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Gingerbread house party

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Country Tried: AUSTRALIA
Location Tried: Neighbourhood
Estimated costs: Snacks: $50 AUD, Gingerbread house kit and lollies: $20 AUD
Suggested frequency: Annually
Hosted by: Neighbour
Activity: Food
Author: uglyducklingcompany
Published: 12/12/2016

Description

This idea comes from Evangelism Consultant Belinda Lakelin, who works for the Baptist Association of NSW and ACT in Australia. Here is what Belinda has to say about the event she ran:

A month before I invited anyone, I walked up and down my street, praying. I chose a date and time and made invitations. I would provide snacks, and I asked the neighbours to buy their own Gingerbread house kit from the supermarket. I also said people could just come for the food if they didn't want to build a house. I knocked on every door on my street (about 30 houses) and introduced myself (this is my first Christmas on the street). Then I would give them an invitation and chat a little bit. I made a list of people's names to help me remember them later. Almost everyone was very chatty. About seven women and two men came. The men shared a beer while the women sat at the table and got to know each other. After some time, I asked the ladies if we could play a conversation game. I showed the women the "Table Talk for Christmas" game (which is also a free app) and dealt out two cards to each woman from the "Christmas Week" set. The men entered the kitchen just in time for the last question (Is Christmas just for children?) And a lively conversation followed. It was now 5 p.m., and we hadn't made gingerbread houses! One couple stayed behind to make the gingerbread, but others needed to leave.

Rationale

I wanted to take advantage of being new on the street and Christmas: to build community spirit, celebrate Christmas, get to know my neighbours and see where the Lord is working.

Outcome

A week later, I wrote thank-you cards to the people who had come to thank them for being brave enough to come and get to know the other neighbours! A couple people had said they wanted to come but couldn't, so I bought them a gingerbread house kit and give it to them as a present. This would be an extra expense should you choose to do that yourself. I have also dropped round meals for neighbours I met who were sick or grieving. I have also invited one woman over for dinner. Now, I am organising a street Christmas party. I am hoping to use the relationships and community connections to start a monthly conversation group using the Table Talk cards.

Other requirements

Access To Toilets
Disabled access
Health and Saftey

Additional requirements: Having helpers (family members) to join is a great thing, too! Additionally, I think if I had not knocked on doors, no one would have come. Inviting people face to face was very important. It took me about four hours to do the whole street because everyone was so friendly.

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