Sometimes I feel like I put all this love and effort into making dinner, and it’s over five minutes later. I don’t make a dinner every night. That’s because I like making dishes that create leftovers for the next one or two evenings. Leftovers or not, we do eat together most nights. (The exception may be that one of us gets home late.) And, when I do make dinner, I want it to feel like an event. I don’t want to just scarf it down, and go about our evening. If I wanted that, we’d have cereal for dinner.
No, I want to enjoy the dinner I’ve made with my husband. I want the experience to feel as quality as the meal itself. I don’t cook fancy things. I cook budget-friendly meals with calories in mind (most of the time). But, it’s yummy and presented well. And dinnertime is when my husband and I can reconnect after our day apart. So, I want dinner to last a little longer. I want dinner to have a start time. I want to have a friggin’ minute before we dive into the food on our plates.
So, we started a new dinner tradition. We say a prayer, and then we cheers. Yeah, that’s it. It’s simple, but it makes a difference.
This new dinner tradition lets us take a moment to be thankful together. It also serves as an opportunity to pray together. I grew up with our family saying the “blessing” each night before dinner. But, saying a prayer with just my husband and I felt weird – so we didn’t do it. We’d never prayed together, aloud just the two of us, before starting this tradition. In fact, I’d never heard my husband say a prayer. So, now we’re connecting on a spiritual level that we didn’t before. Sure, we go to church every now and then, and we talk about faith and God a lot. But, saying a prayer together is a beautiful thing, and it’s something we didn’t used to do.
We take turns saying the prayer. Whoever didn’t say the prayer is usually the one to offer a cheers. And, we don’t just cheers. We cheers to something. We’ve raised our glasses to an exciting professional opportunity, to a long weekend, to a new goal or as an early token of our appreciation for what we’ve just asked for in a prayer. Sometimes it’s difficult thinking of something for which to cheers. But, the reality is that we have so much for which we can be thankful. The simple fact that we’re able to sit in our home, at our table and have dinner together is a blessing itself. And, I like that we now take a moment to show that gratitude before eating dinner.
I also love that this new tradition initiates dinner. We no longer just sit and start eating. Dinner starts after our prayer and cheers. It makes dinner feel more like an event. It makes me feel good about taking time to make a healthy, yummy dinner for our little family. It simply makes dinner feel a little more special. And, life’s about making ordinary moments feel special, right?
Do we do this every night? No. We probably do this a few times a week. I guess because if we’re eating the living room, we just go. Or, if one of us is out, there’s not an opportunity. But, we’re going to try to start doing it before every dinner together – regardless of whether we’re eating at the table or in the living room, or having leftovers or a freshly made meal. Life can get so fast, and this little tradition is just one way to slow it down.