I’m going to fess up that today’s post isn’t as Anchorage-centric as the others. It’s about people being good neighbors, which is something most Alaskans excel at. It takes a while to get to know your neighbors, and we’ve never lived anywhere where we had many of them. We just moved to a new part of South Addition/Fairview last spring, and we’ve barely gotten to know the people living on either side of us.

And now it’s dark and cold and so easy to get into your own little, mostly interior world. Some years, in other houses, I forget I have neighbors at all until spring. That’s why I was happily surprised yesterday when a neighbor we don’t know from across the alley knocked on the door with an invite to her Christmas party. That got me thinking about how simple human connection can take your mind off whatever might be bothering you.

Today I was tasked with picking up both my son Leo and my cousin’s daughter Lidia from preschool. (They are the same age and together it’s double-trouble.) Uncle Tommy had just baked up some gingerbread cookies. They were impossibly cute. Look:

IMG_8535Here they are decorated:

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Rather than let the trouble twins bring their usual havoc inside, I decided to take the kids for a walk to make some surprise deliveries to the people who live on our street. Here they are getting ready for our adventure. Naturally they fought over who would hold the cookies. Liddy won.

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They were a little shy about ringing doorbells, but by the end, they were having a blast. We made it to four houses before we ran out of gingerbread. We got to chat with the people who live around us and remind ourselves we live in a neighborhood. Totally beats sitting inside, watching Ninjago on Netflix.

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PS: If you want Tommy’s cookie recipe, it’s from the 1963 Joy of Cooking. You probably have one. Just in case, here’s a blurry photo that might help:

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(He found the cookie-cutter at Fred’s. He says if you want to make them with GF flour, add a tsp xanthan gum and double the baking soda.)

PPS: For more delights, go here.