Gifts for New Neighbors
Like so many families, the pandemic was chaos for my clan. It all began at once, just the same as it happened for every person on the planet. Life really changed! My kids were attending school in the family living room, my husband was working from his new office space in the basement, and I was in the game room.
Being home all the time gave us all too much time. For a long while, everything stopped. Life stopped. We were together, always. We were fortunate: we didn’t have disagreements, we enjoyed living closely. It was the first time in years we were all able to relax and take a long ‘staycation’ at home.
Not long into our second lock down, a new family moved into the neighborhood. They moved in next door. The truck arrived early in the morning, and the men in overalls spent the weekend moving furniture and boxes into the house. The weekend wound down, the furniture guys finished emptying the truck late Sunday, and they shut the house down and closed after dusk.
The next week the new neighbors moved in! There were eight of them, in the huge house. What kind of gift do you get for a family of 8?! The panic set in immediately. I love gift-giving; I love any excuse to gift things to others. Surprise gifts, huge gifts, secret gifts… yeah I love presents.
So, a family of 8 moved in next door, and they looked FUN! We are average suburban folks who like to go hiking on the weekends, we are not that interesting. But the new neighbors were a treat! A family of 8 is bound to draw curiosity from the neighborhood, but we were excited to actually and greet our new ‘friends’. The pandemic was early-ish days, and we were not able to physically meet in any way yet. So, we observed and waited from afar while I plotted my ultimate gift for the new neighbors.
I came up with a few ideas over the next few weeks, as I learned about the family from their movements. They loved spending time together, just like us. Their kids were various ages, from baby to young adult, and were quite active in the backyard. I wanted to buy the new neighbors a gift that they could all enjoy together. I considered waiting until I was able to introduce myself personally, but the pandemic had convinced me to plan nothing!
I decided I wanted to find something for their yard. Something I could set up for them, and something they could all access. I had the perfect idea. The neighbors went out together one afternoon, a rare occurrence, and I jumped into action. I wanted to have everything set up for them to see.
They arrived home, and they saw the gift in the yard. There was a lot of squealing and excitement, a lot of tumbling bodies and noise! I had included a card introducing ourselves, and the kids were yelling trying to grab it from their parents.
As the restrictions lifted, we eventually met the neighbors, and they thanked us with a big BBQ and wine.
Sometimes the best way to give someone a gift is to cover a few different angles by giving them a gift basket. This works if you aren’t quite sure what the people like, as you can cover a few different items in one basket. Buying gifts for neighbors can be tricky, so try to find a gift basket that offers more than one thing. For example, I received a coffee gift basket one year, filled with all different types of coffees, I loved it. But could you imagine if I didn’t like coffee? Try to cover a wide range of items would be my suggestion.
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This is a perfect ice breaker gift as every guy can never have enough BBQ flippers, grill cleaning brushes, or tongs. I myself have three pairs of tongs. This is also a great gift to then get the follow-up invite over for a BBQ. The gift is practical enough but not too personal. BBQ tools are great gifts for new neighbors.
Getting new neighbors a bottle of wine is very common and a thoughtful welcoming gift, however, if you’re really looking to make a great first impression, why not include a small gift to go along with that bottle.
Home Sweet Home Sign
This is a very safe gift. You’re not imposing with this gift, you’re being thoughtful while being casual. This gift says, welcome to the neighborhood, we’re nice people, we can be friends, but we’re not going to bother you.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Everyone forgets how much work there is to do when moving into a new place. The unpacking takes time, the decorating takes time. Then there are all the unexpecting chores that pop up. Maybe the new neighbors are doing some renovations. Even something as simple as a painting can delay the settling-in process that allows them to make their new place feel like home. Giving gifts for new neighbors doesn’t have to happen right away. Even a month or two after they move in is fine, it allows them time to get adjusted and get use to their new surroundings.
Anna is a proud mother of four boys. She long-time freelance writer that has worked for dozens of entertainment websites. Anna loves her garden, relaxing, and reading a good book. She looks forward to traveling more in the coming future.