When my oldest daughter married and began her own family, I caught a glimpse of the coming years. As each child continues to grow, it won’t be long until I have an empty nest. Although I’m excited to discover the many joys of the next phase of life, I’m a bit saddened at the prospect of not spending time daily with the kids.
With my personality, I address my concerns with a remedy! While we all still lived close enough to do so, I established a standing invite to gather around the dinner table and share a meal after church each Sunday. Some weeks, I had the time to create a meal to remember with homemade bread, from-scratch desserts, and a new salad invention. Other weeks, we stopped by the local sub shop and order sandwiches to go.
After dinner, we would sit around the living room and play games, watch TV, or share YouTube videos and memories together. It was never formal, just comfortable.
Creating Together Time
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe strongly in the power of sharing a meal together. It’s a time to converse, share life, and bond. It’s a time to remember what’s important and take a rest from the busyness of life in the twenty-first century. Creating a time for the family to be together doesn’t have to be grand and exhausting; instead, it can be a routine that creates memories for children and grandchildren to enjoy.
Keeping it simple and fun, remember these few things:
In my quest to make a memory for the kids, I often make it overly stressful on myself. This prevents me from enjoying the time, but it can also set an atmosphere of stress that affects everyone. When planning the time, be realistic about the amount of energy it will take to pull off the plan, then adjust.
Keep it simple
It’s not the grand meal that is remembered, but the time, conversations, and hugs. If it’s been a busy week, get a footlong, bag of chips, and some good ole Oreos!
Make it memorable
There was a time with little kids that a formal dinner wasn’t impressive or fun. Instead, we would watch a movie and share popcorn, sliced apples, and cheddar cheese. It became the traditional Sunday evening meal which created a time of rest for mom and fun for the kids.
If you have tween or teen children, get them to help out in planning the menu, preparing the meal, and cleaning up. “Many hands make light work,” my grandmother use to say.
Take a break
Life can get rather busy when a new grandbaby is born or summer travels begin. Taking an occasional break from a weekly family tradition is just as important as having a tradition. This allows the time to remain special without feeling like an obligation.
Change It Up
Every few months, we would meet at a restaurant or park to share a meal. Keeping the tradition but changing up the venue only adds to the enjoyment.
When planning time together in order to establish a family tradition, the most important thing to remember is the uniqueness of your family. Don’t try copying someone else or a Pinterest board! Instead, discover what family members enjoy and set about to make the most of time together.