Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Is Your Table Set?

Coffee Talk Thursday

Thanksgiving dinners traditionally involve elaborate table settings to make the feast special and memorable-- an event, rather than just any regular weekday meal. While we can, and probably should, take extra effort to dress up our Thanksgiving table, setting the table nicely shouldn't just happen on special days.

(the semi-set Thanksgiving table. I didn't take a "finished" photo)

Recently a friend told me she always properly sets her table before she has to leave in the afternoon for her coaching position. She shared that this fairly simple step makes a huge difference in her home management. Imagine walking in your house at dinnertime, and the meal is all ready to go in the oven, and the table is already set. Wouldn't that be relaxing?

Most nights I am rushing so much to simply get dinner on the table before major-hungry-kid meltdowns that I don't have the time to nicely set my table. Grab a stack of plates, some forks and knives, and some cups, plunk them down in a pile on the table, and announce "Dinner's ready!"

After my talk with my friend, and reading this post about tablescapes, I was challenged and encouraged to try to be more intentional about setting a nice table most nights of the week. I don't think there's anything wrong with serving family style (and sometimes in some situations, like with a new baby or illness, we do what we need to just to survive. Paper plates, anyone?).

But when there is extra time, how about taking a few extra minutes to make your table look pretty? It's like sending a little message to your family that the meal you worked hard to prepare for them in love is also being served with love. It shows that you esteem them and want them to feel special.

(By the way, when your two-and-a-half year old points to your Thanksgiving tablecloth and asks, "What's this, Mom?", it's a good sign I should familiarize him with a tablecloth more often!)

Setting the table is also Scriptural :)

 "She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table."
-- Proverbs 9:2

I'm curious to hear if you set your table nicely most nights of the week, or if you--like me--feel too rushed sometimes (most times) to go that extra step. If you are consistent about setting the table, I'd love for you to share any tips you've found for how you accomplish it when you're also busy getting dinner on the table.

1 comment:

  1. Good post -- I love table cloths and we go thru the extra effort each dinner to set the table with nice plates and silverware. secret is I have 3 girls who are old enough to take turns. They completely set the table (plates, silverware, napkins, drinks and condiments). You are getting close with your kiddos - give them age appropriate jobs to help you out.

    A time saver I use sometimes is setting the breakfast counter with 5 bowls/plates the night before. It is so refreshing to go to bed with a sparkling clean kitchen all ready for the next morning. Thinking how well this turns out int he morning, it's a wonder I don't do it more often!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!