What if we had more meals together that resonated with those Christmas dinners that we pour ourselves into? Instead of gathering with intention a few times a year, why not every week?
Growing up I never ate at the table together with my family. If fact, it was so rare, that when we did sit at the table it felt unnatural, forced, and even tense. Now that I have a family of my own I find it challenging to be consistent, but I do find the value in sharing meals at the table, together. We try to make it a nightly habit, it doesn't always happen, but it matters.
One of the best ways to create connection, cultivate connection, and develop deeper communicative relationships with our spouses and children is through the simple act of a shared meal.
Protect the Space
In most homes the dining room table becomes a catch-all. In our home it's often covered with our handmade pieces, ready to be packaged. Perhaps we need to view this space as sacred, even as a place of worship. By choosing to have a space in our homes that is off-limits for clutter honors the health of our families.
Having this expectation will set your dining room apart from the crowd, your children will take notice, and they will cherish the special moments shared around your table.
Set the Tone
Aside from keeping it tidy, we need to to make the space beautiful. Antique clocks, like those available at Dutch Time Pieces, lit candles in fancy hurricanes or subtle vintage mason jars, comfortable dining chairs, fancy dishes that make the meal feel extra special, and music.
It's not a matter of putting together a fancy dinner party every evening, but rather creating a dining space that is already lovely, and adding a warm meal.
When the TV is off, the phones are silenced, and the mood is set, the family is in tune for connecting. We have to make it a habit to listen, to inquire, to share, and to learn about one another. It is amazing how we can all live under one roof, together, and still find ourselves disconnected. This time should be free of criticism and insult, and only a time for encouragement and edification.
Let dinner time, or breakfast, or whichever meal you're able to share, be a time to practice connectedness. Be honest, vulnerable, share your fears, your sorrows, your joys, and your failures. Connect.
*This is a collaborative post.