Spreading Cheer This Holiday Season
How to get into the holiday spirit with your neighbors.
All but the most Scrooge-like among us would have to agree that the holidays are about giving our time, attention and gifts to other people. To start out your holiday season in the spirit of generosity and good cheer, here are a few suggestions for families and neighborhoods that are looking for ways to brighten someone else’s day. From volunteer work to organizing a neighborhood Christmas caroling event, donating a small amount of your time can have a big impact on the people around you.
Help your neighbor clear their driveway – Have you seen your neighbor after a blizzard, shovel in hand, ready to tackle mounds of heavy, wet snow? If you own a snow blower, why not help out by clearing their driveway after you finish yours? You can also volunteer to clear the sidewalks around the block. A kind neighbor with a snow blower can be especially helpful to an elderly resident who may have difficulty shoveling.
Volunteer your time – A meaningful family bonding holiday idea is to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter or other non-profit organization. Kids love presents, and can tend to equate the holiday season with getting more things – you can teach them how to spread holiday cheer to others by volunteering and making a difference in your community.
Organize a Christmas caroling event – It may seem a bit old-fashioned, but your neighbors may enjoy participating in a caroling event. Ask around to find out who’d like to join in, and consider hosting a social gathering at your house afterward where everyone can warm up and chat over hot chocolate, coffee and cookies.
Plan a neighborhood gift exchange – If you’re not musically inclined but still want to plan a neighborhood holiday event, try a gift exchange. These types of holiday get-togethers are more about spending time socializing than exchanging presents, so consider placing a modest $20 limit on gift purchases.
Build a snow-scape with your family – On the morning after a heavy snowfall, transform your front yard into a winter scene, filled with snowmen, igloos, snow castles and whatever else your family dreams up. Snow drifts piled up by your snow thrower create a ready-made mound for tunnels and forts or supply for snowmen. It’s a great bonding opportunity, and your neighbors can admire your handiwork as they drive down the street.
These are just a few suggestions for getting into the holiday spirit, but however you choose to spread Christmas cheer this season, make a point to improve the lives of the people around you. Get the family involved, or even the neighborhood, and come up with your own holiday ideas.
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