Can You Check?
If you ask me, Home Alone is a perfect specimen of a holiday movie. It’s got it all – a crazy kid in a crazy situation, silly bad guys, a happy ending, and lots of holiday heart. But there was one thing that I always thought of when I was watching as a kid: Don’t they know any more neighbors who could check on Kevin? The McCallisters tried calling around and got a bunch of answering machines, but surely they had the number of someone else in the neighborhood that could stop by the house, right? Maybe not! Since moving into our own home a year ago, we really had to make an effort to get to know our neighbors well enough to exchange numbers and develop relationships. These days I know that if we leave town and need a hand (like if we, for instance, fly to Paris and forget our son?!), we have neighbors who would be happy to help. This holiday season, enlist neighbors to help you with a few of these items, or offer your help if you’re staying in town!
Check on the Dog If you have animals staying behind while you travel, set up a little food and water station so your neighbors can just duck in and make sure Fido (or your pet tarantula) is well fed!
Get the Mail Nothing says “We’re not home!” like a full mailbox. Ask a neighbor to grab your mail so you’re not broadcasting to the world that you’re out of town.
Watch for Packages Packages can arrive at your door in droves during the holiday season. Don’t let them pile up; see if a neighbor can grab them from your front stoop while you’re away. You can even keep an eye on your front step with a doorbell camera and notify a neighbor when you see a package arrive!
Water the Plants If you have plants that need watering, it’s a great excuse to have someone stop by and check the place! Be sure to leave instructions on how much and when to water. Security systems like Vivint’s allow you to give a neighbor code to a friend so that they can enter and exit while you’re away. (Here’s a great little tutorial!)
Emergency Odds and Ends This is when having friendly neighbors helps the most. Did you leave the water running? Did you stop the newspaper delivery? Did you fly to Paris with your son still asleep in the attic? In an emergency, a neighbor is the perfect person to stop by your house and lend a hand. Leave them an info sheet like this one just in case!
This season, make an effort to know and help your neighbors! Better yet, organize an information sheet with your neighborhood phone numbers and addresses. It might take some time and effort, but it’s so worthwhile for safety and security in the end. Happy holidays!