Wishful Thinking

I love a good place setting. All of my years in event planning has made me appreciate details when entertaining. What about when the event is over and it's just a regular ole' night? I have to admit, I'm inclined to sit in front of the television like I'm still in college and "eat my food" versus setting the table and having a meal. Having a meal includes much more than just eating food, it's about having a conversation, sharing a moment and enjoying an experience. The idea is to make the nightly eating routine similar to going to a restaurant. You sit, talk, eat and enjoy each other's company. With all the running around everyone is always doing, this can be a challenge.

My son is at an age where he doesn't like to sit still for too long and where he always has to have a toy with him. This adds to the challenge of creating a restaurant-like environment each night, especially when the said toy is a plane or a car (as in, it needs to be in motion). I should tell him to put it away, but I don't, because he won't listen anyway (I know time out etc. etc). When I was a kid, dinner was a ritual. We weren't allowed to do anything else except sit, eat and talk to each other. If the phone would ring, only my mother would be allowed to answer in case it was the hospital for my dad, anyone else, "sorry we're having dinner now."

My parents were good at creating the nightly dinner routine. My father liked to run things "traditional" style. He's a Leo so you can imagine he was the king of the house. We let him think he is at least because it's five women to one lonely man ;> I admire the way he and my mom managed to get all of us to sit at the table every night without fail. I can barely keep my son in his seat for more than five minutes and my parents say I was just like him. To this day, when the family manages to get all together, it feels normal to sit around a table with them and enjoy a meal, as that is how it's supposed to be.

Both of my parents are from another country, so this could have something to do with their traditions. As an American, I have embraced this culture's way of eating and doing so in front of the television is very relaxed. I even park my son in front of the t.v. sometimes to watch cartoons and eat - I know, I know terrible. It keeps him seated at least. So yeah, I have some things I need to change as you can see. How to change years of doing things a certain way is not going to be easy. When I manage to set a table, it feels like a special occasion. I'm interested in making it the standard however. For the rest of this week I'm going to do my best and not park my son in front of the tube at dinner, instead I'm going to [try] and set the table and enjoy a meal with him, as it should be.
this is beautiful however, you have to have some serious time on your hands every night, 
and i think the plant would get in the way of the food :/
very downton abbeyish, i like this style but it comes packed with servants of which i don't have
this setting is very doable, now all i have to do is move to the coast of italy
yes, this is it, this i can try each night, simple, nice, stylish and dare i say...easy?

If anyone out there has any tips you'd like to share as to how to create this nightly routine, please share!

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