They Get It On!!!
This year we are spending the holidays at our little house located in a senior development in southern California. It’s a delightful community of over 3300 homes and about 5000 residents. While we don’t necessarily spend that much time there, we are nevertheless fortunate to have gotten to know several of the neighbors.
This past summer we found a flyer in our mailbox that stated one of the nearby neighbors was putting together a party to announce plans to decorate the outside of about 45 homes for the Christmas holiday. It was especially intended to help older seniors who can no longer get out to decorate the outside of their home. As you might expect, it turned into a bigger effort than one originally thought.
The leader of the band, Ed, is an ex-marine along with his beautiful wife, Diane, who put on the party then began organizing. He enlisted the help of several of us “elves” who assisted with all sorts of duties. So off we went decorating the homes reaching into bins and bins of storage boxes that the couple had been collecting from garage sales, donations from neighbors, many trips to Home Depot, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of the helpers didn’t show up, so just a handful of us completed the decorating over a period of 4 ½ days. Ed would climb the ladder and drape the icicle lights along the roof peak and perimeter, while us elves would assemble lighting on ground plants and along walkways. Then the elves wrapped each post supporting our postal boxes in red ribbon topped with a red bow. A whole lot of bending and stooping.
In some cases we had to contact the neighbors to let them know we needed access to their electrical outlets. Two of the neighbors moaned and groaned about putting lights on their bushes and shrubs. Not sure why since I was doing all the work. But then that night, when their lights came on, they were astonished how beautiful everything looked. They were actually excited to be part of the neighborhood. Whatever you do, DO NOT allow such negativity to creep into your life.
At the end of the decorating marathon, we were all exhausted and ached from the top of our heads to our toes. And the question is, was it worth it? Oh yeah! An effort that took months of planning has already brought so much joy to the neighborhood. It’s not elaborate like some of the over-the-top homes using millions of LED’s, but enough to bring a smile and a sense of pride and belonging to those who would not otherwise have had their homes decorated. The message from your BoomerGal: go out of your way to give something of yourself.
As if they haven’t done enough, Ed and Diane are having a celebration cocktail party for all the neighbors and elf helpers. To top it off, everyone invited will bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Marine Corp Toys for Tots Program. These are the most giving people on the planet. As a surprise, I am contacting the local ABC TV affiliate to come out and film the party along with all the lighted homes in this wonderful senior development. Who says Boomers don’t know how to party.
Now I’m going to shame you into decorating for the Christmas holidays—it can be extravagant or something small. Whatever you do would show nicely and is a great way to say we’re thankful after having survived these past two years.
P.S. Our Thanksgiving dinner featured the best turkey we’ve ever had. We brined it for two full days and it was truly sumptuous. We shared it along with many of our side dishes with friends who were invited in on Thanksgiving eve, then we delivered a meal to a neighbor who didn’t want to leave her home. Plus, my BoomerGuy made the best soups from the myriad of leftovers and gave to the group who organized the decorating event.
I bring you good tidings on this first of December, now go forth and bring joy to yourself by doing for others. We had a whole neighborhood come together with coordinated lights, wreaths, swags and other decorations that were festive and of good cheer.
A gift worth giving is the feeling you get by helping someone else…
Happy December all you Boomers. Your Number One BoomerGal, Connie.