Hosting a ‘New to the Neighborhood’ Luncheon

My heart breaks when I hear or read stories of women who move in to neighborhoods and never really get to know their neighbors.

A few years ago, my daughter and I hosted a luncheon for our neighbors. Many I did not know, so it took courage for me to reach out and invite.

We went from door to door delivering our invitations, and almost all of the ladies were able to come.

Wanting to break the ice a bit, I had a few conversation starters in mind, not only for me to get to know these ladies, but for others to get to know each other as well.

Easy luncheon questions to ask your guests:

1. Where were you born?
2. How many years have you lived in your current home?
3. Tell us the history behind the home you are living in?

Each lady got to share something about herself, and her history of what brought her to the neighborhood, which in the long run was what we all had in common!

And it gave me a new appreciation for each person there.

I also attribute the good turn out to the face-to-face invitation that we made to each guest.

Because I know you’re all wondering what I served – I remember it was super easy, but I don’t recall exactly what was on the menu. So, for today, if I were planning the same luncheon, here’s what would be on my menu.

The luncheon menu:

Each guest brings a surprise salad.
I’d serve a delicious pot of soup.
Fresh bread with a special butter.
This light and lovely dessert.

How to serve the food:

Following these easy buffet tips, I set the food up on the kitchen counter. My table was already set with the glassware, silverware,napkins, etc.

I’d say never plan on a “perfect” party, because there’s always something that will go wrong, but do plan on an “intentional” time getting to know your neighbors, who may some day end up being some of your best friends!

Have you thought about reaching out to your neighbors and inviting them to a meal?

Are you lonely in your neighborhood?

21 comments on “Hosting a ‘New to the Neighborhood’ Luncheon”

  1. I like the way you kept it simple and stress free. I’m looking for ideas for a neighborhood get together and after seeing your post realized I was over thinking it. Thanks for the fun ideas.

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  5. What a great idea! I am always sorta force myself into social things, and it’s always me and a bunch of 90 year old women, guess it’s because it’s FLorida? I don’t know, I love older people, really, but where are the young people at?

  6. What a beautiful gesture. I really REALLY need to reach out to some new neighbors that moved in a couple months ago. Time just keeps flying by, but I just need to commit to doing it!

  7. I need to be better about this! Love the idea.

  8. Wonderful ideas Sandy! We have anew neighbor and this makes me think I should plan something special for them. :)

  9. Fantastic tips, as usual, Sandy!

  10. I love this idea! We’re the new kids on the block in our neighborhood (we’ve only been here for a month!) and we’ve only met our immediate neighbors so, but I’d love to actually have meaningful conversation and get to know them! Stepping up the courage to be the one to reach out may be the hardest part on this one, but I definitely think hand-delivering invitations is the way to go for something like this. You’re so thoughtful in the details!

  11. About 25 years ago when my husband and I bought our first house, we decided to host a get to know our neighbors Christmas party and went door to door to invite people. Only 1 couple showed up. It was so sad. I never really understood why no one came. Maybe people just feel too shy going to a party where they don’t know anyone or were too busy because of Christmas. We have had many parties since, but that was a rocky start to reaching out to people you don’t know.

  12. What a great idea. I don’t know any of my neighbors really and I have lived here for almost four years. I like your conversation starters. Its a great way to find out about people and get to talking.

  13. Simply fabulous idea! Keeping it simple, warm, and inviting is perfect too.

  14. We have a handicapped daughter, so I stay close to home most of the time. I would like to do something like this in my neighborhood, but i”m so shy. I’m not sure I could do it. The few times I have met people in our neighborhood, they seem distant. I’m not sure why. Anyway, it is worth thinking about. Thank you for the post!

  15. This really speaks to me…I have lived in 3 states in the last 7 years and during all that time I have never really met my neighbors. In fact when I have introduced myself to them in passing I’ve found them to be somewhat distant and uninterested. I am not sure if it is the area of the country in which I live but I think it is a sad statement about manners and etiquette in general. I am a fairly social person who loves to entertain but I’ve found it to be pretty lonely out there.

  16. This post touches my heart, as we just moved from a close-knit neighborhood across the country and into our new home near Portland and no one has reached out to greet us. So–I think it’s up to me to reach out to them! I think it’s partly that our children are no longer in the baby-and-toddlers stages, and everyone seems so busy, but I believe people are thirsting for connection, so I’m going to take courage from your post and be welcoming myself. Thank you!

  17. SO funny! We are thinking alike! Have a post up today called “Lovely Luncheon”!

    I love the questions you posed for the guests & of course your simple but tasty menu! Please do check out my post when you get a chance. Take care~

  18. You are so sweet…I know I shared with you that my new neighbors didn’t reach out at all. Well, 7 months have passed and we are finally getting to know people some. Everybody put Christmas lights up in December so being outside brought on lots of new conversations. Last week we had the first Bunco party for our neighborhood. That will be monthly. :)

    I will be having a lunch of some sort to welcome at least the ladies on my street. It is a huge neighborhood so that’s a good place to start.

    Sending you hugs for your constant thoughtfulness.

  19. Awesome post! I live in a community that has community gatherings throughout the year- Christmas/Holiday party, Easter egg hunt (for families with little ones), Memorial Day BBQ, Fourth of July parade and BBQ, Labor Day BBQ and pre- trick or treating Halloween party. That said, these gatherings are large, and I have really only briefly met my neighbors and haven’t really gotten the chance to know any of them on a more personal level. I have been thinking of inviting several couples to share in a progressive dinner party (thanks to you, Sandy!), but I am also loving your idea of a ladies luncheon. This sounds like the perfect way to get to know some of my lady neighbors, and I love you idea of hand delivering the invitations. Thanks for sharing the details…I am off to read more!

  20. Wonderful post! This is what is missing in so many neighborhoods. My husband and I host a ‘block’ party each spring for the neighbors on our street. We started doing that after we had lived in our home for almost a year and not one neighbor had come over to introduce themselves. It was funny because most all of them showed up and were all so nice! You’re right about it taking courage to do something like that but it is so worth the effort.

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