I subbed yesterday at an elementary school here in town. It just so happened that they were holding their “Celebration of Family Day.” All the students had invited their parents to come and eat a Thanksgiving-style meal and do some arts and crafts with them. The kids were so excited!
While I sat for a bit in the Teacher’s lounge, I saw various staff and PTO members setting up. Each of them took their roles very seriously, whether it was manning the sign-in station or serving turkey. it was fun to see the anticipation they felt, and the sense of joy they showed in their work.
It reminded me of the Veteran’s Dinner that was held at my church a couple of weeks ago. The menu was also Thanksgiving-themed, but instead of doing arts and crafts, the attenders swapped stories about military service. The spirit of cheer was as infectious at this meal as it was at the school, though.
At both these events, it was clear that the organizers wanted to make the the guests feel warmly welcomed. From the decorations to the dessert, all the details were carefully planned and carried out. And the main goal seemed to be to create a special time of fellowship that would be treasured long after it finished.
All that made me wonder – do I put as much thought into the atmosphere of a regular, “every weekday” kind of meal at home?
I simply can’t make a roast and fixings every dinner. And my kids are too old for making paper hats. That’s fine – those things are only elements meant for certain occasions, anyway. I’m thinking that the most important way to make any meal special starts with having a genuine desire to honor the people coming to sit at the table, and letting them know how much I always value their company.