Community associations come alive with holiday cheer this time of year. Many have been preparing for months to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, but there’s still time to capture some magic. Effective signage and decorations play a vital role in transforming streets and neighborhoods and fostering a sense of belonging and joy.

Some communities turn to a homeowner-led committee that is responsible for organizing festivities. This committee should represent your community, incorporating various cultural backgrounds and demographics to ensure an inclusive celebration. The committee can brainstorm ideas for signage and decorations that resonate with the community’s traditions and values. My community uses the following guidelines.


Clarity and accessibility: Signage should be clear and easily understandable, guiding visitors and residents toward key holiday events and activities. Proper placement and use of directional signs can help visitors navigate the community efficiently.

Multilingual approach: In multicultural communities, incorporating multiple languages on signage can promote inclusivity and make everyone feel welcome. This is particularly important for essential information like event times and locations.

Safety reminders: During the holiday season, large crowds gather in public spaces. Signage should include safety reminders to prevent accidents and ensure a secure environment for all participants.


Unifying theme: Choose a unifying theme that reflects the community’s shared values and traditions. This theme will tie all decorations together and create a cohesive and captivating holiday display.

Local artisans and businesses: Support local artisans and businesses by sourcing decorations from within the community. This fosters a sense of pride and stimulates your local economy.

Outdoor illumination: Illuminate public spaces with festive lights, creating a magical ambiance during the holiday season. LED lights are energy efficient and long lasting, making them a sustainable choice.

Community participation: Encourage community members to actively participate in decorating public spaces. Organize decoration workshops and invite residents of all ages to contribute their creative ideas and efforts.

Inclusive decorations: Ensure decorations are sensitive to the diverse cultural and religious backgrounds within the community. Aim for decorations that celebrate various holidays without favoring any specific tradition.

Adaptable decorations: Select decorations that can be reused or repurposed for future celebrations, reducing waste and enhancing the community’s commitment to sustainability.

Effective signage and decorations spread holiday cheer and foster a sense of pride and unity. A well-prepared community attracts visitors and strengthens the bond between residents. By involving community members in the preparation process, everyone feels a sense of ownership and investment.

To fund these preparations, the community committee can explore sponsorship opportunities from local businesses, forging partnerships that benefit both parties. Additionally, the committee can organize fundraisers or apply for grants from local authorities to support the festivities.

Communities can prepare for holiday cheer by establishing committees, selecting unifying themes, and engaging residents in the planning and decoration process. Guided by inclusive signage, these efforts create a warm and inviting atmosphere and promote a sense of belonging, fellowship, and unity. By embracing guidelines that you establish, your communities can prepare for holidays that are visually captivating, meaningful, and enjoyable for all.


Contributed by Daniel Goodrich, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM, manager of Sierra Dawn Estates Homeowners Association in Hemet, Calif.

>>Read more about holiday season planning in CAI’s Ultimate Guide to the Best Holiday Ever

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