spread holiday cheer this season
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Four Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer in Your Neighborhood

November 30, 2018

With homemade baked goods awaiting us as the holidays draw nearer and lights sparkling from block to block, our days are cheer-filled and bright. But this season, we’d love to extend the merry mood outward and help fill neighborhoods with holiday joy.

Here are some ways to bring the holidays to life in a meaningful and memorable way in your neighborhood:

Cookie Exchange

Santa may be the biggest cookie eater of all this time of the year, but a plate full of delicious holiday cookies is always a welcomed way to sweeten up the season in any neighborhood. And there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned cookie exchange to sprinkle extra cheer from door to door on your block.

But wait just a second before you head off to the mixing bowl. Just like every great cookie, every great cookie exchange is built off instructions that lead to a sweet end result. Here are the steps to help you get started:

  1. While baking may just be the sweetest part, first you’ll need a date for the exchange before rolling up your sleeves.
  2. Now, let the fun design work begin as it’s time to prep invitations. Our tip: Send them digitally or by mail a few weeks before the date. With every invite, include an RSVP card to have guests share their names and the type of cookie they’ll bring and include a note about how many cookies should be baked to exchange and sample.
  3. Don’t grab the spoon just yet. With so many sweets on the menu, you’ll want to plan to include some savory items before the exchange as well.
  4. Time for the sweet part! When it’s three days before the exchange, let the baking begin.
  5. It’s almost cookie time! But first, it’s time to prepare the food and the cookie display table so you’ll be set for a sweet tomorrow.

Before you set off to bake, check out this recipe for delicious snickerdoodle cookies and this yummy M&M Christmas cookie bar recipe.

Snowman Competition

When there’s a winter wonderland waiting outside, it’s time to ask the neighbors to grab their mittens and a dash of creativity, and then work together to shape up the holiday spirit in the neighborhood. Plus, the winter blues will melt away as laughter kicks in throughout the day.

But before you all start building the snowmen of the year, you’ll want to start with these steps that will lead up to the big day packed full of fun:

  1. Just like building a snowman, a snowman competition begins with a solid base. Once you have the date, allotted time, rules and prizes in place, that’s when you’ll be able to build upward.
  2. With the base now in place, it’s time to focus in on the details. As every neighbor will want to know which Frosty made the most memorable impression, you’ll want to spend some time finding an appropriate judge and selecting judging criteria before all the snow fun begins.

Now whether you’re a first time builder or you consider yourself to be a snow building pro, you’ll find great tips here that will help make your Frosty top the list of most memorable snowmen of the season.

Share a Holiday Note of Appreciation and Invite Your Neighbor to Join in

While sweet treats and snowmen may be the more traditional parts of the season, a thoughtful note of appreciation to a nearby neighbor is sure to pile on some cheer to any cold and snowy day.

All you’ll need is a little time to brainstorm some ideas. Then, you’ll be able to start writing a note from the heart that touches on what you appreciate most about being neighbors. Don’t forget to ask them to pass along a note to another neighbor to keep the kind words flowing throughout the neighborhood.

You’ve Been Elfed

If Secret Santa is more of your holiday style, this holiday game is one you’ll love. Just be prepared as once you elf you may find it hard to stop.

Here’s how You’ve Been Elfed works:

Secretly prepare a basket of goodies and then deliver the basket along with an Elf sign and Elf poem to two neighbors. Now, it’s time to pass along the message you’ve been elfed to each neighbor. Ring their doorbell but run fast to not let the secret out that you’re their elf. Be prepared to see the elfing grow as elf signs will soon start to pop up in every window as more neighbors join in on the holiday fun.

Any holiday traditions that you and your neighbors have carried throughout the years? Share them below!