The deep, philosophical question of this blogpost is: can you call an event a "tradition" if it is dependent on freakishly hot December weather?
I only ask because I really want this to happen again. In December we had some days of freakishly hot weather here in North Carolina, and my friend Ana opened up her homestead for an afternoon of gingerbread houses and an evening potluck under the stars. The event came about because Becca wanted our small band of friends to get together for a potluck before Christmas, and we realized very sadly that with all of our children and the ensuing craziness, the size of our group had outgrown any of our small homes. It is a good problem to be poor in house size but rich in friends.
But then things turned in our favor, and Ana saw that the coming days were going to be in the 70s. We planned the party for Ana's yard space, and she invited everyone she knew. I call Ana's yard space the homestead, because they have chickens, a tire swing and trampoline, at one point there were goats (before they became too naughty), and it is a veritable sprawling happy space for kids of all ages.
In the afternoon Ana set up tables, and I helped to corral the kiddos for candy crafting. Some families brought their own prefab gingerbread house kits, and some of us made Christmas trees with ice cream cones, frosting and lots of candies.
Ooops! It tipped! How did that happen...?
When the sky turned dark we wiped the frosting off of tables and set them for dinner. Ana's girls had found greenery and pinecones in the yard, and with my Mary Poppins bag of table decor, we had a nice setting in no time. The kids ate and ran off to play, and the adults stretched out to enjoy the soups and breads, and delicious pastas and fruit.
Thanks Ana and Colin for a really lovely evening under the stars and twinkle lights! Here's hoping that next year we can do it again.