7 Thoughtful Gifts for Neighbors (Even if You Don’t Know Them That Well)

published Oct 8, 2022
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Woman delivering homemade cookies to neighbor
Credit: Getty Images | The Good Brigade

When we moved, leaving our neighbors was one of the toughest things we had to face. The neighbors in our cul-de-sac had been with us through hurricanes and the pandemic; we had pool days and doggie playdates with them; and my boys went fishing and played catch with one of the neighbor kids. They were more than just neighbors, they were “our people” and we knew they had our back. 

Now we’re in a new neighborhood and, honestly, I’ve barely met the neighbors who live around us. I don’t know if we’re all just outside less or if it just takes more time than has passed since we moved in. But I do hope for similar relationships to develop with the people who live in the same corner of the world we inhabit. 

Since the season of giving is just around the corner, I thought now might be a great time to break the ice with holiday or pre-holiday gifts — a little something to say “hey there” to people we’d like to get to know. Or maybe you do know your neighbors and would love to give them a small gift that says, “I appreciate having you in my life.” 

Whatever the case, neighbor gifts are sure to further the connection. Good neighbor gifts are often consumable, universally liked, and able to be enjoyed by the whole household. You can leave them on the doorstep or ring the bell and take the opportunity to have a quick chat. Here are seven of the best neighbor gifts to give (and be sure to include a hand-written card). 

Credit: Firn/Getty Images

A Small Potted Plant 

A potted plant is a gift that keeps on giving. Potted herbs like rosemary or thyme are beautiful and useful. 

Baked Goods 

Who can resist a batch of homemade cookies or a basketful of muffins? It’s care on a plate and just the thing for neighbors. If you have kids that contributed, make sure to mention in your note that they helped. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist Jesse Szewczyk

Hot Chocolate Bombs or Mix 

A small package of hot chocolate bombs or a container of fancy hot chocolate mix is a sweet gift that’s sure to be appreciated during the holiday season. 

Gourmet Popcorn 

Put the fundraiser popcorn you bought from your officemate’s kid to good use and pass it along to your neighbors with a ribbon and a nice note. 

Seasonal Treats from Trader Joe’s 

Maybe it’s the pumpkin spice batons or the honeycrisp apple candle, but I’d be happy to receive any seasonal item from Trader Joe’s! Surely the neighbors will too. 

Credit: LOUISE BEAUMONT/Getty Images

A Puzzle 

A cute puzzle (you can even find them at Dollar Tree) could provide your neighbor’s family with hours of togetherness and fun. 

Simmer Pot Ingredients In a Jar 

Gather items that you’d put in a simmer pot, such as cinnamon sticks, citrus peels (dry them out first if you can), and cloves, and put them in a mason jar. Include instructions on how to turn them into a delicious-smelling stovetop potpourri along with your note.