, Newburyport, MA


December 31, 2013

Our best Christmas, thanks to our neighbors

To the editor:

Too often we hear of how Christmas has lost its meaning. Too commercial, too long, too frenzied too much an event ....

Running right beside that generally accepted wisdom is the notion that communities have also become just a collection of ZIP codes. Everyone is too busy, noses stuck in portable computers, too preoccupied to enjoy, never mind appreciate, the simple joys of neighborhood.

My wife and I say bah humbug to that conventional wisdom!

Having had a somewhat difficult year with a variety of health issues, we had looked to Christmas and the New Year as an opportunity to kick start or perhaps reboot our collective karma. As determined as we were, however, the spirit and joy the season brings seemed to be hovering just out of reach.

At least it was up until Monday evening. Our doorbell rang and both my wife and I had an almost “what now” reaction ... on opening the door, however, we were greeted by a collection of our neighbors and their children, candles in hand. Taking us through the best renditions of some Christmas carol favorites, they proceeded to make this the absolute best Christmas possible for my wife and me alike.

The kids were having fun, the pride of the parents was evident and the selflessness of the act shattered the cynicism that can envelop us all. To the families and children of our Warren Street neighborhood, many, many thanks, you made our holiday.

Chris and Pat Greeley


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