Ideas for befriending your neighbours this Christmas (even if it's already Christmas Eve!)

Howard Webb

22 December 2009

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So it looks like you're going to be home this Christmas, while just about everyone else heads out of town. Hmm. If that doesn't really excite you, spare a thought for your neighbours who are in the same boat. Instead of everyone watching the same old reruns on TV (The Sound of Music anyone?) why not take the lead in creating some neighbourly festive cheer that also communicates the true meaning of Christmas? Here are a few ideas:

  • Karaoke Christmas - Rent a karaoke system and sing Christmas songs. Have the audience vote on the top two groups and have a "sing-off" for the champion of the night. Have everyone chip in for pizza. Have everyone sing several songs together.
     
  • Grinch Party - Show How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the movie does touch on the fact that there is more to Christmas than just "getting stuff".) Prepare a "Grinch trivia" contest before the video and give out prizes for the winners.
     
  • White Elephant Christmas - Invite your neighbours to come to the party with a crazy "white elephant" gift. To keep things in some sort of order, you could have a theme for the evening that the gifts should be in line with. After gifts are exchanged, have someone read the Christmas story out of Luke chapter two, and talk about the greatest gift ever given.
     
  • Baking Party - this isn't necessarily a 'women only' thing -- men can enjoy baking cookies too (ask me!). Making some 'Secret Santa' cookie baskets for neighbours, a local old age home, hospital, or children's home could make this the most meaningful Christmas your neighbour has ever experienced.
     
  • Kid's Christmas Project Day! Host a day where kids can come make Christmas gifts for their families.
     
  • Go caroling. Yes, invite your neighbours to join you as you go caroling for the shut-ins that you and they know about. You will be amazed at how many will jump at the opportunity if you give them the words and provide the accompaniment. They will tell all their friends what they did and talk about it for weeks…
     
  • Give away sticking tape. What a nice, practical gesture. Who would say no?
     
  • Boycott the Boxing Day sales – invite neighbours over for a BBQ and croquet or petanque. Tell them you've got the pre-cooked sausages covered, bring their own meat and drinks. A lot of folk will be only too glad to do something to combat that 'let down' feeling after the hype of Christmas!