Gail Boenning
Gift of Shared Kindness
2 min readDec 15, 2020


Hand Painted Christmas Kitty

Henny sat.
She saw something I could not see.
We were later than usual for our morning patrol…late enough that neighbor Tony was out walking Golden Retriever Addie.

“Mind if we walk with you guys?” I asked.

“Yeah, I mean…no, I mean…yes, walk with us,” he replied.

“I’ve been wanting to tell you how much I appreciate your outside decorations — beautiful! Henny and I have been taking an extra evening walk just to look at the neighborhood’s bling. Can you believe how many houses have their peaks lit this year?”

“Right? I told a co-worker that one of the benefits of Covid is that our subdivision looks like Candy Cane Lane.”

And it does…

I’m a bit cheeky about festive decor, with a preference for classic and traditional. How do my neighbor’s know this? It seems they’ve decorated just for me.

To the best of my memory, there is only one gigantic blow-up Santa and a few inflated reindeer.

Pines are strung with colored bulbs.
One house has white peaks with blue floods lighting their wreaths.
There is a full size wooden sleigh on one lawn, with Santa behind plexiglass on the porch.
The Boenning abode has five red ringed light poles along the drive and tiny white lights on its bushes and shrubs.

On our evening walks, my heart doubles? triples? in size.
Should I try strapping a horn to Henny’s head?

To show appreciation for the joy my neighbors have inspired, I’m going to print up this little note and deliver to mailboxes like Santa in the dark of night…

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift and that is why it is called…
the 🎁.
In this year of so many unknowns, thank you for lighting and delighting our December.
Your decorative display brings us joy.

Merry Christmas,

A Grateful Neighbor

Thanks for letting me share my plan out loud here…because now I’m sure to follow through.

Please feel free to use this poem in your neighborhood.

Share the light.