2016 is coming to an end, and unfortunately, for many it can’t come soon enough. Social media has been flooded with the voices of angst-ridden Americans, shouting to anyone who’ll listen that this has been the WORST YEAR EVER. And it’s easy to see their point; this past year likely will be remembered for for its negatives more than its positives.
We solemnly said goodbye to some of the greatest artists and activists of our time — individuals whose gifts and social efforts inspired generations. We saw a sharp rise in violence both at home and abroad, causing many to wonder if respect for human life is a thing of the past. And a bitter and negative presidential election cleaved our nation in two, leaving many to feel that 2017 could be even darker.
But as we approach the end of 2016, and people gather together to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, it is more important than ever that we focus on all the good that took place this year, and show our gratitude to those who’ve touched our lives, and bettered our hearts.
From the silly to the serene, d’aprile properties is thankful for the following:
- Our Cubbies. 108 years was a long time to wait. But well worth it, as the Northsiders’ amazing playoff run united our city in a sea of blue. The celebration peaked as five million fans came together in Grant Park, flying their ‘W’s’ and weeping tears of pure joy. It was the seventh-largest gathering of people in recorded human history, one filled with tremendous joy and gratitude.
- The power of a righteous cause. The ALS Association has stated that money raised through the viral craze ‘The Ice Bucket Challenge’ paved the way for a breakthrough discovery of a gene that scientists agree is among the most common contributors to the disease. One step closer.
- A once broken economy, recovering. For the majority of the year, mortgage rates fell and housing prices rose, resulting in the strongest market since the crash of ’08.
- A certain boy wizard. A new Harry Potter book was released, and a new movie as well. It’s not hard to get immersed in J.K. Rowling’s world, one consistently filled with hope.
- Respect paid toward Mother Earth. As the result of a commitment the nation of India made at last year’s Paris Climate Conference, 800,000 volunteers worked for 24 straight hours to plant 50 million trees, according to Indian officials.
- The spirit of competition. Our hats off to Michael Phelps, the American Gymnastics team, both Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams, and all of the 2016 U.S. Olympians for showing us what it means to have the heart of a champion. And to Abbey D’Agostino, for reminding us what sportsmanship is all about.
- The amazing, unified spirit of our Armed Forces. When Major Jaspen Boothe, a disabled Army Veteran, cancer survivor, and Chicago native learned that only four people planned to attend the funeral of WWII veteran Serina Vine, she reached out to every veteran’s group she knew of. Over 200 members from various military factions came together from all over the country to pay their respects.
- Those we lost, but will never forget. Arnold Palmer. Gene Wilder. Nancy Reagan. David Bowie. Alan Rickman. Harper Lee. Prince. Muhammad Ali. Countless others. Your light may have gone out, but the blaze you sparked in the hearts and imaginations of others never will. Rest in Peace.
- And finally, for new friends made. To those we had the privilege to do business with this year — from our table to yours, we thank you for your faith, and for your partnership. We hope to continue this relationship for years to come.
Have a safe, and happy holiday.