Thursday, December 17, 2009

Neighbor Gifts: Love 'em or Leave 'em?

One part of the Christmas season that I LOVE is neighbor gifts. I love deciding what to make, getting supplies, and putting the gifts together. But my favorite part is definitely the giving-- taking time to pay a brief visit to my friends and give them a small token of our love and appreciation.

I have to confess... I have had my neighbor gifts done for months! I have already delivered most of them too. (You hate me now, don't you?)

I usually make an ornament for my neighbor gifts. I have considered giving treats, but since we go out of town for Christmas, I have no desire to make a big mess of my kitchen while I am trying to pack.

So without further adieu, here are my neighbor gifts this year:

A homemade cardinal or dove ornament, with a matching card and a little poem that I wrote.

They didn't take me too much time. Just a little felt, glue and beads for the eyes. I think they turned out just darling, and I saved one for each of my boys too!

As much as I love neighbor gifts, it has come to my attention recently that some people REALLY don't like them, perhaps because they feel they have to reciprocate. One of my friends actually got the following flier on her doorstep recently:

"Rather than spending money on "trinkets" for neighbors, come spend TIME and celebrate the season with friends old and new!" The flier then goes on to invite them to a gathering and asks them to bring a treat to share.

Umm... HELLO?! Is it just me, or is that a bit rude? This person basically just informed her friends and neighbors that she doesn't want their crappy gifts, and instead wants them to take the time to make treats for a party that they probably don't have time to attend?

I love giving and receiving neighbor gifts. 'Tis the season of giving, and I love the spirit of Christmas well-wishing that accompanies neighbor gifts.

That said, I definitely don't keep a list of who I gave gifts to so I can keep track of whether or not they brought a gift in return. That isn't important to me!

I say that if you don't want to give out neighbor gifts that is just fine. However if others bring you gifts, you should accept the gift, say thank you, and be grateful that you are loved!

So there's my two cents... what do you think of neighbor gifts?
Love 'em or leave 'em?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Honey Mommy


  1. I make something for my neighbors every year. Most don't do anything for us, but I still enjoy bringing them a treat each year. This year I made homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream pies for them.

  2. I am with you I love giving stuff I don't want anything.

  3. When I lived with my parents, we had neighbors bring us goodies. We always bought those packages of food stuff (like the somer sausage and cheese or coffee mugs with hot cocoa) you see at Walmart. I loved getting them.

    I would love it if we had neighbors now to exchange with (or just give to). We did take cookies to our neighbors about a week ago but just the ones next to us that share our duplex. We don't know anyone else. I would like to take something for friends from church. :)

    I love the ornaments.

  4. I love to get neighbor gifts, but don't give gifts and it seems to work out fine. I'm always gracious and enjoy it when people drop things off and enjoy chatting for a minute. I just don't have the time or energy to get out there and give gifts. So thank you everyone one who brings me neighbor gifts and Merry Christmas.

  5. I am with you. If you enjoy giving gifts then just keep right on giving! It's not a competition. And I think people need to learn to be grateful and gracious!

  6. We don't do neighbor gifts here, but I'd love to by your neighbor. Your gifts are precious!

  7. You know, I think Christmas is about giving AND receiving. And you should do both (or either) with grace and gratitude.

    Someone who would send a note like the one your neighbor received, is probably not the kind of person you'd want to hang out with anyway.

  8. I make neighbor gifts every year as well. I never expect, and usually don't receive, anything in return, which is just fine by me. Giving is such a neat way to feel like maybe you made a difference in someones day. thanks for sharing!

  9. That sounds nice...I don't actually know my neighbors. We rent, and there are new people coming and going all the time. It must be fun to know the people next door, LOL!

  10. Well this seems to be an American thing but I like the sound of it.
    I think you have your priorities right. It IS better to give than receive and I think it is rather rude to put up notices that you don't want certain gifts and that you are asking for something else instead.
    I love your birdie gifts and wish you were my neighbour!

    Nuts in May

  11. I agree... If i receive a gift from a neighbour, I smile and say a big thanks!!

    If i give a gift to a neighbour, that's all I expect in return as well!

  12. I'd say leave 'em. But I'm in the UK and commercial/cultural pressures like that are a bit lower than your side of the pond.

    E.g. that joke in Friends when one moves into a new apartment building, the caretaker is leaving or it's Xmas (can't recall which) and Ross is duressed into coughing up $100 or more and won't do it and is roundly hated by all. That wouldn't happen here!

  13. Your little ornaments are sweet! I would be delighted if one of them fluttered into my mailbox, or made it to my door. :)

    And I agree. Small neighbor gifts are a delight of the season.

  14. Love those sweet birdies! Beautiful.

    I really enjoyed the teacher gifts this year, myself. Hope they enjoy them, too!

  15. I don't know...I don't do anything like that and I think this is nice. I'm sure the person meant it to be nice, though, and it just backfired. They wanted to actually meet people probably. . .

    They are beautiful ornaments!

  16. They are being kind of rude! Why impose what you think Christmas is about on someone else? If you like to give gifts, give the gifts!

  17. I actually really like the flier sign. It is about time and relationships. I wish I knew my neighbors better.

    I made those birds a few years ago. Turned out great (but too hard for my students) and I hang them in my home every year.

    I give pumpkin bread to my neighbors. They seem to like it. But one neighbor, after we'd lived in the home for over a year AND given them other gifts on occasion, looked at me blankly and said "and who are you? and where do you live?" (we live across the street and they often park in front of our yard). So, I haven't bothered to go back there....

  18. I'm giving my neighbors homemade cookies!

  19. Love 'em. But not for the whole neighborhood...that can get overwhelming for me. I just do it for the couple that I know and talk to and sometimes we do a few extra for a neighbor or two that we don't talk to often, just to let them know we care. :)
    Adorable ornaments! Look how crafty you are!

  20. Oh, that is TERRIBLE that someone would pass those around. Good for you, for still doing that. I think that is a very sweet gesture!!

  21. Those gifts are beautiful! We do not do neighbor gifts here.

  22. Those ornaments are adorable. I love the thought of neighbor gifts and I like get togethers too. I'm going to try and get some treats together to take to our neighbors next week. Fingers crossed!

  23. That note could have been better worded for sure. I agree it is fun to give and if you're not a giver then say thanks and carry on!
    Your ornaments are very nice. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  24. I'm glad you have neighbors you like well enough to GIVE them something!! My neighbors give me migraines!!! LOL!

    I think your gift was beautiful, and I love that it was handmade!!!!

  25. you're such a great neighbour! gorgeous ornaments happy psf!

  26. I have mixed feelings about them. We do trade with one neighbor, just a tin of popcorn, cookies, or cheese. Nothing big. I love your dove/cardinals!