Faithful readers of this blog will know that, just prior to the “Christmas of 2018” holiday season, my daughter Sophie and I delivered 34 handmade Christmas cards to our neighbours. The hope was that, by reaching out via a Christmas greeting, that some of the walls of isolation that currently exist on our street would come crumbling down. This post will provide you with the reaction our cards received. Do I have to keep my nose firmly in my own business, gazing downward as I stroll down the street or will I be swapping stories about the weather and calling my neighbours by name as our paths cross? Let’s find out, shall we?
Of the 34 cards we sent out, the MacInnes Family received one email reply, two visits at our door and a total of ten cards left in our mailbox. That works out to be a return rate of almost one-third. Not perfect but, not bad, either. Of the replies that we did receive, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Here are a few of the replies:
“What a lovely surprise to get your card. The colouring was beautiful, as were the nice holly drawings.” from Bonnie at #2.
“Thank you for your Christmas card. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.” from Marie and Amy (her black lab) at #19.
“Thank you very much for your Christmas wishes.” from Maureen and Gerry.
“Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a year filled with happiness in 2019.” from Faith and Mike at #4.
“Thank you for your cheerful Christmas card and wonderfully hand-decorated envelop. You touched us with your Christmas spirit. Much appreciated.” from Tom, Judi, Kyle and Dex the dog.
“We were so touched to receive your lovely card and to meet one of our neighbours in such a way. Thank you. (And, we loved the beautiful artwork on the envelop!) Wishing you all a very happy holiday season, a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.” from Todd, Lea, Sophie and Luke at #8.
“Thank you for thinking of us. Merry Christmas to you all.” from Brenda and Ed at #20.
“We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and, of course, Go, Blue Jays, Go!” from Jen, Brian, Abby and Emma. *This family are all big Toronto Blue Jay baseball fans and are known for having Blue Jay pennants and flags in the front of their house.
“Thank you for your card! I love the envelop! I hope we get to meet each other in person. Have a peaceful and safe holiday and a year filled with laughter.” from Starr. Starr’s card came in a personally-decorated envelop too, as you can see, she has some talent.
We received a card from Bernice and Eric at #16, too. While their greeting inside the card simply wished us a Merry Christmas, what was noteworthy is that Bernice actually knocked at our door and delivered, not just a card but, also, Christmas sweetbread and a tray of maple fudge that her husband had made that day. Both were delicious! You can see them in the photo at the top of this post.
So, as first steps go, this journey toward knowing my neighbours has gotten off to a good start. We reached out and many reached back. To those who have welcomed our gesture, the next step is, obviously, to reinforce the positive response we received, with a follow-up reply in kind…..even if it is simply waving to them the next time we are out at the same time and calling them by name. As walls go up, one stone at a time, walls come down, one kind act at a time, too. That is what this experiment was all about. Does kindness and friendliness still matter in today’s world? I believe it does and our Christmas cards were an attempt to prove it true. To those who reached back toward me and my family, I am very appreciative and grateful. I am not expecting to become best friends with anyone but, one never knows what the future may hold. For now, I am happy to live in a neighbourhood where we treat each other kindly, where we watch out for each other’s well-being and where we can greet each other with a smile and a wave and say hello by name.
11 thoughts on “Will You Be My Neighbour: the Survey Says….”
So glad you had a good response. What a wonderful teaching moment for your girls.
I hope it helps them. They are growing up in a world where our neighbours never “pay a call” and just drop by to chat. That WAS my whole childhood. People dropped by all of the time. The Kettle was always on. There was always a tray of sweets at the ready and so on. It is a different world these days. Hopefully, we have, quite literally, opened the door a crack so people will feel more welcome to say Hello.
So glad your friendliness was returned. It was a great idea. Happy New Year to you. 🙂
While we’re all more “connected” these, days, it seems riskier than ever to take a peek through the walls we have built to acknowledge others around us. I’m encouraged that your experiment went so well, and am looking forward to your next endeavours.
Thank you for your comment, Andrea. I am encouraged, too. We will see what transpires in the weeks and months to come. Fingers crossed.😀👍
We have the most wonderful next door neighbors .
I always say” neighbours by chance , friends by choice “ ❤️
Words of wisdom, for sure.
Thank you for sharing your stories and wisdom. Love the image of the walls that come down when they encounter kindness. A lesson for all of us.
Thanks for your kind words, Ruth. Let’s hope the walls actually do come down a bit. Time will tell. But, at least, the first step has been taken and things are positive for the moment. Onwards and upwards from here. Have a super day. Thanks for stopping by.😀👍
So wonderful to see the positive influence you can make when kindness is spread to others. Thanks for sharing your writing and kindness with so many others.
I am always hopeful that what I do makes a positive difference in the lives of others. Thank you for your kind comments. They are appreciated.