Are you struggling to meet your neighbors? Want an opportunity to meet them? I can’t think of a better opportunity than Halloween! When else do you have neighbors coming to YOUR front door? Can’t get any easier than that!
If you REALLY want to meet your neighbors…
- Why not greet the trick-or-treators with a big ole bowl of candy? It’s not the night to cut the lights off, disconnect the doorbell, and hide yourself under the covers. It’s not the night to go to someone else’s house, but to stay at home on your front porch with treats! It’s not the night to go to a trunk and treat at your church 5-10 miles away, but it IS the night to stay at home…and meet your neighbors.
- Why not dress up and play spooky music? Set the mood. As we sit on the front porch, we aren’t dressed up, but we do have an iPod speaker and play a Jango Halloween channel…really loud. Thankfully, we are not annoyed by the constant ringing of the doorbell, but we do ‘force’ the kids to say those 3 magical words! We also treat the parents and older kids.
- Why not take your children house-to-house to trick-or-treat, while leaving your spouse at home to hand out candy? Divide and conquer! Bundle up. Grab a flashlight. Include the dog and join some neighbors and walk together.
- Why not make a game of it? Whoever can remember the most new friends’ names and something about them wins. Not more candy…but, some other sugar-free treat.
- What else can we do to make meeting neighbors fun?
A few years ago, Louis and I decided to move off the front porch and into the yard. You can check out things here>> Posts of Halloween Past. The post even includes a simple checklist that I used last year!
If you don’t have anything going on…and you just can bear to answer the door at home alone, come on over and join us in the fun!
Today was the big day…Louis and I, along with our photog – Terence Talley, and Bella and Wesley (our 2 dogs) set out for the bus stop to greet our old friends and meet some new ones! In case you missed the original post, check out Missional Sucker. Enjoy the pics. You will note that there are no Reeses Hearts in the pictures. Confession: Louis and I broke into them over the weekend, which meant a quick stop at the store for some Laffy Taffy (always a hit!!!). Don’t judge! :)
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I love, because He first loved me! 1 John 1:14
Here Comes The Bus!
I have heard time and time again about how people were cutting back on spending for Christmas gifts. Sometimes this was due to loss of a job, a downturn in the economy, or just a conscious choice of spending less money or just spending it differently. So, my aunt, Pat, in Gresham, Oregon – just outside of Portland, decided to do something simple for her community and friends. She hosted a party with not Santa….but his WIFE! Her thoughts were…Santa is associated with gift-giving, but Mrs. Claus (my other Aunt Jo) is known for nothing but LOVE…and cookies! So, Mrs. Claus came to my aunt’s home not only read the Night Before Christmas, but also the biblical Christmas Story….the story of Jesus’s birth.
From the pictures, you can tell that the kids LOVED sitting at the feet of Mrs. Claus as she read. But, the surprise is…the impact that it had on the adults who attended. One woman, who had never heard the Christmas story, was touched to the point of tears. She had never felt such love at Christmas time. This has opened up an opportunity to share the Hope of Jesus with a friend and neighbor.
Aunt Pat said…
In just talking with other friends about the upcoming event (in answer to “what are you doing this weekend?”), sufficient cookies were donated that I really didn’t HAVE to buy any. Also, 2 turkeys, from different sources, were donated for two families that would not have had a turkey dinner on Christmas. One friend had won a turkey, and didn’t eat “fowl”; the other had two turkeys (I don’t know why) and shared. Some friends/family were praying to find someone to help, and God answered their prayers too.
- Cookies = Donated
- Punch/Drinks = $5
- Mrs Claus dress from Craig’s List = $20
- A changed life = priceless
You don’t have to be a seminary trained pastor or missionary to be to love your neighbor. You just need a willing and open heart, a little time, and someone willing to wear a Mrs. Claus dress! Doesn’t she look perfect?!?!?!? She just beams.
With other holidays coming up, how can this type of incarnational living be replicated for Valentine’s Day, Easter or Memorial Day?
What will a Reese’s Cup (heart shaped, of course) and a sucker have to do with being missional? Not a whole lot if you eat them all yourself! But, this Valentine’s Day, I will be heading to the bus stop to greet the neighborhood kids with an afternoon snack and a hug! I’m sure their parents will thank me profusely when they get home after school even more hyped than usual.
Our budget is tighter than it has been in past years. Hope we don’t run out! In past years, I have put little Valentine goodie bags together and had them at the house when some of the kids came by. This year, I’ve decided to go out and meet them at the school bus. Due to a number of reasons…mainly because a number of them moved last summer and we had a year full of family-related health issues (including our own!)…Louis and I have lost contact with a lot of the neighborhood kiddos. Now, we are attempting to get to know the new kids who live around us and this is just one way we are attempting to do that.
Looking forward to Easter…we are also planning our annual Southern Barton Heights Easter Egg Hunt for the neighborhood kids. Can’t wait!!!!
What are you doing for upcoming holidays to meet your neighbors?