Neighbors' kindness inspires
Christmas 2019 has come and gone, but our family has a memory that will linger on. At 96, I can recall many past Christmases, but this memory stands out because it so beautifully expressed that true meaning of the season that we all seek, but that so often gets lost in our flurry of decorations, wrapping paper and tinsel.
I live with my granddaughter and her husband in University Heights. Two days before Christmas, they were rushing around the house, preoccupied with last-minute preparations for the big event. The doorbell rang, and we all wondered who or what was interrupting our Christmas “busyness.”
When my granddaughter opened the door, we were anticipating a plea for donations to a charity. Instead, before us stood two of our neighbors’ very young children. They were handing out homemade Christmas cookies to all of the neighbors on our street. I was so moved by this simple gesture that tears came to my eyes. They were grinning from ear to ear as they sang out, “Happy Holidays.” These children were learning at a very young age that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. What thoughtful parents to take time out of their busy lives to think of their neighbors. I know that both parents have high-pressure jobs, and I was impressed with their gift of time.
This simple, thoughtful gift meant more to us than words can express. This is a memory I treasure and will not forget—the highlight of our holiday season. What the world needs now is LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Reaching out to your neighbors, to the newcomers on your street, and to those whose cultures are different than yours is a good place to start.
P.S. Thanks for the cookies, they were delicious. Happy New Year to all. Here’s to a new beginning. Next comes Valentine's Day, and this family will be first on my list to receive a very special Valentine with a note of thanks.
Lois Jeavons is the author of Manners, Morals and Myths, a novel about Cleveland society before and after WW II. She is currently working on a sequel, Moving Beyond the Myth, to be published sometime in 2020.