When residents know each other and spend time together, the entire neighborhood benefits. You could almost say a close-knit neighborhood raises everyone’s property values in an intangible way. Christmas block parties are a great idea for strengthening ties between neighbors and getting to know newcomers. Let’s look at some ideas for building neighborly bonds while celebrating the end-of-the-year holidays.
Organizing Community Festivities
If you’re a social butterfly and love to create fun gatherings, tag a neighbor or two to help you plan a Christmas block party. Promote your shindig on the neighborhood Facebook page, Nextdoor, and by distributing flyers door to door, and talk it up when you bump into each other while out running or walking the dog.
Building Neighborhood Ties that Bind
Have your Christmas block party at a home that’s centrally located in the neighborhood and large enough to host the crowd. You can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned potluck supper. Or stage a progressive dinner, where three different households provide drinks and appetizers, the main course and dessert. That way, no homeowner has to provide all the food and drink for everyone. You can even make your progressive dinner a potluck by having each neighbor sign up to provide something at one of the chosen houses. Neighbors can highlight their cultural traditions with the special foods they serve for end-of-the-year holidays.
Finish Block Parties with Fun
Caroling at the homes of elderly or disabled neighbors who are unable to attend the festivities can be a good way to end your Christmas block party. So can hiring a trolley to ferry everyone around the neighborhood to see the holiday lights. Or have a Secret Santa or other gift exchange. You can even sponsor a vote to determine which neighbors have done the best job decorating their property for Christmas, with prizes for the winners.
Speaking of decorating, it can be fun to establish a theme each year for neighborhood Christmas decorations. Everyone can decorate as they wish, but they must include an element common to all the decorated houses, such as outdoor Christmas trees or lighted candy canes.