Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Box Lunch Social

I am excitedly anticipating the first full weekend in October because that is when I hope to travel to Arkansas to visit many friends and attend a Box Lunch Social. The event is being held as a fundraiser for the Wednesday school (for homeschoolers) in the area, and this will be my first time to attend one. I didn't really know what one was until the Green family told me about it a year ago - even though I vaguely remember seeing something about a box social in some older movies.

Sister Lisa and Anna explained that each gal will fix up a meal and place it in a box or basket. Many will decorate the container with a little "flair", and some women may even advertise the contents (like "Award-winning Fried Chicken" or "Grandma's Apple Pie") to spark interest in that box. The boxes are then lined up in an auction-type setting and the men in attendance bid against each other to win a particular box. Then, the traditional conclusion is to have each buyer share the food with the lady who made the lunch box he won. And, the proceeds will go to the organization hosting the event. What fun!

Here's a definition from Wikipedia: A box social is a form of fundraiser, wherein donated lunch boxes are auctioned off for some cause (usually charity or raising money), or, alternatively, a person creates a lunch, which is then auctioned off. Varying depending on the customs, the person would often go on a date with the person who won the lunch they had prepared. The term originated in the early 20th century, when such boxes were more common in workplace settings.

Here's a good definition from the Urban Dictionary: A social get-together that involves the auctioning off of boxed lunches/dinners prepared by the women. A potential sweetheart might let her man of choice know how she had decorated the box she prepared so that he would be the one who would successfully bid on it. He who bought the lunch would share the meal with the one who prepared it. Example: Betsy decorated her boxed lunch with daisies, in hope that Sven would bid on it at the box social.

It has been explained that the weekend in Arkansas will also be filled with performances by the home schoolers, a hymn singing, bluegrass music, a square dance, and lots of fellowship. This is supposed to be a special year - as all of the past graduates from the school have been asked to return. I feel so blessed to be invited and included.

Sister Lisa told me last week that many of the women are attempting to make dresses for the event. I didn't know what kind. She said, "You know, like Little House on the Prairie!" So, I found several great patterns online, but the best one I could find at the sewing store was this dress. I am thankful for the help from Tracy - who knows so much about sewing and who sews the most wonderful dresses and costumes for her little girls and herself. I, on the other hand, know so little...and will be receiving guidance from Tracy at every step.

This past Friday, Tracy and I went to the Jo-Ann Fabrics store together, and it was a fun outing. A little girl time was badly needed. And, I'm afraid I took a long time to pick out the fabric and buttons that I wanted. Since Tracy and I would be putting in a lot of time and effort, I wanted my selections to be "just right." Mom had suggested that I go with a medium blue color, and I agreed...until I arrived at the store. I just couldn't find any blue fabric that I liked. But, right away, Tracy found some beautiful (and unique) pink, maroon, and green paisley/calico fabric that seemed perfect. It sounds like a weird combination of colors, but I love it. There just wasn't enough fabric to make an entire dress, but we soon decided that this would be good for an apron, a bonnet, and some other accents. So, the main part of my dress will be a coordinating plain maroon cotton. It will be accented with greenish grey buttons, and it will be completed with a half apron (not a full one, like in the pattern picture.) I have already cut out the pattern, but we have a lot more to do in a week's time. I'd better get going! If we are able to complete the dress, I will try to post a picture here....along with some pictures of the Box Lunch Social. This will be the first dress I've made and the first box social I've attended. I can't wait!


lydia said...

That dress is awesome! I REALLY want one. The Box Lunch Social sounds like a lot of fun. You will definitely have to take some pictures and share with us your experience. I wish I could go too.

strem said...

I know you do, Lydia! ;) I'll make sure I pass on your hellos to everyone. Maybe we can find another time when you can travel down with me.

Nardo said...

Glad you are getting to come. I am still in limbo about whether I will be able to make it or not.

Sandy-san said...

As I have told you before, I would have LOVED to have been Laura Ingalls-Wilder in that time period! Your dress sounds so pretty, and this social sounds like so much fun! Please bring us back a lot of pictures!!! =)

Piano Man said...

I hope you are not hampered in your plans to attend the box lunch social.