Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bring the holiday celebration to the front yard

Stephen and Erica Crotts are front yard people. A big group on the lawn outside their bungalow in Old Town Rock Hill becomes an invitation for someone new to come over.
For their recent holiday celebration, the Crottses hung chandeliers over a grand table near the porch, served collards from the garden and roasted a pig Latin style – in a wood-framed box with hot coals on top.

Their weekend celebration leaves their guests free for family gatherings on Thursday. Maybe 50 friends, neighbors and church members had joined the Crottses by sundown, perhaps a little cold but lingering for hours under thick streaks of clouds.
The guests proudly covered the table with family recipes, took turns on the porch swing and passed around the Crottses’ baby girl, Lena.
“This is wrapped up in my faith tradition,” said Stephen Crotts, 27. “In the story that I think the Christian faith is telling, it ends up in a feast where all cultures are represented and all kinds of people are at a party.”
Stephen Crotts is on the left in the picture above, watching the pig roast.
He and his wife talk about other reasons for hosting the celebration in this video.

Crotts is involved in connecting an even broader community through The Friday Arts Project, which hosts public events each year. And occasionally he’ll convince his neighbors to host get-togethers in their yards.
“We think the more people are together, the more joyful we can be, the more we can grow together through being vulnerable and open; we think that this will make our city a more flourishing place,” Stephen Crotts said.
Here is a slide show with more pictures from the Crottses' celebration. You might get ideas for your next party.