the ranks of ‘Who’s Whoin Chicago. And we made some noise when the Tribune named us as a company that people wanted to be a part of.

But most importantly, we had the privilege of helping amazing new clients (and some wonderfully loyal return customers) realize their real estate dreams. These individuals and their families are the backbone of our business, people that we aim to turn into lifelong customers. You are the ones who allow us to do what we do, and make it possible to do what we love.

 

 

So here, at year’s end, we wanted to take the time to say thanks to each and every one of you. We are so very grateful for your business, and we are honored to serve those you refer our way. We provide real estate services. You provide us with your trust, your honesty, and your faith. Without you, and the confidence you place in our vision, we couldn’t realize our own dreams.

So if we have partnered together in the past, know that we are always here for you, no matter what you need. And if we haven’t yet met, we hope that you stop in, and see what we’re all about. Until then, take the time today to join us in looking forward to a new year, and a fresh start. Because the most amazing thing about time is that it cannot be wasted in advance. The next hour, the following day, and the year to come belong to those who act with purpose. Who find meaning in what they do, and always strive to live in the moment.

We can’t wait to see what 2019 has to offer. To You and Yours from Us and Ours, may the holiday season fill your home with joy, your heart with love, and your life with laughter.