As I write this, the shelves and cabinets are being installed in our dining room. I wrote about the plan in this post. An Amish carpenter and his son (?) made them and are installing them. They came to Lexington from another town, and their driver is waiting for them in his truck parked in front of our house. I can’t wait to show you.
Meanwhile, let’s get to today’s topic. When we moved into this house last year, we decided t0 eat breakfast and lunch at the kitchen bar area. Ours is not an eat-in kitchen because there is no space for a table and chairs, so we decided to eat most of our evening meals in the dining room. I love that for a few reasons. First, we are trying to use our rooms, and so the dining room isn’t saved for just special occasions. And second…..it seems like such a sophisticated thing to do. When I was little, “Hazel” was my favorite television show. She was the maid, and she served dinner to the Baxters in their dining room every evening. I loved seeing that. I don’t have a Hazel to serve us, but we can enjoy our evening meal in a nice and relaxed way.
Even if you don’t have a dining room, there are still ways to make your evening meal more of an occasion rather than just a task or errand you need to get through. It’s a nice way to reconnect with your spouse and/or family, and in this day of everyone headed in different directions, it’s nice to sit down together. Also, it’s a good time to remind the children of their manners and put them to good use.
Mike and I do a few simple things to help our dinners in the dining room feel a little more upscale.
Last spring I bought a portable Bose speaker, and we use it in the dining room every evening. It connects with my phone and plays songs from my music apps. I select mostly classical music, old standards like Frank Sinatra, or jazz to listen to.
Ever since we have been married, I have used cotton napkins. I don’t know why because I grew up on paper napkins. Cotton napkins, place mats, or a table cloth have always been on our dinner tables, and we continue that now. I don’t mind washing and ironing them because they make our meals a little more special.
Now, we don’t do candles every evening for sure. But, occasionally I will pull out two tapers and light them. If you want a good source for inexpensive, dripless, white candles, then buy them at Trader Joe’s. You can get a box of eight tapers for just a few dollars.
If you don’t want to ruin the mood of a nice evening meal, then definitely leave the phones, pads, and pods in another room. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like to see children playing games at the table rather than engaging in the conversation. When did that become okay?
Have some nice stress-free conversation. In other words, leave politics in the other room, also. During their evening meal, Jordan’s family members tell what was their favorite part of the day. That’s so simple, but it creates conversation. Spend some time after your meal and linger over your caffeine free coffee. That’s so much more fun than rushing to do the dishes.
These are just five simple steps that any busy person can do to make dinner time a more civil experience. Even when I was working full time, we had a sit-down family meal. On days when we had games, meetings, and other commitments in the evening, we had family breakfast before we all went to school and work. So, I know it’s a possibility. Do you do any special things in the evening to make your meal time a special time?
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