Last week, as my show premiered on FOXCT, I came down from my overwhelming excitement to prepare and participate in our first neighborhood progressive party on Saturday night. Five homes participated in the festivities, as one by one we visited each and every one. Planned for over a month, everyone took pride in getting ready by not only decorating their home for Christmas but dressing up for the occasion as well.
We all got excited about coordinating the menus and the role each home would play that night. The houses happen to be on two different streets, and some share backyard fences. We began with the two houses on the first street; we ate and drank, and then ate and drank. When it was time to go to the houses on the second street it was time for a surprise celebration: we unveiled the official new walkway through the shared fence to the adjacent street. The walkway is known affectionately as “Le Path.”
We had a ribbon ceremony, of course, said a few words, drank some more and proceeded through. How magical it was, as Katie and Cynthia (the residents of the first two homes) took it upon themselves to garnish the path with white holiday lights and white branches suspended over our heads. Tons of snowflake ornaments of varying sizes adorned the walkway. They must have spent hours clearing out the space and decorating! (Certainly Katie’s husband Chris helped!)
After the third and fourth house, we were stuffed and in full holiday spirit. One last house to go: we finished the night at my home, Rosebrook Gardens. I wanted to do something extra special, so Cynthia donated her fire pit and I placed it in front of the Garden Studio, which would act as the food and beverage station. I then took all my outdoor teak furniture and placed around the fire. Lastly, when everyone arrived I offered the ladies their own snowflake blanket. (Sorry guys.) I felt like Oprah! We cheered our blessings at having such wonderful neighbors while we enjoyed my tasty hot chocolate recipe, which you could “doctor” as you wished. Everyone kept the chilly night further at bay by making use of their s’mores kits and roasting marshmallows.
After our hot adult hot chocolate and s’mores, we migrated inside to sit by the fireplace and my nine foot Christmas tree, to enjoy a collection of holiday cookies and French pastries. Champagne and cocktails were served, festive holiday music played, and we chatted away, wrapping up around midnight. Everyone walked home easily, but when we all awoke the next day we all felt as if we took a “path” to a place where no one has ever gone before. Our first holiday stroll set the tone for the years to come. This night was unlike any other neighborhood, more like one we could refer to as “A land of Make-Believe.” Our path of getting to know each other will forever be personified by the path connecting all our homes. So when you see me cutting through my neighbor’s yard–it’s okay I’m just “Pathing through.”