Gifts For A New Neighbor

Make your new neighbors feel welcome by taking over a thoughtful gift that shows your interest in helping them get settled.

Remember when you first moved into the neighborhood? You may have felt self-conscious in taking out the trash or mowing the lawn, wondering if the next-door people were keeping an eye on you and what they thought.

The same holds true for your new neighbors. Chances are they may feel unsure of their welcome or the role they might expect to play among the long-time settlers in the area.

Why not take the initiative to offer a welcoming gesture? In fact, if you are friendly with other neighbors, invite them to share the gesture or a gift to help the new folks feel accepted.

1. Take over a hot meal. Cook a homemade dinner with recipes that most people will enjoy, such as roast, chops, casseroles, or fish. Of course, find out ahead of time if the family follows special dietary limits if they are vegetarian, for example. Some religious faiths forbid eating certain types of food, like pork or shellfish, so check this out as well. You should also ask about possible food allergies or intense dislikes, as well as the best time to drop off a meal when the entire family will be there to eat while the food is warm.

2. Offer a freshly-baked dessert. Warm cookies, coffee cake, fruit breads, or a cream pie may be just the thing to get on the good side of your new neighbors. Don't be tempted to stay and share it with them, so there will be more for the family. Bake your store your delicious gift in a disposable container so your new friends will not need to worry about returning a pie tin or a plastic storage dish.

3. Present a gift certificate for the local pizzeria, grocery store, or hair salon. Not only will the gift help to offset all the extra expenses associated with moving into a new home and getting settled, it will help the new family readily locate a valuable service that they can try and possibly continue to use.

4. Cut their lawn, pull weeds, trim trees or shrubs, or perform another outside chore before, while, or just after they move in. With the flurry of activity centered on getting furniture set up and dishes put away, they may very well appreciate not having to worry about an outdoor chore like one of these.

5. Throw an informal welcome party. In good weather fire up the barbecue and invite your new neighbors to stop by for a bite to eat and a chance to meet other folks on the block. Ask the other neighbors to come on over for a burger and to introduce themselves to the new family. Everyone will enjoy your mini-block party, and soon may be chatting like old friends.

In addition to doing a good deed for these new residents, you also will help to promote community security, which can lead to crime-watch programs, recycling projects, neighborhood garage sales, and other group events. Becoming acquainted is a good way to build rapport that can help to prevent careless neglect or vengeful behavior, since people that feel valued often return the same treatment to others.

Discuss ideas like these with your other neighbors to arrange a welcoming event that will warm the hearts of all who are involved.

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