In our little microcosm of the Fort, we enjoy the holidays in many different ways but especially at the annual neighborhood holiday party hosted by one of our neighbors in our tiny cottages on Ashland. Wish you lived in a neighborhood where people connected over holiday events? You can, by organizing your own holiday parties, events, and gatherings. In turn, you’ll help foster higher property values, strong schools, and lower crime rates in your neighborhood, according to studies by Dennis Rosenbaum, director of the Center for Research in Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
At the Ashland holiday party, the host sends out the invite, sets up tables for the sharing of food, and provides a place for BYOB. In recent years, the hostess tempts us with the spicy smell of steaming tamales when we arrive but all the other accoutrement is expected to come with the guests. One fun loving neighbor always brings champagne and shrimp. Some neighbors are known for their desserts or savory bites but it all comes together with folks dropping in and out over the course of three hours or more.
The party allows us to catch up on job changes, school milestones, new additions to the family, and kids are encouraged to participate in adult conversation for at least a little bit before heading out to the front porch or yard to run off all the sugar they just consumed. There is never a limit to the sweet treats this night. My kids favorite were always the chocolate covered peanut butter balls and chocolate covered Ritz crackers filled with peanut butter as well. They still love chocolate and peanut butter combinations. It’s the sweet and salty combination that gets them every time.
So, get to know your neighbors, spread some cheer, and let’s enjoy the holidays!
Looking forward to seeing all the Ashlanders next Sunday and thanks to Nancy and Gordon for hosting us once again.