Today's writing prompt for 31 Days is "your favorite family tradition." This 31-day exercise may seriously challenge my memory in other ways, but I know my favorite family tradition. It's exclusively mine, and I can't say that about much in my house. No one participates in this tradition until it's time to sit down to a holiday meal, because my favorite tradition is setting the table.
I don't have any problem with people who choose to use paper plates and napkins to make holiday meals easier (the dishwashers at my house might just prefer I did). But the joy in serving meals to others, for me, is 40% good food and 60% beautiful tables.
As the holiday approaches I start polishing silver, choosing serving dishes, ironing tablecloths that have been in storage for months, dusting the plates, and washing the crystal. I plan the centerpieces and even place cards. All the good stuff gets used and some of the everyday stuff -- which I have had to buy more of just to accommodate a large crowd. I plan the centerpieces and even place cards. We have no "kids' table" at our house any more, or at least not yet, so everyone just mixes and sometimes the young adults end up together and sometimes the teens and the elders end up together. To me, seeing my family enjoying a meal at a table that has been set with love, in the best family tradition.
"All great change in America
begins at the dinner table."