Every year we host a New Year’s Eve party to help us get to the neighbors. It is a fun and enjoyable way to get to know your neighbors so that you can show them the love of Jesus. Though I know it is a little early, if you begin planning now, you can get a head start on planning a New Year’s Eve party that will help you get to know your neighbors.
Since the evening party needed to be held indoors due to the time of year, we were unable to invite all of our neighbors (our table seats only twenty four), so we focused on our nearest neighbors. When we invited people, most said that they “usually don’t attend New Year’s Eve parties” because they try to stay off the road on New Year’s Eve, then laughed when they realized they all live no more than a block from our house.
Lemon Meringue Pie and Wasabi Peanuts
Last year’s New Years Eve party was literally a last-minute effort thrown together that day and the day before. One of our neighbors was dying. She was very discouraged. We knew she wouldn’t be here for another New Year’s Eve. When she agreed to drop by for a few minutes, we quickly invited other neighbors to join us. But what to cook? We settled on take-and-bake pizzas from Costco, complemented by other prepared foods. Our guests loved it!
This year’s menu was somewhat expanded, but take-and-bake pizza was still the centerpiece. Almost everyone, on their own, brought along pie, cookies, wine, breads, cheeses and so on. The big hit: lemon meringue pie. The big dud: my personal stash of Wasabi peanuts. Although clearly labeled, some people ignored the label (they thought they were getting green Jordan almonds maybe?) and took some anyway. Consequently, all but one person (a true Wasabi fan) happily put their Wasabi peanuts on my plate when they figured out what Wasabi peanuts are.
Eating and Talking
We have no agenda for our neighborhood parties. We set them up and let them happen. Once neighbors get together, they love to eat and talk. Unless the food is bad or there is not enough food, they don’t remember a few weeks later what they ate. However, they do remember who they talked to and what they talked about. We hear people comparing previous places they have lived and worked, what wars they fought in, what’s happening in the neighborhood and various other topics. For the most part, they’re just getting to know each other better.
Moving to Hawaii?
Here are some of the comments people give us in between parties:
”When you have another one of those neighborhood parties, we’d like to be invited.”
“We missed the block party, but plan to come next year.”
“We got to know some of our neighbors better. Even though we’ve lived on the same street for over thirty years, we really didn’t know each other very well.”
“Great party, just a great party!” “Don’t move away! Who’d organize our parties? We love them!”
Most people love getting to know their neighbors. We do! Though we had planned to move to a warmer climate when we retired, we recently decided to stay right where we are. Why? We have lots of really great neighbors!
We care about our neighbors and they care about us and each other. We’re choosing that instead of Hawaii or Florida. If you’re wondering about the spiritual significance of all of this, I will close out this series with a post on that very topic.
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