Ideas for a "Welcome to the Neighborhood" Basket

by Tiffany Silverberg

Fill a basket with food, documents and toys to welcome new neighbors.

bagels in basket image by Rog999 from Fotolia.com

Moving can be a stressful experience. It’s emotionally exhausting to say goodbye to friends and neighborhood comforts, and physically exhausting to move furniture and stock cupboards. If a new family has moved into your neighborhood, welcome them to the area with a basket full of goodies that will make them feel at home.

Food

Snacks and treats are well-loved gifts in a welcome basket. Bake a loaf of bread for a traditional gift, and include jellies, butters or cheeses for a simple meal. Freeze a homemade casserole, lasagna or pasta dish and include the frozen dish in the bottom of the basket, with directions on how to thaw and cook the meal. Don't forget to include the ingredient list, in case the family has allergies.

Fresh coffee, sugar and creamer packets, juice, muffins, bagels and fruit can be tucked into the basket so the new neighbors will have an arsenal of breakfast items to tide them over until they can get to the grocery store. Cookies or brownies make a sweet treat, and you might also want to include any local foods that your area is famous for, especially if your neighbors have moved from another area of the country or world.

Paperwork

Gather take-out menus from your neighborhood’s closest restaurants. Also pick up information documents from local libraries, parks, recreation centers, homeowners’ or renters’ associations and farmers’ markets. Print materials about the average time that the mail arrives everyday and the days the trash is picked up. Be sure to share any information about idiosyncrasies of your neighborhood. For instance, if there are local tornado sirens tested every Wednesday at noon, the new neighbors would like to know that before they run for cover.

Write or type up your name, family members’ names, address, phone number and email address. Include a note encouraging the family to call you if they need anything or have any questions. If you have permission, you may want to share the names of local babysitters, pet sitters and lawn service companies.

Toys

Include a few age appropriate toys if there are any children in the family. Balls, jump ropes and sidewalk chalk are good gifts for children, whose outside toys are probably still packed in boxes from the move. These toys will also bring shy children outside where they can start to make friends with the neighborhood children.

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About the Author

Tiffany Silverberg has written grants and copy materials for over three years. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in linguistics. Silverberg has conducted research regarding language development in deaf children and worked as the lead reporter at the Kingsville Record and Bishop News in Texas.