I am a huge fan of family traditions. That is, when they serve a purpose and add value to the life of the family. I love celebrating big life events as well as everyday moments.
My husband and I recently discussed how we’d like to be more intentional about spending time with our kids. They are 16 and 13, and we know our time with them being around on a daily basis is coming to a close quickly.
I’ve intentionally started a few traditions over the years related to celebrating holidays and birthdays. Also, we have some traditions that started as a small activity and grew in to a tradition. Such as treat day after school one day a week and eating at our favorite restaurants on vacation.
Now that I realize how little time I have left with the kids, I really want to make the most of my time with them. So, a couple of months ago I began bringing back Sunday supper to our home.
Well, maybe I shouldn’t say bringing it back. Starting is more like it!
I love the Southern tradition of having a big family meal on Sundays. In past decades, this might have been served at lunch right after church or in the early afternoon.
Since I’m taking a more relaxed approach about resting on Sundays, I’ve decided having Sunday supper would work best for us instead of preparing lunch. We already eat lunch out with my parents after church each Sunday. And, if I had to get up early and make sure lunch was ready by the time we got home from church, I would be defeating the purpose of a restful Sunday.
Before I started cooking supper on Sundays, we would usually eat leftovers or whatever we could find in the pantry. Personally I felt bad because my family would usually fend for themselves.
Even though meal planning is a chore for me and adding one more meal to each week could be a hassle, I’ve decided the benefits outweigh the cost.
Here are a few benefits I’ve discovered from bringing the tradition of Sunday supper to our home:
1) Knowing that we are going to eat together brings stability to our family.
Traditions help kids feel more comfortable and secure. When all else is chaotic in their world, they can have something to count on that will happen every week. It gives them security to know we will have that family time.
2) Sunday supper provides another opportunity to get the kids in the kitchen.
I’ve taught the kids a few cooking skills, but there is much more for them to learn. Giving them the opportunity to help out in the preparation of Sunday supper increases their skills and confidence as well as opens up times of close conversation with them.
3) Sunday supper brings our week to a close and gives us a boost for the next week.
I view Sunday as the end of the week. When we can gather around the table and put the past week to rest, we can discuss what’s going on in the upcoming week and feel better prepared to face whatever may happen.
4) It gives us one more chance to connect with each other.
I feel blessed that we have a slow paced schedule that allows us to eat together at least 5-6 nights out of the week. Studies show that the more kids eat with their families the better adjusted they are and the better they do in school. Adding one more night of intentional conversation can only help.
5) It provides the opportunity to invite friends and family over.
While I’m trying my best to keep Sunday as a day of rest, I do feel having an occasional meal with friends and family can be a rejuvenating experience. The key is to keep it simple so you don’t feel stressed about having people over for a meal.
I plan to continue Sunday suppers until our youngest goes off to college. Then I’ll have to reevaluate and see what works best for our family.
My hope is to continue Sunday suppers even after they get married and have families of their own. I’d love to host our entire family every week. We’ll see what God has in store for us!
What are some of your family traditions?