What would we do without our neighbors? For some, neighbors are a friendly wave as you get home from work and walk into the house. They are the first place you turn if you run out of milk. Maybe they pick up your mail while you are on vacation.
Over the years my neighbors have a done a million, seemingly small things that aren’t small at all when added up. Everything from bringing my trash cans in off the street just because, to finding and bringing our dog home when we didn’t even realize he had gotten out. Just this last Halloween, I was alone dressed like a witch handing out candy for hours and my neighbors pulled me over to their side of the fence for a break and some company.
Neighbors are what turns houses into homes and streets into communities. Most of the year we are so busy with our own lives we don’t stop to celebrate the community we live in. The holidays are the perfect time for slowing down and doing exactly that.
Here are a few creative ways to say Merry Christmas to your neighbors…
Make and deliver homemade treats. This is a good one if you have kids. Get them involved. They’re never too young to learn to say Thank You! Make an extra batch of cookies when you are preparing for your cookie exchange or share a little tin of Grandma’s rum fudge.
Return the favors: So you know the egg you borrowed that one time you were in the middle of making cookies and discovered you didn’t have any to finish the recipe? Or that time your neighbor let your dog out because you were stuck in traffic? Well give them a basket that gives back everything you’ve borrowed from them! Eggs, Milk, A Coupon redeemable for a pet emergency etc. Throw in Wine and a bottle of Advil for all the headaches you’ve caused them (hopefully, they have a good sense of humor!)
Play St. Nick and leave a basket of goodies on their doorstep. Who wouldn’t love to get a ‘No Dishes Tonight’ package filled with cute holiday paper plates and napkins so they have more time to check off items on their Christmas to-do list instead of spending time in the kitchen. Another idea is a ‘That’s a wrap on the year’ bag filled with extra scotch tape, tissue paper, sharpies/or tags, and wrapping paper!
Go old school with a few Christmas Carols. Look you don’t need to sing more than one or two (because, really, that’s just awkward for everyone). Consider it your Christmas Card before presenting your neighbors with a hand written card or small gift to thank them for shoveling your sidewalk or whatever.
Host a neighborhood drop in potluck lunch or brunch. Pick a day and time and send a free evite by email or put an invitation in your neighbor’s mailbox. Instead of asking to borrow the leaf blower just take time to get to know each other.
It takes a village to have a village. This year when you make your Christmas list, make sure to check that your neighbors are included.