Hope Wissel

Sunday Dinner

I just read an article in Bella Magazine entitled “Bring Back the Sunday Dinner” which brought back some great memories from my childhood.  

When I was growing up Sundays were spent going to church and usually dinner at my grandparents.  Mom-mom did all of the cooking then we all gathered in the dining room for dinner.  The whole family was there – my great grandmother, my grandparents, my aunts (Edythe & Elsie) and my parents.  There was always a lot of talking and sharing of what went on during the week and plans for the upcoming week.  When dinner was done, mom-mom cleaned up with some help and the rest of us either hung out at dining room table playing games & talking or retreated into the living room to watch TV.  My grandparents house was a safe haven for me – of course, there were times when I didn’t think that.  See my grandparents lived very close to us so they were also my babysitters when my parents went out.  As the article mentions this was a great way for me to learn our family values. 

A time went on and life changed, my great grandmother passed away, my grandparents moved to a smaller house, my life as a teenager became busy and dinners fell by the wayside.  We gathered at holidays but things were different.  It is funny though, as I sit here writing this blog, I can almost smell mom-mom’s pot roast cooking along with her mac and cheese.  The warm traditions that make lasting memories.  

By the time my daughter arrived on the scene, Sunday dinners were a distant memory.  We tried to gather regularly for dinners but life seemed to get in the way.  My grandfather had passed, my grandmother was suffering from Alzheimer’s, my parents were divorced and now the work week included Sundays.  Holiday meals became a absolute must as the family size shrunk.  As Sunday dinners went by the wayside – I was convinced that having dinner with my daughter was the way to create memories.  So, most nights, we sat together – just the two of us – talking about the day and having dinner.  Those are the things I now miss.  My daughter is in North Carolina, my mom is in South Jersey, my dad & step-mom are a short distance too.  The moments we do spend together are treasured like priceless jewels.  They don’t happen often since life for each of us seems to make us too busy.  

The bonds that were formed during those Sunday/ holiday dinners strengthened our family.  During rough patches, we were there for each other.  During sad times, we cried together. During happy times, we celebrated.  What are the memories that you have as a family?  Do your traditions include a Sunday meal?  If not, why not think about doing it – maybe not every Sunday, but create a tradition that will reinforce your family bonds.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!