Monday, January 1, 2018
Christmas Neighborhood Gifts
We live in a very small neighborhood. It is 15 houses in three cul-de-sacs. Our next door neighbor is super nice. The guy across the street is super nice. There is a new family that just moved in on the other side. They seem super nice. The rest of our neighbors...not so nice. They weren't necessarily mean, more like just not present. We rarely saw them outside. They never talked to us and we were always a little bit suspicious over who got annoyed on how long it took us to clean up some junk left on our property by the previous owner and had the HOA send us a certified letter threatening to sue us. I think part of the problem is we live by a bunch of introverts. All the houses in our neighborhood have property and are mostly filled with people who want to keep to themselves. Part of the problem is we are just at different stages in life. We have kids and most of them are retired or nearing retirement. Their youngest children maybe just graduated from high school. A few of them have grandchildren our kids ages or older. Another problem is we are rarely outside on Sunday doing yard work. One Sunday when the kids were sick I mowed our lawn and realized the reason I never see any of our neighbors outside on Saturday is they all do yard work on Sunday. Adding all those things to the fact that we were always a little suspicious on who sent us that letter and we just had never talked to most of the people in our cul-de-sac. This year I'd sort of had it with this coldness. It just seemed a little ridiculous. So I made a ton of cinnamon rolls (Pioneer Woman because hers are the best!) and then I sent my kids to each house on the block and you know what, each house responded. A couple like the guy across the street had something ready, because he and I exchanged last year, and the new family next door came by with a cookie mix a few days before but two of our neighbors who I'd never ever talked to showed up on my doorstep on Christmas eve.
The first couple came by with those lovely little square pretzels, hugs, and m&ms. I opened the door in PJ's because that is what we put on right after church. The guy starts out, "Hi, we've never spoken before," and the woman finished, "but we wanted to come by and wish you a Merry Christmas." They stayed for a few minutes chatting and then left. A few hours later we got another knock. The other neighbor who we have never talked to before either was standing there. They had a large Christmas plate loaded with brownies, snicker doodles, and candy. They were so warm and friendly. The next day they stopped by to chat with Dr. J while he was shoveling the driveway. It made me realize I'd probably contributed to the poor feelings in the neighborhood. I should have forced those people to like me earlier :) I'm planning on inviting everyone over for a BBQ when the weather warms up. I hope they all come.