A few years ago I made a decision: no matter what, we would keep our dining table. Forever. It was one of the first pieces of beautiful furniture that Chris and I purchased together, and I love it now as I did then. I love the table’s design – it can go traditional or transitional depending on what else is matched with it – and although we got rid of the dining chairs originally purchased with the table (as they were stained beyond any hope of rescue), the table is so neutral in finish and style that it was easy to swap in some new chairs.
I plan to keep our dining table because I like to think that it will be the stage for so many special family moments. Blowing out candles on birthday cakes, fancy Christmas dinners, family parties. But, I know the quiet, simple moments that happen around a dining table are what really matter. Leisurely pancake breakfasts on the weekend. Teaching the kids about manners and sitting still. Homework after school. At this table is where we told the kids about Baby #4.
On Christmas night, as we wrapped up a lovely but long holiday season, I sat at the table totally exhausted. I had prepared a big Christmas dinner (roast turkey, potatoes, creamed spinach, homemade cranberry sauce), but the kids just wanted to be goofy and the house was a mess. Despite the distractions, I took a moment to feel grateful. Here we were, the five of us, together as a family. I wanted to press pause on life just so I could savor it a little longer. I took pictures of everyone to remember how we were on this chilly night.
When we gather ’round our already dinged and dented dining table, I am often reminded of the lyrics to my favorite version of one of my favorite holiday songs, “Here We Come A-Wassailing” (check out Kate Rusby’s version – it is stunningly beautiful). These words are a lovely reminder of how short and fleeting this special time in my life is. The time when my roles as mother and wife are of the most importance. The time when a simple act of sitting around a dining table – no matter how much effort it might require! – is enough to keep us safe and warm and together:God bless the master of this house
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