Making family dinner time feel special has become increasingly important to me over the past couple years. Life is crazy. Let’s be intentional about carving out time to slow down and connect around the table.
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Growing up, family dinner was nearly always spent together around the table. We’d laugh and talk – and of course, as most siblings do, we’d have our fair share of arguing and joking around with each other. But I didn’t realize how intentional it was on my Mom’s part until just a few years ago.
Our eldest two boys became more involved in sports. Games and activities were suddenly abundant and started taking over the calendar. Nothing wrong with being involved with sports – matter of fact, I love being at my boys’ games! However, I found myself defaulting to “on the go” meals more and more. I missed connecting with my people around the table – at home.
Not in the van.
Not in a fast food restaurant.
But life moves fast and I realized in order to bump “family meal times around the table” back up on the priorities list was going to take some concerted effort.
As I look around, I’m thinking that it might be even harder to carve out this time around the table now, vs. back in the 80’s and 90’s. It seems that our culture’s increasing obsession with “go, go, go!” (not to mention electronics steadily taking over our waking hours) is screaming for a family dinner time intersession. With all that’s going on, I believe it’s even more important to be deliberate about setting aside time together as families.
Be aware that I’m just sharing what’s working for our family. I realize that everyone is in different stages and seasons of life. This post is *in no way* intended to make any one feel judged or shamed. If your family culture looks busier/more chaotic/with less time around the table, make the best of it as you’re able. No shame, Momma.
The simplest thing that makes a huge impact at our family dinner table
I’ve talked about this before, but it really is something we do every night. It doesn’t matter whether we’re eating steak and oven roasted potatoes or cheap pizza we ordered from the local pizza joint.
We light candles.
See? Crazy simple, right?
Sometimes we have just three candles set down the middle of the table and sometimes we’ve got 9-12 at varying heights. It doesn’t matter. I’ve got four boys, but I’m telling you, there’s something magical about having candles lit at dinnertime. I swear the flicker of the flames have some sort of mysterious calming effect on them. (Until we’re all done…then they debate about whose turn it is to blow them out.) 😀
Granted, this is more of a “colder months practice” for us. We don’t really do this in summer for obvious reasons. But you totally could, if that’s your jam. You do you. 🙂
Lighting candles (always unscented, please) is the simplest, yet one of the most effective ways I’ve found to make our dinners feel special and help us all slow down and take a literal deep breath. A way to unwind after a long or stressful day.
And if nothing else? Light a couple candles and serve something sweet at the tail end of the day as a simple way to pause and reconnect with your most favorite people in the world.
I should note that we also have our dining room chandelier lights on a dimmer switch – which adds to the great lighting in combination with the candles. Again, make it work however you like.
Author’s Note: As with any other time you have candles lit in your home, never leave them unattended and always exercise caution and burn responsibly. I’m sure I didn’t have to actually tell you that, but ya know….just in case. 😉
I hope you’re going to your candle drawer/cabinet/local store *right now* and setting some candles on your table. Try it. I think you’ll love it.
Oh, and don’t forget to dim the lights. 🙂
Fast Fix Fridays
This post is another installment of our Fast Fix Fridays where we help you keep life simple and sane.
Kim is showing us how to make a simple farmhouse envelope pillow cover and Lisa is sharing multiple inexpensive and easy Thanksgiving table ideas this week! Enjoy!