During the holiday season, you have more chances than ever to bring your community together. When you live in an HOA, you want to host activities that will encourage everyone, young and alike, to participate. Try some of these ideas to bring everyone out of their homes and encourage them to interact. 

1. Collect for a Charity

Host a Toys for Tots collection, collect toys for deployed military families, or gather food for hungry members of your community. When you bring the members of your HOA together to collect those items, you'll get a much larger donation than any one community member could manage alone--and you'll create a stronger sense of community.

2. Host a Holiday Cookie Exchange

Many people love to bake during the holiday season. Why not host an exchange that will allow you to share all of those baked goodies? Host a holiday cookie exchange in one of the communal areas of your community. Invite every member to bring several dozen cookies made from their favorite recipe to share, then allow everyone to select a few from each plate to take home to their families. Don't forget to bring the recipes to share! Each member might just leave with a new favorite.

3. Hold a Chili Cook-Off

Sharing your recipes isn't just for sweet holiday treats! Why not try a chili cook-off with your community members? Invite everyone to put together their favorite recipe. Then, have judges choose the best of the lot. You can also allow everyone to vote: offer small tasting cups of each type of chili, then invite community members to try each one. Once they've sampled to their hearts' content, they can go back and get a bowl of their favorite. 

4. Host a Fun Winter Carnival

If you have plenty of space for your holiday event, why not hold a winter carnival? Serve popcorn, cotton candy, and hot chocolate, invite community members to put out decorations or crafts, and make sure to put together some fun games for the kids to play. You can have a cake walk, put together a fun holiday ring toss, or have "ice fishing" for kids to throw fishing poles over a sheet and pull them back with a prize attached. Get creative with your game ideas to watch everyone enjoy the event.

5. Hold a Decorating Contest

Invite the members of your homeowner's association to put their decorating skills to the test in a decorating contest. You can offer prizes for the fanciest decorations or for unique, personalized awards for community members who went above and beyond with their efforts. Get creative with your decorating requirements. You can let your community members decorate small trees to bring to the community area, invite them to decorate their front doors, or hold a decorating contest for the entire house. 

6. Host a Gift Exchange

A White Elephant gift exchange is a great way to build community togetherness and get in a few laughs. Invite everyone to bring a wrapped gift in a certain price range--$15 to $20 is usually a reasonable amount for a fun holiday gift exchange. Consider how you can integrate the gift exchange with a little more fun. You can host a catered event for which everyone pays a minimal fee or invite guests to bring their favorite dish for a potluck to remember. Consider wrapping a few extra gifts so that everyone will be able to participate in the gift exchange, even if they forget to bring something a gift along with them.

How are you celebrating the holiday season in your HOA this year? Choose from these ideas to help build these sense of community in your HOA and bring people together during the holiday season this year.