You may be asking yourself, “Why should I give a gift to the neighborhood gossip?” Hear me out here, because there are plenty of reasons to stay on the nosy neighbor’s good side.
About five years ago I moved into a condominium complex, three garage doors down from a man I’ll call Ned. Now, neighbor Ned could be a real nuisance. He spent all day long in his garage, rain or shine, stalking the neighbors coming and going. You couldn’t wash your car or get your mail without having an hour long conversation with Ned. He could try any neighbor’s patience.
Ned could also be a really nice guy. Like when a rattlesnake got into my backyard and he warned me right before I let out my 3-month old puppy. Or when I left my garage door open (too many times to count!) and he closed it for me. Then there was the yard work he helped me with and the questions he answered about the confusing HOA laws. I could go on and on. So, while I don’t want Ned knowing every detail of my business, he comes with more positives than negatives. Who needs an alarm system when you have a free, 24 hour doorman on alert?
Here are five easy gift ideas for the nosy Ned or Nancy of your neighborhood.
1. Movie Tickets
This is a cheap and easy gift for anyone. Who doesn’t like the movies? Not to mention, when they’re out at the theaters, they aren’t in your business! You can buy discounted tickets through AAA offices, Costco or Sam’s Club, or even online. Get creative and put together your own basket with some candy, microwave popcorn bags, and soft drinks to sneak into the theaters.
2. Hot Drinks
When the weather’s cold, nothing sounds better than a cup of hot tea, cocoa, or a good old Cup of Joe! If you don’t know what your neighbor likes, you can put together a gift with all three. Buy a box of variety teas at your grocery store, some hot cocoa packets, and a bag of your favorite coffee (hey, if you like it, they probably will too!) You can include some extras like a package of candy canes or a baggie of marshmallows, and then finish off with a great big mug.
3. Home Cooked Recipes
If you’re a baker, get out the flour. Cookies, cakes, and brownies taste even more scrumptious when homemade, and chances are if your neighbor likes to talk, they work up an appetite! So bake a dozen or so of your favorite treats, wrap in some cellophane and top with a bow. The sentiment will go a long way, and you can bet your house will be looked after when you embark on your holiday vacation!
4. Gardening Gear
Nosy neighbors like to garden. Remember Mrs. Huber from Desperate Housewives? They use it as a method to spy, so why not help them out? Since the gifts came from you, you can be sure they’ll be used to focus on the other neighbors. Gardening gloves, hand lotion, seedlings, starter plants, knee pads, or a gardening stool can all be purchased at your local gardening center (Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, and Target all have great selections).
5. Wine and Cheese
BJs, Costo, Harry & David, and Beverages & More all carry a fantastic array of wine/cheese/cracker baskets at affordable prices. What better way to get a little privacy than to get the nosy neighbor sloshed? Seriously though, if you know your neighbor doesn’t drink, a fruit basket works just as well.
No matter what you end up choosing, the fact that you thought of them counts the most. Because let’s face it, you’re probably the only neighbor who bothered to make the effort.