Monday, December 18, 2006
Tidings of Cookies and Joy
I've done it again: completely freaked out some perfectly nice suburbians by being neighborly. It was all entirely worth it. We had the standard unanswered doors, reciprocal cookies, and guilty "You do this every year and we never give you anything!" Yes, that's the point my friend, my neighbor--the joy of giving! Heck, we're neighbors! This year aside from those standards I caught a neighbor in their jammies. He was very embarassed but I don't feel bad because: 1. He didn't have to answer the door, and 2. I totally owed him. It was payback time.
This year I made four kinds of cookies (about 200 I think: iced sugar, soft molasses, dairy-free snickerdoodles, and oatmeal carmelitas), caramels, and truffles. I put together 8 tins: 4 for our nearest neighbors, 1 for the only other neighbors who are neighborly to us, 1 for my volunteer coordinator at work, 1 for the annual family reunion, and 1 for us (We deserve it.). I also put together four plates for the bakesale at church. It was a lot of work, but I really loved every minute of it. That much energy going into building a real neighborhood is absolutely worth it. At best, I make some friends and lighten the mood while connecting neighbors in our suburb. At worse-or maybe even better-is that the kids see the real effort that goes in to the process of giving, from planning, shopping and baking, to packing and delivering the tins. I hope that even if my spark does nothing in our neighborhood, my kids will grow up to see giving to others as a natural thing, and will always believe in creating community where before there were just plain old people and houses.