This Saturday, we had a blast at our house – the first ever ChiliFest!  We invited several couples over with the idea that they would bring over their own chili to share with the rest of the guests.  We provided drinks, salad, dessert, and corn bread.  It was so fun to get together with couples who represented a hodgepodge of our friendships from the area.  There were friends from our neighborhood, friends from our old neighborhood, and friends from our church.  We enjoyed White Chicken Chili, Taco Chili, Buffalo Chicken Chili, Spicy Green Pork Chili, Pork/Beef/Beer Chili, and Traditional Tex-Mex Chili.  As we enjoyed the Chili, guests voted for their favorite chili’s in six different categories:  Most Unique Chili, Most Delicious Chili, Most Spicy Chili, Most Likely to Serve at Home Chili, Most Colorful Chili, and Best Overall Chili.  The winners of each category took home a unique bottle of hot sauce.

Besides the great food, we enjoyed great times with friends.  It was neat to see people from our friendship circles interacting with people they had never met before.  When we bought our house six years ago, we planned to use our home as a place to welcome our friends and neighbors – to bring connection and community to those around us.  Saturday’s ChiliFest was a great reminder for us!  I can’t wait until the next get together at our house.

What fun ideas do you have for fun in-home gatherings?