I think new neighborhoods are in general much better at having parties. In our Roanoke neighborhood for the first few years we had went caroling and did a progressive party which one year ended up at our house with nearly one hundred people. While it was fun when it was over, it was a lot of work getting ready to host it. It doesn't take many parties of one hundred to curb your enthusiasm for neighborhood parties. Now in our Roanoke neighborhood, we generally have a cookout in the cul de sac once or twice a year. It's pretty easy on everyone except those that haul the grills.
We are lucky down here on the NC coast. Bluewater Cove, where we liver, has a clubhouse which serves as a great place to have a party. I just got back from our 2006 Christmas party. I would have stayed longer but I needed to get home to study for an exam tomorrow. If I had eaten any more, I would have needed a serious nap.
There was definitely enough food for an army. My plate of sausage balls was one of three. Our Roanoke neighborhood has been infested by cooking light which I don't mind the rest of the year. However, you have to careful in sampling cooking light appetizers. You never know what they might have cooked up.
Based on the food at our party tonight I don't think cooking light has made it to the coast. There were three kinds of meat balls in addition to the sausage balls. Then there was a delicious sausage pastry roll, pigs in blankets, chicken wings, sausage on toast, barbecue, shrimp, chicken salad in croissants, a couple of pasta dishes, spinach dip, and plenty of desserts. It was a meat lovers feast though I will admit to skipping the chicken livers wrapped in bacon.
The neighborhood is only in its second year. Maybe we can keep the party tradition going since we have a formal neighborhood association. It's nice to get a chance to meet people that you don't often see.
Along with the cold weather, there is no surer sign of the holidays than neighborhood Christmas parties. It's a grand tradition, which I hope not only survives the years but continues to thrive.