The holidays give us all a fantastic opportunity to build community in our properties and in the towns where we live. Most properties out there have some sort of charity drive or holiday celebrations. When it comes to sharing holiday ideas for the community you manage, it’s important to consider the diverse interests and preferences of the community members.
Here are some holiday-sharing ideas that can foster a sense of sharing and create enjoyable experiences not just for your residents but the community as a whole.
A Giving Tree
The Salvation Army has been offering this program for quite some time now. A tree is usually decorated with the wish lists of children living in poverty. Then, members are able to choose a tag and then gift the child whatever happens to be on the list or other things they feel may be beneficial.
For more information on how you can either set up a Christmas Angel Tree or how you can get help with gifts, please visit the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program to make Christmas mornings brighter for less fortunate kids. There are also usually other programs in individual communities for adopting families for the holidays for help with both meals and gifts.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
The main focus of the ceremony is to illuminate a central Christmas tree, typically located in a communal space like a park, an apartment building entrance, or a designated gathering area. The ceremony marks the beginning of the holiday season and brings together residents of the community to celebrate the spirit of Christmas, fostering a sense of togetherness and joy.
The community comes together to witness the tree being adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. Invite residents to participate, and make it a social gathering with hot cocoa, cookies, and perhaps even carol singing.
Holiday galas are really just big parties where funds are raised for various causes. Some people offer silent auctions, some offer tickets for sale, others still yet offer Toys for Tots donation boxes for attendees to utilize. Live music or a DJ is often a great idea, and having food made in a potluck fashion can reduce the overhead costs.
You can also seek corporate sponsorships and partnerships with your contractors and service providers to maximize the impact of this gala. By collaborating with local businesses and organizations you deal with in your property management business, you can raise awareness and generate more resources for the causes you support.
Toy drives have long been popular charity events. There are usually nationwide drives that you can sign up for, but also more locally based drives. The previously mentioned Toys for Tots is always a popular one, but your local hospital most likely also holds a toy drive this time of year for the less fortunate.
Operation Holiday Joy is also another drive you can check out. The program not only distributes toys but also provides holiday food baskets to junior enlisted military service members and their families.
Holiday Craft Fair
Arrange a holiday craft fair where homeowners can showcase their artistic talents and sell handmade crafts or goods. A percentage of the proceeds can be set aside to support a common cause for the holidays. You can set up booths or tables in a central location within the community, allowing residents to browse and purchase unique holiday gifts.
This event can also encourage community members to support local artisans who may want to showcase their crafts during the event. In return, local artisans can pay a minimal booth rental fee during the fundraising event.
Holiday Potluck Party & Movie Night
Start off early on a weekend evening with a potluck gathering where residents can bring their favorite holiday dishes to share with others. This fosters a sense of community and allows people to connect and celebrate together.
You can cap the evening with a movie featuring classic holiday films in a common area. Provide popcorn and snacks for everyone to enjoy while watching the movies.
Winter Wonderland Photo Booth
Create a winter-themed photo booth with props and backdrops that residents can access throughout the holiday season. Encourage residents to take holiday photos with friends and family.
A good idea is to have your contractors or service providers sponsor this project—most of them will be very willing to set one up in exchange for promoting their products and services.
White Elephant Parties
White elephant exchange started out as a joke, gag gifts exchanged, ala “the white elephant” but over time has morphed to mean something else. Residents, employees, and other personnel are encouraged to bring in gifts that cost a certain amount of under. There are often themes involved, and this makes things a lot more fun than a simple gift giving party.
These are just a few of the ways that you can encourage your community and really engage you tenants this holiday season. Fostering a sense of community can make the holiday season more meaningful and enjoyable for everyone in the residential rental complex you manage.
Remember to communicate these holiday sharing ideas through various channels, such as newsletters, community notice boards, emails, and social media platforms.