The one thing I have fought hard to keep as a tradition in my household is having meals together as a family; most especially supper.
In today’s busy world, I am shocked that sitting down together as a family is not a priority with a lot of families. Many allow busy schedules to infringe on time that could be spent together. Even in my own rural community, I know of several families who don’t all sit down at the same time and same place to eat a meal.
After witnessing, hearing about, and even joining different families who didn’t eat their supper together, I made a personal commitment when my kids were small, that I would do whatever it took to ensure my family at least had supper together. It seemed like a small sacrifice on my part to instill such an important time for us.
Like every other active family with kids involved in extra-curricular activities, school work, chores, sporting events, and wanting to spend time with friends, outside demands have all contributed to the difficulty in finding a time when my whole family can sit down at the dinner table. Instead of allowing the outside world be in charge of our family life and keep us from sitting down together, I have had to plan ahead to make sure everyone could eat together. It mostly means timing meal preparation so supper can be ready to eat at a specific time.
I have also made a staunch effort to make meals from scratch as much as possible in order to make our mealtime a moment each day that we all look forward to: sitting down to food that smells and tastes good, and is meaningful and memorable to everyone.
It’s not always been easy but once I got in a routine of thinking ahead, I’ve been able to meet my own standards most of the time. Many nights we eat the same meal twice but it’s usually something I’ve made that I know we all really like anyway.
Family’s who don’t share their meals together are missing out on some easily attainable and valuable time together. Suppertime has been the most convenient time of day for my family to be together. It’s not only a time for nourishing our bodies but for nourishing time spent together. In a half hour’s time, we are able to find out how everyone’s day went, what each person’s schedule is like for the next day, share any news, and get in any pertinent family discussions taken care of that need to be addressed. Many of our family inside jokes have also been established at the supper table. Mealtime has proven to be the easiest way to find out what’s going on with each of our family members.
Giving up other things that want my time in order to eat a meal with my family has been the best sacrifice I’ve ever made. It’s become a tradition well worth the effort.