In the summertime, it’s easy to kick back with neighbors on front porches or at barbeques. Fireworks bring everyone outside to oooh and ahhh. When the leaves change and an unmistakable chill hangs in the air, it can be easy to retreat inside.
But don’t be discouraged! The holiday season offers many opportunities for intentional neighbors, church planters and community advocates to pursue deeper relationships in the neighborhood.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about ways to connect these next couple of months.
1. Host a Community Dinner
Did you have some great front porch conversations with the chatty senior down the street? Did your kids share sidewalk chalk with the family next door? Build on that summer momentum and float the idea of a community dinner.
Invite neighbors to bring a dish if they wish or just show up and enjoy some good food and company. Chili is the perfect meal to feed an undisclosed number of people on a crisp night.
2. Start a Tradition
What’s a fun activity your neighbors may enjoy? Get together and make homemade applesauce or candied apples. Plan a trip to visit an apple farm or pumpkin patch. Project a family movie onto the side of a building (or inside if it’s too cold).
The goal is to find something simple and accessible that you can build into your fall rhythms. Create something neighbors will look forward to each year!
3. Share Seasonal Work
Rake leaves, clean gutters, shovel snow, winterize pipes. There are so many ways you can help out your neighbors this season. Offer to assist the elderly in your community or hire teens to help you with these tasks. These practical jobs are great ways to stay connected with neighbors when the temperature drops.
4. Organize Carpools
Even if everyone on your block owns a car, you don’t have to drive alone everywhere. Take notice of popular local events and collaborate with other families for school productions or football games.
5. Share a Holiday Gift
Let your neighbors know you care! It doesn’t have to cost a lot or be Pinterest-worthy DIY. Just a tiny offering to share a little love.
Want some ideas? Consider roasted nuts, candies, hot chocolate mix, flowers, candles or a personal card. Basically, your options are limitless. Spread the love!
6. Host the Holidays
Holidays are traditionally family affairs. They can, of course, be very lonely for some people. Immigrants in your neighborhood may particularly feel homesick at the holidays.
Regardless of your own holiday situation, consider celebrating at home this year. Invite neighbors to join you for the festivities. You may be surprised to learn who has no place to go and just how welcome your invitation may be.
Don’t let cooler weather and the fall TV line-up keep you from connecting with your community. Find out what creative ways work for you to continue building relationships.
What’s one way you’ve enjoyed getting to know neighbors?
This article originally appeared on FCS Ministries’ blog. Used with permission.