The holiday season is one of the biggest and best chances for your homeowners’ association (HOA) to engage with your residents and build lasting bonds throughout the community. To help you get started, we've listed five ideas that are sure to bring good tidings and joy to your neighborhood.
1. Form a Festivity Committee
As with other responsibilities of your HOA, spreading some holiday cheer requires the right volunteers. Don't wait until Thanksgiving to form your committee. Start early in the year so that your committee has all the time they need to plan, make a budget, and get any needed supplies. Often, HOAs already have a social committee that’ll be willing to take on the added duties. If not, feel free to form a special committee for all your holiday decorating, activities, and parties.
2. Deck Your Halls
No holiday season is complete without some festive decorations. Get your community into the holiday spirit with some lights that’ll brighten up your resident's day. Read through your governing documents and double-check your budget before buying any decor, then do your best to help make this year unforgettable for you and your residents. Remember, be a good example for your residents and be sure your association follows the same decoration guidelines you set for residents. Be sensitive to the type of decorations you select and how long they are set up.
3. Host a Cookie Swap
Nothing brings the holiday spirit quite like cookies, so invite the whole block to a cookie swap. If you haven’t participated in one before, a cookie swap is where attendees each bring a few dozen of their favorite holiday treats to a party. Everyone who attends gets to mix and match their own treat bag to bring home, allowing residents to share their family favorites while getting to sample others. People can even print off recipe cards to share their secret sweets with neighbors and friends.
4. Tap Into Your Competitive Spirit
If sipping cocoa by the fire doesn't get your residents excited, then some friendly competition might do the trick. Look for different ways to engage residents by offering something competitive for all ages. For the adults, you can do a decoration competition for outdoor spaces like porches and Christmas lights. For any outdoor light competitions, be sure to include a refresher on any community guidelines and rules. For the kids, try gingerbread houses and cookie decorations. Be sure to announce the winners at a holiday party or in a community newsletter, and don’t forget to thank everyone who participated!
5. Make it a Season of Giving
For many, the holidays are all about giving back. Take the opportunity this season to help organize a simple way for residents to volunteer their time or donate money to a worthy cause. Consider hosting a canned food drive or an activity where volunteers assemble backpacks or emergency kits for a local shelter or other organization. You can also work with a trusted nonprofit to turn your holiday event into a fundraiser. Associa-managed communities may want to check out Associa Cares, a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created to assist families and communities in crisis as a result of natural and man-made disasters.