Warm Up Your Neighborhood with a Christmas Pass-along Plate Tradition

Several years ago I came across a plastic Christmas plate that encouraged a sweet tradition.  Much like the ‘Boo Ghost’  idea you may have seen around Halloween, this plate was designed to be filled with goodies and then passed around the neighborhood in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

The original plate is long gone but the idea has stuck with me over the years.  Now that we’re in a new neighborhood, I’ve decided it’s time to kick off this tradition once again.  Luckily, I wrote down the poem a few years ago and it’s been safely crumpled up at the bottom of a Christmas container ever since. Here’s the poem…

This traveling plate of Christmas cheer
We give to you, our neighbor, dear.
We send warm wishes and affection
With this holiday confection…
May days be wonderful and bright,
May peace surround your home at night.
Then when you’ve filled this plate once more,
Leave it at another neighbor’s door.

**I neglected to write down the author’s name (I’m not even sure an author was listed on the plate).  If you happen to know where this little message originated, I hope you’ll let me know.  I’d love to give credit where credit is due.

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As much as I liked the plate idea, I’ve decided to make a few changes to help keep things simple.  To begin with, I typed out the poem so we could attach it to virtually any type of container.  My kids like to be sneaky when we drop off our treats, so I’ve found it’s easier to work with a tin tote rather than a plate.  Tins are more durable (making them much more kid-friendly), the food is protected by the strong container (so it can easily hang out on a doorstep for a few hours), and I don’t have to worry about adding any fancy wrapping (because I’m kind of lazy about stuff like that).  I found this small, round Christmas tin at WalMart for $2 this afternoon.  While I was there I also grabbed a thin roll of red ribbon and a pack of Christmas scrapbook paper to use as a background for my poem.  I printed the file on white cardstock (you can find the free file below), mounted it on green scrapbook paper and then attached it to the tote with the red ribbon (if you have a home laminator, you may want to add some durability by sealing your poem before attaching it).

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “Hey, Maria, those cookies look dramatically similar to the sugar cookies I see in the bakery of my grocery store.  Did you make those?”  To which I would confidently reply, “Nope.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love home-made goodies as much as the next gal, I just think a clean kitchen is well worth the $2.50 I spent on those cute little polka-dot gems.  Remember, I’m not trying to wow my neighbors with this tradition (they don’t even know it’s me dropping them off), I’m just trying to spread some Christmas cheer in my neighborhood without adding any stress to my holiday.  Thanks to the cheap supplies at WalMart and the free printable files below, you can do it too.

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Whether you fill your pass-along tote with a host of home-made treasures or a stash of store-bought sweets, starting this easy and inexpensive tradition is a great way for your family to share the love in your neighborhood this Christmas.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine has.  Just thought I’d pass it on.

I wasn’t sure which type of container you guys would be using for your pass-along package so I included 4 options in the free printable (tote, plate, box, or bowl) as well as two color schemes (red/green or blue/green).  Hopefully, one of those options will work for you.  Have fun!

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  1. Love this! And I love how you simplified your life by purchasing the cookies. It’s nice to hear that someone else decides to streamline the many potential stressers of Christmas. I’m impressed how many neighbor-friendly traditions you have as a family. I bet you are creating some wonderful lasting memories with those lucky kids of yours! Thanks for passing this (and everything else) along!

  2. Thank you for sharing this! I have seen the “elf-ed” version, but I love this one! My boys will also love being able to ding-dong-ditch the neighbors! :)

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