I’d love to take a quick poll: d0 you set your table for dinner each night?
Do you use your old, mismatched plates, or heaven forbid, paper plates? (Apologies to those that use paper plates- I’ve never been a fan.) I have a set of white Target plates that I bought years ago. They have chips, glazing, scratches, and while I was single they served me well. When we got married we didn’t register for china (A decision I very much regret now. Engaged ladies, always register for good china) and we combined my trusty Tarjay plates and my husband’s bachelor plates, which were from Pottery Barn. We used these plates in all their mismatched glory for a couple of years. The old me was rolling in her grave. But the new me was drowning in work, grad school, and living through a pandemic, so she didn’t really have much time to worry about such things.
Fast forward to this new season of life and I now have the time, energy, and desire to set the table for dinner each night. It isn’t always fancy or perfectly set, but I make sure to use the things that make me smile- my blue willow china, cloth napkins, chargers, tablecloths. It makes dinner an occasion- one to be relished, one that isn’t done in front of a screen. We linger at the table long after the meal is done, giving scraps to Mabel, deciding whether or not a new recipe I tried was a hit or a miss, and generally catching up on the day.
Since it is the summer, I wanted to reflect that in my setting. I didn’t go all out for the Fourth of July but I did grab some things that I already had and set our table for dinner last night. This is what I will be using for the rest of the week as we celebrate our country. Again, not a fancy (gummy bears as flag stands!) or elaborate tablescape, but nod to the season using color.
So, let. this be a challenge to actually set your dinner table tonight. Make dinner an occasion- one that your family looks forward to instead of one huddled around a TV. Don’t make it overwhelming. Use the things you already have. Turn off the screens. Put on some background music. It will take all of four minutes, but I promise it will change the atmosphere of the entire meal.