A few years ago (7 or 8) our very spread out neighborhood decided to change things up a bit. There is a lot of farm land this side of the reservoir. NO MORE NEIGHBOR GIFTS. It was great inspiration. WHY? Because we all live so far apart and because that money could be spent in a better way. The neighbors bring soup and a donation. The money goes to help a local family in need of food and gifts for Christmas. We gave the money to the local church leadership who would then buy the things that family needed.
Here's what we do. Every year 3 people get to head up the committee. Every year it's been someone different. I was on the committee this year along with my friends Julie and Shelli. Next year is the first repeat.
Someone rents the Civic Center for the party. It costs $50 as long as we all clean up afterward. If not, it'd cost $200.
Thank you Pinterest for all the great ideas including this invite. I changed it from the original - but still cute. I love Adobe Illustrator. I drew the whole thing myself. I did the invites last year too. Not doing it next - sorry.
The Committee figures out:
(we use something from home to keep the cost down - remember, there are better ways to spend the money)
The side dishes
(romaine with caesar dressing and french bread)
(chocolate fountain - marshmallows and sprinkles)
(A Minute to Win It Games)
Sets up and takes down the tables
(15 this year not including the games tables)
(I designed them and printed 2 to a page - hand delivered by the committee. This year I attached labels so each pot of soup was labeled)
We had over 100 people there. It was great fun to see everyone.
Marshmallows and fountain
I brought some wrapping paper to put on the wall behind the fountain to prevent sticky oily splashes of chocolate on the wall. The teen boys put up the paper which is why it doesn't line up - but it kept the wall clean!)
Lots and lots of soup!
And it was a blast. I was so nervous that no one would show up but we had the largest turn out yet. And everything was so yummy. And I was excited to see all of the donations that went to help out someone in our local area. We live in a great place and we love our neighbors.