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  • Writer's pictureNewton Neighbors

Welcoming and Connecting Neighbors, December 2022

December already! This newsletter is full of seasonal activities, and we’re barely scratching the surface. Be sure to go to our website for a list of other newsletters that will keep you up to date on all this season’s events.

Before we plunge into the festivities, we’d like to thank our neighbors who donated to our Thanksgiving gift card drive. It was our biggest fundraiser ever–we raised almost $13,000, well beyond our goal of $11,250! With your generosity, we distributed 168 supermarket gift cards to seniors and families experiencing food and economic insecurity in Newton, Brockton, and Waltham.

And, as you are busy getting ready for the holidays, please remember to support your neighbors! Here are some ways to help.

Ongoing: Food Pantry Delivery: Looking for Volunteers for December

We are looking for volunteers to help us deliver from food pantries in Newton to families who are unable to access the pantries themselves. We need drivers for December!

Delivery usually takes about an hour to complete. You can sign up to deliver during one or more of the following times:

  • Wednesday afternoons from Newton Food Pantry, pick up food at assigned times between 12:15 - 2:45 pm.

  • The 3rd Friday of the month from the American Legion Nonantum Post 440 Mobile Food Bank, pick up food 9 - 9:15 am before the pantry opens to the public

December 1 - 15: Arabic Baptist Church Food Drive

Newton Neighbors is holding this drive to benefit the Arabic Baptist Church Food Pantry. We are collecting nonperishable foods including cereal, pasta, rice, canned tuna, canned vegetables and fruit, and other similar items.

Donation dropoff locations:

  • 137 Annawan Road, Waban (leave in box on front steps)

  • 1525 Commonwealth Avenue, West Newton (leave in box at front door)

  • 22 Florence Court, Newtonville (leave in box on front porch)

  • Baystate Physical Therapy, 29 Crafts Street, Suite 570, Newton

  • Or donate directly to Arabic Baptist through their website

A message from Pastor Samy Ibrahim, Arabic Baptist Church:

Your support and help is so valuable and very important for our food pantry. We are so appreciative to you and your team. May God bless you richly.

Gift Drives This Holiday Season

Through December 5: Stuff a Cruiser with Toys

Drop off an unwrapped gift for the Newton Police Department “Stuff a Cruiser” drive by Monday, December 5. Location: Police HQ Lobby, 1321 Washington Street, West Newton.

You can also make a financial contribution so organizers can purchase gifts and gift cards from local businesses through the Newton Rotary.

Through December 12: Village Bank Holiday Toy Drive

For the fifteenth year, The Village Bank is partnering with the Newton Rotary and the City of Newton Department of Health and Human Services to sponsor the City’s annual Holiday Gift Drive.

The Bank invites its customers, neighbors, and other members of the community to drop off new and unwrapped gifts through December 12 to any Newton branch of The Village Bank. Gifts should be for children ages newborn to 10 and may include age-appropriate toys, games, electronics, and sporting goods as well as gift cards from local merchants. Tax-deductible cash donations to the Newton Rotary are also welcome. Click here for more information.

Newton Neighbors volunteers will be supporting the gift distribution. We especially encourage donations of gifts for older children, which are often less available.

December 1 - 27: Newton Food Pantry Gifting Time

Newton Food Pantry provides gifts for all its customers during the month of December. Pantry customers choose from a small assortment of new or gently used items, including giftware for children, teens, and adults. Items for older teens and adult men are encouraged. Please do not wrap the gifts–but you can donate gift bags, wrap, and ribbon.

Drop-off location: 20 Fairlee Terrace, Waban 02468.

Please DO NOT take items to Newton Food Pantry, which does not have the storage capacity.

Items donated by Tuesday each week will be available in “the shop” on Wednesday of that week. Any items remaining at the end of the holiday season will be taken to a local donation site.

Newton Food Pantry volunteers tell us how much their customers appreciate being able to shop for gifts for their loved ones. Thank you for spreading kindness in our community!

Nonantum Strength Holiday Gift Drive

Provide gifts and smiles for families at The Sage House Residential Treatment Home in Framingham. Follow this link for more information and to donate.

West Suburban YMCA Giving Tree

Families experiencing financial hardship are sharing their holiday wish lists at the Y. Sign up to fulfill a specific wish list request for a child or family, or make a donation to the Giving Tree. Follow this link for more information and to donate.

Looking to thank a Newton Teacher this season?

Consider the Newton Schools Foundation’s Honor Thy Teacher program.

December Events in Newton

December 3 and 4: Mayor Fuller’s Holiday Mini Golf Hole In Fun!

Saturday, December 3, 10am - 7pm

Sunday, December 4, 10am - 3pm

City Hall is being transformed into an 18-hole mini golf course complete with greens and holes winding through the secret staircase in the Mayor’s Office, City Council Chambers, and War Memorial.

This event benefits the Holiday Gift Drive sponsored by The Village Bank in collaboration with the City of Newton Department of Health and Human Services and the Newton Rotary.

Admission Fee: A new and unwrapped gift(s). Gifts should be for children ages newborn to 10 and may include age-appropriate toys, games, electronics, and sporting goods. In addition to a new and unwrapped gift, you are encouraged to give a gift card to a local grocery store or non-perishable items.

Signup and more information here.

December 4, 10am - 4pm: Local Holiday Market

Location: Newton South High School, 140 Brandeis Road

December 4, 12 - 4:30pm: Festivals of Light

Join New Art Center for the Festivals of Light Community Cultural Day! Art educators will lead participants through different make-and-take activities that highlight the themes, rituals, and traditions of different holidays.

Location: 61 Washington Park, Newton

December 4, 6:15 - 7pm: Park Lighting in Nonantum

The annual park lighting at Coletti-Magni Park will be held on Sunday, December 4. Come for hot chocolate and caroling at 6:15 and the countdown to turn on the lights at 7:00 PM. Say hello to Santa and bring your letter for his mailbox! Please visit for more information, including Santa’s route.

December 10: Goods That Do Good Holiday Shopping Event

Shop Newton businesses that help others! Goods That Do Good is a self-guided holiday shopping event on Saturday, December 10. Several of Newton’s women-owned businesses, with missions to do good as part of their business models, are inviting the community to shop and support their work. From offering sustainable products, to donating a portion of revenues to local charities, to offering zero waste shopping, holiday shopping at each of these businesses is designed to help others and the earth.

Click here for store hours, offerings, and a map of participating shops.

Welcome Home, a Newton-based nonprofit that distributes like-new donated household items to local families experiencing hardship, is also taking part in the Goods That Do Good event. From 10:30-12 on December 10, this home goods pantry in West Newton will accept drop-offs of new or like-new blankets to keep those in need warm this winter, and give tours of their new facility.

December 11: Chanukah Festival and Winter Market

Celebrate Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, and feel the warm glow of the holiday at JCC Greater Boston!

There's something for the whole family to enjoy–live music from Josh & the Jamtones, a winter marketplace supporting local artisan businesses, plus festive games, crafts, STEM projects, and a community candle lighting. There will be Chanukah treats, hot beverages, and more.

This event will be held outdoors. Should we need to move indoors due to weather, registered families will be notified in advance.

December 14, 6:30 - 8:30pm: Are Your Teens Stressed Out This Season?

The City of Newton Youth Services Division is partnering with Families for Depression Awareness, the Newton Free Library, and the Newton Youth Commission to host a “Stress Survival Guide Workshop” for teens ages 13 and over. This workshop, led by Families for Depression Awareness staff, will teach teens how to identify symptoms of stress in themselves, their peers, and their family, identify strategies to manage day-to-day stress, and find help if things start to feel like “more than just stress.” Light refreshments will be available.

Location: Wednesday, December 14, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, at the Newton Free Library

To register, click here.

December 18, 12:00pm: Nonantum Christmas Parade

Come to the third annual Nonantum Christmas Parade and stay to meet Santa and his friends!

December 18, 2:30 - 4:00pm: Grand Menorah Lighting

Family Chanukah Festival at The Shops at Chestnut Hill including Grand Menorah lighting, crafts, snacks, live entertainment, face painting, and balloon artist. Travel menorahs available.

Location: December 18, 2:00 - 4:30pm, The Shops at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston Street

No charge. To RSVP and for more info about Chanukah events, email

Shop Local!

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our town, city and village centers–they are what make our communities vibrant and unique. In fact, 99.5% of businesses in Massachusetts are small businesses, employing 1.5 million people–our neighbors, family and friends. Whether you shop in person, dine out, take out, or order online, think local first! Our online directory makes it super easy to find services, merchants and organizations within our communities.

Find it local at the Charles River Chamber of Commerce.

Calling All World Cup Fans

Visit our Instagram highlight for local restaurants, bars, and bakeries showing World Cup games this month.

Happy Holidays from Newton Neighbors!

Once again, go to our website for a list of other newsletters with information on local events.

Thank you, neighbors, for your caring, goodwill, and unending support you give to our community. See you next year!

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