As I dig out my reindeer antler headband (a move I regret every year) to wear to the neighborhood party, I feel incredibly lucky to live in Beacon Hill. We have been given a beautiful gift: the gift of neighbor. So many of you are giving that gift all year in small, kindgestures, gifts of corazon that no one notices, but make a troubledworldinto a place where good can happen. I believe that every small light of kindness towards our neighbors helps defeats the darkness in the world.

I've seen those small lights in the quiet man who edges the lawn of his elderly neighbor every week, the busy woman who volunteers at Cotton Elementary as a tutor, the group of people who plan the holiday party, giving time and money, so neighbors can enjoy one another and talk. 

There are so many ways we can give the gift of neighbor. We can give

•    one hour of chatting with an elder in the community that is on your block

•    one hour working in the community garden so that the children can have a place to play

•    one hour listening to a child read at Beacon Hill or Cotton Elementary

•    an hour painting graffiti for someone who is unable to. 

•    some school supplies to Ms. Eller or Lola Rodriguez for students in the fall.

•    a book for an young adult or child in the LIttle Library in the Community Garden

•    an hour delivering newsletters on your block

•    an hourto a BHANA meeting to discuss issues with your neighbors and elected officials.

•    a half-hour to help find the owner of a lost dog by posting on Facebook or Next Door.

•    one idea to improve our neighborhood at our monthly meeting.

•    one hour writing a short article for The Beacon, our newsletter on a concern or something that makes you happy about our community.

•    one hour cleaning up a small area that needs it in our community

 These are a few of the ways to reach out an be a good neighbor: the list is only limited by the generosity of our hearts. This is one of the few times that "regifting" is encouraged!

 So come, bring your own special light toshare some music, food, Santa's cheer, and neighborliness at Beacon Hill's holiday party. Bring a sweet treat and the kids and let's have some fun.

 Happy Holidays from Beacon Hill Area Neighborhood Association!

 Cynthia Merla Spielman