- Invitations are available through the National Office(see Resources page)
- In creating your own invitation, clearly state “A friend will share some inspiring thoughts on Christmas.” This statement will help prepare guests for the formal content of the party.
- The first weeks in December are usually the best time for a Gathering.
- A minimum of 8 to 10 guests offers the best comfort level for all.
- The most common mistake is not sending enough invitations! As a general rule, invite three times the number of people you desire to attend. If you know your neighbors well, you may need to send only twice the number of invitations. If you do not know the people well, you may need to invite as many as six times the number of guests.
- Begin with a minimum of 30 – 40 invitations. If there is ever a problem with a Gathering, it is usually because of too few guests.
- Invite a Christian friend or relative to assist you in serving so you are able to focus on your guests.
- Hand-deliver 10-14 days prior to your Gathering.
Whether you know your neighbors’ names or not, it is best to personally deliver the invitations. This gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself and begin a friendship. Even if you know your neighbors well, hand-delivering helps warm the process of inviting. (Postal regulations prohibit leaving invitations in the mailbox.) If no one is home, leave the invitation in the door (or where it will be found) with a personal note.
- Mail only if necessary. If you mail your invitations, allow enough time for them to arrive two weeks before the Gathering date.
- Follow-up your Gathering.
When there has been no response, a phone call a few days prior to the Gathering is recommended. This could make the difference of the number of people coming. Names and phone numbers can be found, using a reverse directory, on the internet or at a local library.
D. Other Considerations
- Children should not be invited to the Gathering. You may wish to provide child care in another home. Include that information with your invitation.
- No pets should be present during the Gathering.