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Day 28: Hoping for neighborly neighbors…

December 18, 2011

(Sunday) When I was a kid, I’d see movies of families happily singing Christmas carols around the piano, their arms draped lovingly around one another. I’d watch adoringly as snowflakes fell upon women bundled in wool capes, hoop skirts and bonnets, men wearing bow ties and top hats, harmonizing outside the neighbor’s home. I remember thinking, gosh, I wish my family would sing together at Christmas time.

I’ve only been to a few other families’ holiday events, but I never witnessed my childhood’s fairytale of a Christmas. No one gathered around singing. Carolers never rang the doorbell. Fashion changed… That’s the movies for you, or perhaps the pre-digital/radio/TV age.

Tonight, seven households on my street gathered together for dinner as we do several times a year. I sure lucked out having such amazing neighbors here in Eastown; in fact, it makes me a bit apprehensive to move somewhere where people may not be so welcoming. Ever since the first get-together, each family continues to charm me, whether it’s simply the conversation or observing the differences between my childhood and the kids’ next door.

Anyway, this evening was another shining example of that charm. One neighbor showed up with a guitar and song books and next thing I knew, voices filled the home with Christmas music. I had to stifle a large, dopey grin, as I thought about how this was literally a dream come true. 🙂 Someone even suggested we go caroling. I kept quiet, but secretly hoped everyone would head home to grab their mittens, scarves and earmuffs. Unfortunately, we didn’t go caroling (but we did play a very fun game).

My next set of neighbors definitely have some big shoes to fill. And when I move out of Eastown, I hope I’m invited back for neighborly gatherings! As for my family, well, this weekend I’ll enjoy another year packed with our very own Christmas traditions.

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