It's not a new idea, having that Christmas spirit in your heart year-round.
We've heard this all before.
What with the plates of goodies being brought to our residence (which within 24 hours are reduced to mere crumbs), I can't help but have this thought again:
-What if we did this off-season?
I've lived in my neighborhood for a total of eight years. I bought a house here, the very first one constructed in the subdivision, and literally watched the creation of a community happen. The next home built was that of Betty, two blocks down and in line with my front picture window. She's older, drives a truck and a four-wheeler, and likes to hang a lot of chimes on her tree. We went to visit her with a plate of welcome cookies.
Next there was the gray house at the end of the street, a young couple with one beautiful dark-eyed, curly-haired baby girl. They invited us over for New Years' brunch with one other couple. I remember them joking that one of the husbands stopped mowing the lawn, because he could never do it to his wife's specifications. Funny the things that stick.
Along came the older couple in the cream-colored house with cranberry trim. The wife, Darlene, liked to work out in her yard. She always had whimsical items out for display, something I appreciated and grinned over many a time. We never had a big discussion with them, but they always waved.
Every home, at first, received a plate of cookies and a welcome. Then the builders really got busy. As a result, I could no longer keep up with them. My cookie project fell by the wayside, pretty much permanently.
A couple of years later we built a home out in the country, moved, got divorced, and then fate landed me and my offspring right back in the same neighborhood after six years. A lot of the people here are the same ones from six years ago. I greet Maricella, Jaime, and Jaime Jr. as they drive up or walk down the road. I see Lee out in his yard tending the flowers that grew (he says) voluntarily, and wonder if he's still as involved with the congregation at his church as he used to be.
The thought tickles my brain every so often: What if I picked up the cookie project again?
Our neighborhood now contains 65 residences. What would it be like if I went to them, off-season, one by one with a plate of cookies? Would my feelings for the people with the loud, continuously barking dog shift? Would I begin to like the teenagers who habitually speed down the main road for reasons unknown?
I wonder if serving my tiny community would spark more of a feeling of belonging. I wonder how doing something like that would change the way I view where I live.
Something to think about, with all of these Season's Greetings occurring.
Perhaps I'll cook something up...for the off-season.
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