Your neighbors are good people to get to know for a lot of reasons. It creates goodwill in your neighborhood, and also gives you a chance to make a new friend or two. Who better to connect with than the people who live by you and share a love of your city? One way to show neighbors you're interested in them as people is to give them small gifts at the holidays or other appropriate times. Here are some gift ideas that are perfect for neighbors, even if you don't know them all that well.
I love the idea of a simple gift that says welcome without being over the top. This idea from Thirty Hand Made Days is really lovely. They provide a free printout that includes space for you to write a short welcome along with your favorite schools, doctors, dentists, parks, restaurants, movie theaters, and more. This will give your new neighbor a quick reference for all those things that so long when you move, like figuring out where the nearest grocery store or coffee shop is.
Attach this card to a brown lunch bag filled with treats and your neighbor will appreciate the gesture. The treats don't even have to be homemade. You could add a bag of candy or a cupcake in there, too.
Nothing says welcome to the neighborhood like cookies, and if you personalize them to look like mini-houses? That's even better. This cute idea comes from the Bake at 350 blog is a really clever way to say hello to someone new on the block.
While they are sure to take more time than your average batch of cookies, they will make much more impact. Bake up a dozen or so and give to a neighbor on a pretty plate.
Gift Certificates to Area Restaurants and Coffee ShopsYou already know your neighbors enjoy the area in which you live, so take a cue from that and give them something that will help them enjoy the restaurants and coffee shops around you. This is also a good gift idea for someone who has recently moved to the area, because it will give them incentive to get to know the ins and outs of your town a little bit more.
Local Sports Team or City SweatshirtsIf your neighbor is a fan of a local sports team, a sweatshirt or tee shirt from them is a gift that will be appreciated. If not, a sweatshirt with the name of your city or town on it is also a good idea. These can be found online or at your local Walgreens store.
Tickets to Your Local Movie TheaterMovie gift certificates are a great gift, because that way you can give your neighbor "the whole experience" of seeing a film, which includes the price of admission, soft drinks, and snacks. This type of gift not only supports your local theater but works out well for a variety of age levels. If your neighbor has a big family, this might be an especially welcome present.
Homemade Coupons to Help With Chores
If you've got some older folks in your neighborhood, why not give them peace of mind? You can do this by offering up homemade coupons that promise you will do things like:
- Run to the grocery store for them
- Shovel their walk
- Help clean their house
- Take them to doctor appointments
- Drive them to the post office
Small chores like these can really help out a neighbor, and they go a long way toward developing goodwill. Giving them some homemade coupons will let them know you'll be there when they need you and will help alleviate some of the worry they shoulder.
Ornaments are another great gift idea for the holidays, especially if you can personalize them to the likes and tastes of your neighbor. Think back to the conversations you might have had with them over the last few months. Did they mention a hobby, movie they liked, or even favorite color? Information like this can really help make an ornament into a more special present because there are so many different detailed ones around.
Great ornament ideas include:
- Something with the year on it
- A place to write a special message
- A "talking" ornament that provides a fun or inspiration saying
- An ornament from a local sports team
- A detailed ornament that reflects the person's faith
- An ornament with characters from a favorite TV show or movie
- A family ornament with each person's name on it.
Scarves, Hats, and GlovesWho doesn't need more winter wear? Gifts like these are good for people in the colder climates, especially if your neighbor helps you shovel snow or clear your walk. Homemade scarves and hats are always a nice gift if you're handy enough to crochet or knit. If you're not crafty you can still give a homemade fleece scarf, which just requires cutting to size and perhaps adding some fringe (which is easily done by cutting slits into the edge of the garment). A homemade gift like this is just a little bit extra special because you gave it your own touch.
If you don't know your neighbors all that well, gift baskets can make for a really nice gesture. Many stores have them pre-made, or you can whip together one yourself. This cardboard gift box idea from Mel-Designs is really cute. It will make your gift box that much more appreciated because you took some time to make it unique.
You can further personalize your gift basket by paying attention to what your neighbor likes to do. If they have a beautiful garden, for example, a gift basket centered around that hobby (garden gloves, seed packets, etc.) would be a welcome gift. If your neighbor is always bragging about his home theater room, perhaps a gift of popcorn and movies would work out well.