-From Babette's Feast by Isak Dinesen
It really doesn't take much to turn meal time into an "event". Most nights it is for us and I swear I don't spend every minute of the day in the kitchen. I just plan and prep ahead a lot. I have responsibility outside the home too, and I just love my crockpot for days like those or make ahead freezer meals.
For dinner, I always light candles on the table. Easy peasy! Also, using fancy dishes, we have to use dishes anyways, might as well use maybe fancy glasses, or dessert plates or something "special". How about a tablecloth (saves times washing down the table anyways) or send the children out to pick some flowers or pinecombs for the middle of the table. The possibilities are endless really.
Lately, I've been trying to put interesting things as a centerpeice. Right now you would find a spring toned placemat with 2 Ceramic birds perched in the middle, 3 candles and a Lily the girls and I picked from the park. Makes me sing "He's the Lily of the Valley" everytime I pass by!
My goal in all of this is to keep my family at the table for at least 30 minutes, to make dinnertime an event to be looked forward too, and to give everyone the opportunity to be satisfied: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And on a spiritual note... early on in Genesis, God walked in the Garden of Eden in the "cool of the day" (Genesis 3:8). Most commentaries agree that this the time before dusk. When do most people eat dinner? Before dusk. God is present at our table when we break bread together (or mac-n-cheese, or whatever ;) And how about the signifigance of all of the celebrations that God instituted... feasts. And even when our Lord Jesus came, He ministered in meals many times, especially His last Passover.
The Family Meal Table is an excellent video that I bought a few years ago. I would suggest it to anyone who needs a boost in their family meal time. I've even used this video in Women's and Family Ministries too.
"There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves."
~ Thomas Wolfe