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Lights On, Hearts Open: A Holiday Guide to Connecting with Neighbors

By Jami McDermott, B.S. Speech Comm., Outreach Coordinator

In a world that can often seem dark, especially when focusing on the negative, our instinct is to retreat by turning off the lights, closing the blinds, and isolating ourselves. However, perhaps a few simple actions could bring about positive change, especially during the holidays—an ideal time for such transformations.


Good Ideas to Connect with Your Neighbors

  1. Start by taking a daily walk. Address your neighbors with a smile and a simple compliment concerning their dog, child, or weather. You will find that it eventually leads to an opportunity to exchange names.
  2. Share a few of your favorite traditional cookies or candies with a neighbor. This is an amazing opportunity to explain the significance behind the gift.
  3. Help a neighbor with their yard work. If you see a neighbor working by themselves, ask if you can help. This can mean the world to a person who is alone or suffering from an illness.
  4. Host a neighborhood potluck. This can be done with cookies, crockpot meals, or simply holiday drinks.
  5. Participate in your neighbors’ joyous occasions, such as weddings and graduations, but equally vital is recognizing and empathizing with their challenges, whether it’s an unforeseen pregnancy or the heart-wrenching loss of a loved one. Extending your support with a few comforting words or a thoughtful card can mean the world.

The possibilities are endless, but the common goal remains—to embrace each other’s lives. It’s a known fact that crime rates decrease when neighbors know and look out for each other. While we may not always agree with our neighbors’ choices, gaining insight into their worlds fosters understanding and unity.


An Unexpected Gift

The unexpected gift from our neighbors during Diwali illuminated the warmth of shared traditions and sparked a ripple effect of connection in our community. Similarly, Birthright St. Charles offers a beacon of support for those facing unexpected pregnancies. Just as our neighbors stepped into our lives with courage, a simple text or call to Birthright opens the door to free and confidential services, providing understanding and assistance.


We’re Here to Help

In a world that can feel isolating, both the act of sharing traditions and reaching out for support shine a light on unity and community. As our neighborhoods brighten with shared stories during holidays, Birthright St. Charles stands ready to bring that light to individuals facing the challenges of pregnancy, offering a comforting presence and assistance tailored to their unique needs.

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