Leave it to Beaver, Family Ties, Alf, The Cosby Show, Soul Food, The Klumps, even the cult classic Talladega Nights (a.k.a. Ricky Bobby) all have something in common…time around the dinner table is an unforgettable feature.
There’s something about what happens at a dinner table that makes the plight of being family or friends worth it. Breakfast, lunch and/or dinner together is the perfect time to “chat and chew” (not at the same time of course), catch up on life, hear what’s on each other’s hearts, handle serious decisions, tackle tough issues, laugh, pray, plan and participate in the world of others dear to you.
I can vividly remember growing up eating meals with my parents and siblings at our circular, wood table debating over Caprisuns vs Tang, discussing the “we’re on a serious budget and don’t have much money so we’ll take a vacation in the city” plans, watching Soul Train or Little House on the Prairie on a 13inch black and white TV, fussing over who would do dishes, talking about Jesus, finances, disagreements, homework, peer pressure or simply getting to know each other. I value those moments and believe more of them would help transform our society for the better. I treasure the new memories made now with friends and family around football games, holidays, or simple Sunday dinners.
There are few places and purposes that all persons in a family share. We all sleep, but not together (Thank God!). We all work or go to school, but not together. We have other functions we all do, but certainly not together (Thank God, again!). Eating, however, is one of those things we can strategically take time to do together as often as possible and as often as needed.
Bring back the days of carving turkey and carving out time together under one roof and at one table. Clear the table after a meal and break out the cards for Spades, Monopoly or Uno. Schedule family dinner date nights where a casserole and conversation are the order of the day. Plan a girls or guys night out around your favorite table at your favorite restaurant. I’d say, “put it all on the table” and remember, what happens at the table doesn’t have to stay there. The best part about any good table, with good guests, good conversation or good fun is when what’s there is so special, and so plenteous and so filling that there’s enough to share.