Now that it's December, it means that the holidays are only a few weeks away. To make the holidays festive and fun for residents, there are a number of things you can do at your communities. Below we count just a few of the ways you can bring holiday cheer to residents with very little money or prep time involved.
1) Decorate the leasing office. Trees are relatively inexpensive to get and many vendors will deliver the tree to the office for you. You can have white paper snowflakes available and residents can list their family tradition and add it to the tree. If you prefer something lower maintenance, invest in an artificial tree you can set up and store each year. You can also set up a Hanukkah menorah and a Kwanzaa candelabra to represent all holidays your residents may be celebrating.
2) Stock a hot cocoa station. During certain hours of the week, perhaps on Saturday mornings, set up a hot cocoa station in the leasing office. You can put it beside any coffee or tea you normally provide. Hot cocoa packets are very inexpensive, so all residents need are cups, water, a microwave, and the packets. You can also add marshmallows or candy canes for a fun twist. Make sure to provide thicker cups and lids in case residents need to take the cocoa on the run!
3) Have a photo station and props for residents. Everyone loves ‘selfies’. This idea can easily be paired with the hot cocoa station or any of the events on this list. Invite your residents to the office to take photos in the station. You can create a photo background using gift wrap and print props using free online printables like this. After taking the photos, you can post them in an album on the community's Facebook page.
4) Go viral with the Mannequin Challenge. The Mannequin Challenge is the hottest craze on social media right now. It’s free and you can do the challenge in the community's management office while it is decorated. You could also film it inside a model unit to showcase the amenities your property offers. Incentivize the Mannequin Challenge participation with free pizza for those residents who join in!
5) Have a costume contest with prizes for the winners. Encourage residents to dress up for the holidays by hosting a party. You can have even have residents dress up for in theme wear or ugly holiday sweaters. It's up to your staff how you'd like to run the contest! As a prize, you can give away gift cards to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.
These are just a few of the ways to spread holiday cheer at your communities. With some creativity and teamwork, you can celebrate with little to no extra cost for your residents.