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December 18, 2005

Making a Neighborhood a Neighborhood

A few months back Heidi decided that we should throw a neighborhood holiday party. We moved into our current neighborhood about 5 months ago and have started to get to know folks on varying degrees. Heidi thought it would be a nice experience to get everyone together for an evening of hot chocolate and treats.

So a few weeks back Heidi printed up invitations and walked them around to eight different households in our immediate neighborhood. Tonight starting at 6pm we had a stream of people coming in, and in the end we had more people than we could accomodate. For several hours the house was filled with lively conversation, introductions, laughter and just a great feeling. The neighborhood is filled with great people of diverse backgrounds, ages, careers. Getting together with them was well worth the energy to plan and prepare.

It's clear that for many folks this is already a great neighborhood, but for us that are newer it takes a little time, and maybe some work to become a part of that goodness. We were delighted to learn that some of the attendees hadn't met some of the other attendees. I hope that over time these friendships become a real part of who we are. That's what a neighborhood should be, right?

One of the neighbors titled the party the "Annual Neighborhood Holiday Party," suggesting that we had committed to putting on such an event every year. To that I say "yes, awesome, we'll do it." I can't wait until next year. We've already hashed around some ideas to make the layout better (so not so many people don't have a seat), and identified some additional households to invite (sorry we missed you this year).

If you don't know your neighbors, take the time to introduce yourself and make a friend. Perhaps throwing a party is beyond what you can do, but at least take the time to help yourself and those around you feel welcome. Who knows, maybe you'll start to think of your neighborhood as a neighborhood.

Posted by mike at December 18, 2005 10:31 PM