Who doesn’t love gifts? I can’t recall a time in my life where I was sad to be gifted something from someone. Some of my favorite gifts were the most thoughtful ones. Instead of a DVD of the newest Harry Potter, I was given home videos with my family. Instead of store-bought goodies, I was given an array of homemade caramels, cookies, and peppermint bark. Hint: if you are unsure of what to give someone, make it edible. You’ll win their heart in an instant.
Whenever I give a gift, I try to think about what I want the recipient to get out of it. Do I want them to have a night out on the town? Should they discover a new author that fits their favorite genre? It’s easier to give a gift to someone you know, but that doesn’t mean that gifts to “acquaintances” should be generic. Here are a few suggestions for giving those new neighbors/soon-to-be-best-friends a gift they’ll appreciate:
Create a modern directory: On top of listing every neighbor’s name and phone number, share a little book of the neighborhood hot spots. Where do you go for the best coffee? What restaurant has the best pizza? What children’s events does the local library put on? Are there any annual festivals in town? Giving your neighbor a list like this will help them feel more involved in and aware of the community.
Invite them in: When I first moved to Denver after I was married, I had no friends, no job, and no idea how to spend my time. I would have loved to have a found a book club, or cooking club, or known what local events to attend. Don’t have a book club? This is an excellent excuse to start one. Get together with your friends and create invites for all to join. Pop one of the invites in a gift bag with some cookies, and your neighbor will thank you.
“Getting to Know You” in a box: Write up some fun questionnaires for your new neighbors. What’s their favorite food? Do they like to travel? Where is the most exotic place they’ve been? Write your questions on a cute notepad and put them in a cute box with some candy. Once your neighbors have filled it out, instruct them to return it to you and give a new box to someone else. People will find they have a lot in common, and this will be the gift that keeps on giving.