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'Tis the Season

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It starts with a polite but firm message from Facilities Management about holiday decorations and safety. No candles, please! A greater danger: the homemade cookies proliferating in our offices. Soon, there's a startling uptick in the number of people wearing red. The poinsettia tree appears on the Grand Staircase, and in Griffin Court young people sing in heavenly choirs most weekdays. The lions are traditionally wreathed the day after Thanksgiving, and this year, they decked our halls with controversy, as visitors weighed in with opinions on the colorful wreaths created by Yves Behar. Pine boughs replaced the rainbow wreaths on December 17th, bringing comfort and joy to traditionalists.

At the eagerly-anticipated staff party, we wish each other well, sample holiday cheer (in moderation) and marvel at the number of colleagues we have never seen before. We also marvel at the marvelous gingerbread Art Institute created, on her own time, by Sandy Hunter, our catering company's pastry chef. The School of the Art Institute joins museum staff in the Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room, where art glass twinkles above the brave souls who hit the dance floor. As the US Marine Corps collects gifts for area children, a cheerful pile of Toys for Tots wraps up the holiday spirit.

In coming weeks, look for a post from Liz N., who took in the cavalcade of stars on stage at "Don’t Quit Your Day Job," an annual showcase of bands featuring Art Institute employees. Happy holidays, everyone.