As the Florida vs. Georgia (Go Gators!) game came to an end, our family (and friends) transitioned to be at the ready for "our neighbors". It was a tiny bit chaotic at first but we quickly got the kinks worked out.
We had a backdrop set up with props, a table with the printer ready to go. We all came out and loved on our neighbors!
I'd say, generally, families were surprised, then delighted at the gift of a free picture. Then the entry for the drawing was icing on the cake. It was great calling out to those parents standing and observing from the roadside and saying look we are taking pictures of families and we have a gift basket that you can enter to win. It brought most (and I mean most) up the drive to talk to us. It was great!
The Family Gift Basket (regretfully I did not get a pic) was the best! I loved parent's faces when they realized we were doing something just for THEM. It was great to watch parents that were standing at the street edge be lured up to my house with the prospect of something great for them :)
This precious neighbor encouraged me so much when I called to request to use her pic. She had been sharing with every one how kind that was and what a great idea. I confessed to her that I used to be a Halloween avoider (to put it lightly) and she said "You know sometimes we are the only Jesus they see. ...this made an impression" (many other nice things, thanks!) That call was amazingly neighborly. It was a call of conversation past... "how are you?" It was two ladies and connection, brainstorming, problem solving and being Friends! It didn't start because of Halloween, because we started talking before their house was even finished being built; but it was "furthered" because of Halloween.
Further reaching relationships is what I am looking for!
I do have to admit I had one regretful moment. A moment where a teenager wanted to enter her mom in the drawing (the mom was at home) and I "nicely" didn't let her. I handled it kindly, I kept to the mission or serving parents that were out with their kids, I could excuse it as doing the right thing; but that is a tiny moment, with lasting impact, I regret; but will learn from it. I was not Jesus to her.
I think... ahem...know- this idea will grow and become something HUGE for next year. I can't wait!
Now, I have slips of papers to pray over (from the drawing). Note cards to send out. And a whole new bunch of neighbors to LOVE!
I had to post one more pic, of the baby grand:
Re: My original post Missional Halloween- had some great comments! One comment in particular I want to follow-up and post about what my kids have thought about us not participating in years past, but time is escaping me and that will come another day :)