As people lead more hectic lives, it’s often difficult to strengthen ties with our neighbors and friends we want to get to know most.
Here are some simple ways to begin building those relationships with some quick and meaningful ideas.
The Traveling Neighbor Basket –
This can be a great way to pull your neighborhood together and help everyone get to really know each other. Purchase an album with blank pages and fill the first page with the following: (1) your family name at the top of the page, (2) a photo of your house, with your address underneath, and (3) a photo of each family member, with their name, age (kids only), and some little tidbit of information about them.
Place in a basket with your favorite cookies, to be left on your neighbor’s doorstep. Include instructions to enjoy the baked goods, fill in the next page of the neighborhood album, add something yummy to the basket and pass it along. A promise to hand out black and white copies of the album pages to all who participated will definitely bring your neighbors to the “let’s get acquainted” potluck dinner you host when the basket makes its way back to your house.
Home Is Where the Heart Is –
Everyone likes to bring a housewarming gift to someone’s home when they are invited for dinner, an afternoon barbecue or an evening party. The usual choice is flowers or a bottle of wine. The next time you visit the home of friends or family, leave something very special behind that will bring joy to your hosts for weeks or months to come.
Cut five to ten 2” hearts out of red or pink construction paper and write “We love coming to your home because…” on the front. On the back of each heart write a reason why you enjoy coming to their home. “You always extend such warm hospitality and serve amazing food,” “You make us feel so welcome” or “Your house is full of laughter and love.”
While you are there hide these sweet messages in places where they are sure to be found in the days, weeks and months to come. Put them between the towels in the bathroom cupboard, in a box of cookies in the kitchen pantry, under the pillow on the sofa, etc. Think of all the joy that you have left behind for them to discover at unexpected moments.