I have just found these great Christmas traditions to bring our families and comunnities together.
I don't know about you but we don't know at least half of our neighbours.
These ideas will bring the community together for Christmas.
Where: Mount Prospect, Illinois
How It Happens: Each holiday season, Rosemary Hinkemeyer's neighborhood sprouts a fantasy forest of glittering evergreens. Their appearance on front lawns up and down aptly named South Pine Street isn't the result of magic, but of the largesse of a local Christmas tree dealer, who sells 6-foot pines to the group at a discount. The evergreens are delivered to a designated location on the block, and folks haul them home and "plant" them by the sidewalk in front of their houses. To keep the trees standing in winter winds, they're tethered to 4-foot metal fence posts hammered into the ground. Then the real fun begins, as families emerge from their homes with strands of lights and other weatherproof ornaments and start trimming.
Truly Magical Moment: When the trees are lit up together against the December darkness, the effect, Rosemary says, "is awesome." "Our block," she adds, "is the talk of the village. One year, we won the 'best block' award -- and we hadn't even entered the contest."
Where: Wolcott, Connecticut
How It Happens: More than a decade ago, Kim Wachtelhausen's neighborhood was part of a new development, and most of the residents didn't know one another. So a handful of neighbors decided to break the ice: they planned a gathering to sing carols and hang bows and garlands on some of the old-fashioned lampposts that line the streets. Since then, the tradition has grown. Last year, says Kim, close to 40 people took part. After sharing food around a blazing backyard bonfire, they set off to decorate the streetlights. A few of the neighborhood's more intrepid souls take turns scaling a 24-foot extension ladder to wrap the lampposts with garlands and festoon them with ornaments. The decorations are donated by residents and vary from one lamppost to the next; the only rule is that they be appropriately festive.
Truly Magical Moment: When the lampposts are given their final touches, the crowd breaks into song. For Kim and her neighbors, the posts, while beautiful, are secondary to what they represent: "We wanted to create a family tradition that went beyond individual families," she says. "When we gather to decorate the lampposts, it's really all about coming together."
Where: Marietta, Georgia
How It Happens: The action begins in November, when families up and down Krissy Longyear's street start hoarding gallon milk jugs to create a flickering Christmas Eve runway designed to guide Santa's sleigh to their neighborhood. The weekend before Christmas, they meet at one of the homes to form an assembly line that would put even industrious elves to shame, cutting holes into some 200 jugs and filling each of them with sand and a votive candle. Then, on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, they come together to load the homemade luminarias -- and the neighborhood kids -- onto a flatbed trailer or pickup truck. With grown-ups walking alongside and the whole crew caroling merrily, they make a circuit of the entire neighborhood, lining up the jugs at regular intervals.
Truly Magical Moment: At dusk, the neighbors gather again to fire up the runway and share hot chocolate and holiday treats. "For the kids, the runway has become a major part of the holiday," says Krissy. "They're convinced that Santa couldn't find his way without it."
As featured on Family Fun
Does your family have any family traditions? I would love to feature them.