There are a lot of things I love to do. But hovering right up at the top (in between baking and eating cookies and let’s be honest, taking care of baby animals) is throwing a good party. I come from a Greek family where no celebration happened without lots of wine and dancing. And almost every occasion was worth celebrating, birthday, name day, holy day, holiday, all were met with a party.
Even in high school my friends and I threw elaborate parties. One had a band and a dance floor, another formal wear and dinner dates. Then summer parties had trampolines, scavenger hunts and always lots of costumes. We loved to get people together. We loved staying up late and chatting until we were so goofy that everything was hilarious and we would laugh uncontrollably. Many of these girls are still my best friends today.
Today when I say party I don’t mean the drink too much, stay up all night party, though that sometime is a component.
I don’t even mean necessarily a gathering of more than four people.
What I mean is, let’s celebrate.
We are alive. Let’s live life together and let’s live it fully and richly. Let’s make good food and sip wine and hot cocoa and tell stories. Let’s make new friends and connect with old ones. Let’s make darling little place holders and flower arrangements so that you know when you sit down at this table that you are loved and we have been waiting to serve you.
What I mean is, let’s connect.
Let’s make friends. Don’t just be my co-worker or classmate, let’s be part of each others’ lives. I want you to meet my mom and my neighbor and Zenie’s God-mother Gina. I want to toast and pray and I want you to feel celebrated.
What I mean is, I want you to know that God loves you.
You see in our in our family hospitality isn’t a way to get you to hear the Good News of the Gospel. To us it is the Good News. When we welcome you into our home, we (the body of Christ) welcome you into Christ’s home. He dwells here and He dwells in us and we hope that you will encounter Him. That is the message. There is an encounter to be had and it is with a person and His name is Jesus and He is God. He loves us and He has given us good things.
So let’s celebrate.
Really all of this is an intro just so you will understand why I put so much work into Zenie’s third birthday. Sometimes I look at pictures on Pinterest and my feelings alternate between jealousy and disgust at how much trouble and money can go into an event, especially a little kid’s birthday party.
I want you to know that parties are a love language for me. So I wanted this to be special for Zenie to reflect the person that she is and give her a chance to be a hostess (okay and really I also wanted something that would give me an excuse to make a teepee but that is only one aspect of it). This party wasn’t about getting every detail perfect, it was about celebrating with new friends.
And that is exactly what we did.
We are new to town and I didn’t know what to expect as a turn out for Zenie’s party. We were moved and overjoyed that 20 families joined us for this event. We are so excited about the connections we made and look forward to a lot more celebrating.
So here are some pics. I’ll post more on some of the crafts and ideas that I used to pull this together in the next few weeks.