Sometimes it can feel like we are so rushed in life that we just move from one "must-do activity" to another "must-do activity", typically rushing through them to just to check them off the list. Does this sound familiar? In this season of natural quiet, let's work together to slow down at least one special mealtime a week and find ways to create special memories.
Here are our top three recommendations for slowing down a meal time during the week (we choose our Friday lunch/tea time!)
1. Create traditions together. This is the fun part of slowing down and creating memories- you get to craft a tradition for your family that works for YOU! Your tradition doesn't have to look like anyone else's, so feel free to be as creative as you'd like! For us, that means lighting candles and changing out the wooden ornaments on a seasonal ring when appropriate. This has become something everyone looks forward to, and over the years we've collected and made numerous ornaments to fit within.
A little background story: Growing up, my mom had a chamberstick candle holder that she decorated for the different seasons and holidays. As a child, I always looked forward to climbing up onto the chair at the table and peeking onto the centerpiece to see what creative idea my mom had come up with. Sometimes it was pieces of moss with a teeny-tiny ladybug figure (I still have that little ladybug in my treasures!). Other times she filled the base with her mother-of-pearl button collection to mimic the icy snow outside. When I had my own children, I knew this was something I wanted to carry over for my family, but I also knew that I wanted to make it my own tradition somehow. When I discovered Waldorf Education, I also discovered birthday rings and fell in love. The only thing was, I didn't want to use it only for birthdays! We found a smaller ring (it has seven holes and is made by Treasures From Jennifer) and collected a handful of Grimm's ornaments for it. As I became more confident in my painting and realized I enjoyed creating things specially for my family, I painted some ornaments myself to add to the collection. It's now our own version of my mom's beloved chamberstick candle holder, and we all look forward to picking out new ornaments to put in it seasonally!
You might decide that your tradition is creating seasonal tissue and mod podge lanterns, changing the fabric napkins, or even simply changing a tablecloth or runner on the table to reflect the season. Things don't have to be complicated to be special!
2. Create food together. We love to involve the children in the process of cooking meals together. Over time, we've created a children's cookbook with our favorite recipes printed in large format and laminated (to protect them from all those inevitable kitchen spills!). When I know we will be cooking together, I can easily pull from our laminated recipes and set one out so the children can read it themselves, giving them more independence. One of our new favorite things to create in the kitchen is our own tea blends! We create the blends in very small quantities, keeping records of what we are including so that if we like it we can easily recreate it again! We always measure in parts (typically teaspoons for small batches). Our most recent favorite is a lemon balm blend!
Lemon Balm Sunshine Tea
- 1 part dried rosehips
- 1 part dried peppermint
- 2 parts dried lemon balm
- 2 parts dried chamomile buds
Mix ingredients together and store in a closed container. Place a kettle of water on the stove and bring to a boil. While the water is boiling, add ingredients to a mortar and pestle and lightly crush until combined. Transfer to a teapot, pour boiling water over the herbs and steep for three to five minutes. Strain and serve with honey.
3. Read together. We keep a basket of seasonal books right next to our kitchen table, so that when the occasion arises, we can pull out a good story and read together. Oftentimes when children get older and are reading more independently, we forget how joyful simple picture books can be. Our basket is mostly seasonal reading and children's poetry books, although you can add anything that works best for your family! Some might even choose to put a chapter book in a basket so you can read a chapter each time you sit down for lunch and have finished eating!
A few of our favorite autumn reads:
- Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane
- Woody, Hazel, and Little Pip
- The Apple Cake
- The Quilt Story
- My Favorite Things
- The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
- Grandfather Twilight
- Leaf Man
Here's to slowing down and savoring the moment with each other- even during every day tasks!
A checklist to help you slow down and create special meal times:
- Create a tradition together. Something you will all look forward to, no matter how simple!
- Create food together. Even creating a simple tea station where everyone can serve themselves counts!
- Read together. Choose some favorite seasonal stories and have them available for reading when you are finished eating!
PIN IT FOR LATER