Tomorrow kicks off the biggest shopping day of the year.

Have you made your list? Checked it twice?

Still can't figure out how to make a nice gesture for that neighbor who stopped in while your mom was sick, or the man at the corner who left chicken noodle soup on your stoop after your wife had the flu?

Give the gift of a German Village Society membership. It's a donation to German Village, with perks to keep the recipient in the know and boasting their pride in German Village.

Every member gets access to our package pickup service and weekly newsletter. At higher levels, event tickets are bundled in the membership -- how's that for introducing a new neighbor to all our social events?

But way more than that, building the collective of German Village Society members paves that path for us to continue to succeed as a neighborhood force.

I was flipping through some old newsletters in our online archive recently and found this from then- German Village Society President Bill Scheurer. He was writing in February 1973:

The population of the German Village area is much larger than the membership of the German Village Society, at least five or six to one.

However, the Society has the advantage of organization, whose collective voice, even though in minority, can accomplish much more over the long haul than is possible either as individuals or groups of individuals on a now-and-then basis.

Therefore, we urge membership in the Society, which is responsible for accomplishments to date. This does not mean that one must give up individual points of view but work toward goals from within, rather than from outside.

Not one thing has changed about the power of the many that Scheurer captured 44 years ago.

Today, we have 811 memberships, and 20 percent of those live outside German Village. So that means only 30 percent of our neighbors are officially on our team.

Invite more. Be their ambassador to what you already embraced -- everything you love about German Village is the result of the German Village Society's work since 1960.

Give a gift in a neighbor's honor to the German Village Society. The society works tirelessly to preserve the historic character of the Village you love. A gift in their honor means they are to thank the next time you stroll our streets and fall in love all over again.

We will send you a stocking-stuffer announcement that they are members so you can package the gift. We will send you the IRS gift receipt.

Give the gift of German Village. It allows us to:

* Negotiate with Columbia Gas to protect our historic district.

* Launch an interpretive trail to help neighbors and visitors enjoy our history.

* Steward $1.1 million in city UIRF dollars to improve aging infrastructure.

* It puts you on our team. Our team is full of donors who are in love with the Village (that's you), passionate about preservation (also you) and sincere in a shared focus on preserving not just bricks and mortar, but our utterly unique quality of life, tied together by a fantastic sense of community.

Your gift allows us to remain an accountable, proactive leader in preservation education -- and a place knit together by the people we serve.

That's honoring the past. This is history in the making.

German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column .