The community of Howard came together on Saturday to celebrate Christmas.

Howard residents John Paul and Heather Dineen, Hugh and Dana Huber and Buster and Beverly Bramall organized the event as a way to bring the community together.

“I guess it was probably around October Heather and I were sitting around a little bit talking about the holidays. I was raised in Boz, which is a little community just west of here. There was a little community church and they would have Christmas kinds of socials and family nights,” John Paul Dineen said. “We got to talking about our community, Howard, where we live. About 60 years ago there was church, a store, a school and a blacksmith shop. Those kinds of things draw community functions or talk or you see your neighbors in passing. So we got to thinking that we ought to do something to meet the neighbors and bring the community together.”

Dineen said after proposing the idea to his fellow neighbors they got on board and got the ball rolling in planning the community event. Invitations were sent out inviting residents to come for an evening of fun.

They received more than 140 responses saying that families would be able to attend. Each family was asked to bring a side dish or a dessert to share. The main course, beef, was supplied by Hugh and Dana Huber.

“There were some people who could not come because they had other obligations but told us to let them know the next time,” Heather Dineen said. “Then there were some who had a family thing but they brought dessert even though they could not be there. It was really neat to see everybody.”

Other neighbors chipped in to help by supplying funds for the event. Some supplied sand and manure that would be used to plant the community Christmas tree.  Also helping to fund the event was a donation from Kingdom Authority Ministries.

Families that attended were also asked to bring an ornament to decorate the tree.

The event was held on the Dineen’s property, which is located off of Farm-to-Market Road 877.  The event included a bounce house and activities for the kids, a hayride and a reading of the Christmas story from the “Bible.”

“It was just an exciting time. I don’t think that anything like that had ever been done there in Howard. To see how many people showed up, the food and decorating the tree was very special,” Hugh Huber said. “It was really neat just to see a community come together.”

Fellow event organizer Buster Bramall said the event was a great way to meet and get to know your neighbors.

 The event has already generated a lot of positive feedback from the community so that John Paul is looking to make this annual event. He is also looking at planning some other community events to bring the residents of Howard together in the future.

Follow Andrew on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI. Contact him at andrew.branca@waxahachietx.com or 469-517-1451.