Carol Zavatsky was on a mission. While she saw tips on wreath-making, home decorating how-tos and tips on photographing holiday lights displays, Zavatsky was in search of one perfect ornament at an event Wednesday at TreeTime in Lake Barrington.
"I'm looking for a Santa Claus ornament to send to my son who cannot make it home for Christmas this year," Zavatsky said.
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Ultimately she decided on a porcelain keepsake that offered the message "Dear Santa, I tried to be good."
This is the first Christmas in 34 years Zavatsky will be apart from her son Michael as he moved to Joplin, Mo., for his job.
Wednesday's event, sponsored by the Daily Herald for subscribers, also kicked off our annual holiday lights contest, with prizes for the best home holiday lights displays in the suburbs.
The contest, also sponsored by Wintrust Community Banks, offers a top prize of a Toro Power Clear 621 QZE snowblower valued at $830. The winner will be determined by online votes.
Five Editor's Choice winners also will be named, and each will receive a $25 dining certificate.
Entering is easy. Simply upload a photo of your display at www.dailyherald.com/contest/holidaylights.
Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. Dec. 11.
Voting will be Dec. 12-16. And there's something in it for voters, too.
Everyone who makes a pick will be entered into a drawing for a Toro Power Clear 418 ZE snowblower valued at $400.
We'll announce the winners in the Dec. 20 edition of the Daily Herald.