Do you remember the days when you knew the names of your neighbors? Maybe you and the kids next door got together for a game of “tag” or maybe the families got together for kids’ birthday parties or other social events. Are those days long gone? Today, some of us don’t even know our neighbors by name (I’m guilty of this too). In today’s society, people are more open to making a “friend connection” over Facebook versus face to face.
But it really does not have to be that way. One way to start bringing back that neighborhood hospitality is to make a new neighbor a “Welcome Home Kit”. Now, before you stop reading this and list all the reasons why you don’t have time or the money make one…I will make a promise to you. This kit is really quick, easy and does not cost much to make.
Make a List
Make a document that lists your family’s favorite restaurants along with their addresses and phone numbers. It’s also helpful to add things like favorite menu items (that you recommend) or tips like “Ask for Suzie, she always gives extra rolls with our dinner”. On this same document include favorite parks, recreational activities, community information (how to get pool passes, date of summer block parties, date and time trash collection) etc. Print this document and entitle it ( Things We Heart about “insert your city or neighborhood here”). Include fancy font or clipart if you like. At the bottom of the document, include you name and your spouse’s name and contact numbers.
Clip Some Coupons
Clip or gather some of the coupons from your favorite local restaurants. Put them in an envelope for your neighbor’s “Welcome Home Kit”. Write something cute on the envelope like “Because sometimes you just want dinner to be a phone call away”.
Create Some Address Labels
Hopefully, before you embark on creating this welcome kit, you would have spoken to the neighbors at least once to find out their names. Once you have done that, go to your favorite office supply store and purchase some return address labels. You can make them as simple or fancy as you want. You can even buy them in the plain or transparent variety. Jazz them up by uploading free colored templates and printing the labels from your home computer.
Give the Gift of Ambiance
There is nothing like walking into a home that welcomes you with open arms. The way to do that is to create an inviting ambience. And one of the simplest ways to do that is to light a candle. Pick a soothing yet universal scent like vanilla or clean linen to put in the welcome kit. Scents like pumpkin pie spice, and lavender may be too strong and even offensive to some.
Once you have all of the elements of your kit together, roll your list up in a tight scroll and bind it with a brightly colored ribbon.
Line the gift bag with a colored paper liner.
Place all the other elements of the bag neatly inside and deliver it to your new neighbor with a smile.
Neighbors are usually strangers, that become acquaintances that can possible become friends. The way that we navigate these strangers has the possibility to propel us, to enlighten us, to enrich us.
So who are your neighbors?