Turn your neighborhood into a community: Holiday Edition
Just about everyone has neighbors. You may share a backyard fence or dividing wall and occasionally visit over it. Or, perhaps your closest neighbors live a ways down the road. Instead of simply living near one another, residents can make their lifestyles more meaningful by becoming friends and creating a community. So we're here to ask: what good is living in a community during the holidays without some neighborly love and holiday cheer? Here are some wonderful holiday ideas to help turn your neighborhood into a community and get everyone into the holiday spirit:
Go all out this year and get your entire community involved.
Participate in a cookie exchange
Who doesn't like cookies? It's not just about making something tasty, though - Christmas cookies carry on decades-long traditions. You probably have a few cookies your family always makes for the holiday, and the ones your neighbors make are likely different. Host a cookie exchange to get a taste of everyone's delicious creations! If the weather permits, get all the local kids together for fun activities like sledding or ice skating. Then, head to the backyard to warm up around the outdoor fireplace and swap tasty baked goods. Make sure to mention what ingredients are in your cookies so everyone can safely enjoy without worries about food sensitivities or allergies. You'll soon have a mouthful of sugary goodness while getting to know the neighbors.
Share stories over swapped Christmas cookies with your neighbors.
Host your own community light show
Are you proud of your home? Do you deck out the exterior of your house just as much as the inside? For the homeowners who host a life size Santa and his sleigh in the front yard or the giant snowman and a Winter Wonderland display, consider getting your entire community on board to host your own community light show! Talk with your neighbors to see if they'd be willing to participate and encourage everyone to get into the holiday spirit. Post flyers around the neighboring communities, create a Facebook event page and get the whole city to come out! Spectators are able to drive their cars through your community to enjoy your 'very merry' light displays or they can walk through on foot with their friends and family. Have a few neighbors out on the corners selling hot cocoa, coffee and warm snacks for spectators on those chilly nights and have fun getting to know neighbors in the surrounding communities. This is also the perfect time to make sure your walkway pavers are snow-free and can serve as a safe route through your winter wonderland.
Donate to charity together
All of the options above are perfect ideas to gather your community and get to know the people who live near you. But what about extending the holiday cheer to those who aren't close by or maybe in need? When inviting the neighbors and neighboring communities to join your holiday fun- ask that they bring toys, new toiletries and gently used coats to donate to local causes. You can even charge a small fee like $5 for people from other neighboring communities to come through and enjoy your light show. Take the proceeds from your hot cocoa, coffee, snack sales and light show charges and donate them to a local women's organization or Adopt a Family on behalf of your entire neighborhood!
Not only will these fun-filled holiday activities allow you finally learn more than your neighbor's first names, it'll give you a chance to come together as a neighborhood to improve the lives of people in need. What better way to build a community than giving back to others and celebrating the holidays together?