Big or small, I love them all. Special days set apart in celebration of something. Opportunities for gathering.
Opportunities to share a segment of time and our lives with others, with those we care about, those we love.
Opportunities to celebrate the occasion and each other. Gifts of time to others. And then to make it special by a certain meal, music, settings, desserts, now you're talking.
Take this Easter Celebration.
Not all my children could attend. And the two that could be in town, had to be at the other family's home for the actual day.
But never no mind.
We are flexible.
Let us have our Easter Meal on Saturday Night. The Watch night.
I had a quiet Saturday afternoon to craft the meal that I would serve. Everyone else was busy with their own diversions and I was pleasantly preoccupied with the solitude of creating The Event that is the celebratory dinner of the holiday.
When I prepare a special occasion dinner, I love the working of the setting. Coming up with a 'theme', table- wise. Tablecloth or bare table? Color scheme or random collection? Casual or dressy? Fresh flowers or plants? Which container? Candles? How many leaves in the table? Which pitcher for the beverages? Which beverages? Vintage platters or more serviceable everyday? Butter knife. Salt and Peppers. Small bowl of lemons. Sugar bowl. Serving bowls.
All this is really never thought about till the moment I begin to clean the table. I consider who will be in attendance and match it up with their likes and comfort level. For the meal Saturday night, I wanted it comfortable, focusing on the food and how it's colors and textures will complement whatever place settings I can put together. A Spring Celebration. Actually, every time you can serve family and friends in our frenetic times, it is a celebration, worthy of our best efforts and best possessions. A time for china/stoneware, good napkins, our best silver and stemware. (you do know that Dollar General sells some nice glass goblets for 1.00 each?) No paper and disposables for me. Don't know when I last bought paper plates. Food tastes better on the real thing. Beverages are downright festive in glass/porcelain/stoneware. And of course there is the environmental thing. And the savings thing. Most have dishwashers these days so let's put it to use; full loads make for better efficiency anyway. (and if you're very fortunate, you have a daughter in law that cleans up after you! ) And the affect is wondrous. Your guests feel as special as they are.. You have created a memory and your children see the importance of 'Setting a Table'. Sadly, the art of creating a table is somewhat foreign to children today. I have had junior high girls in my home that did not know how to use utensils, cut their meat or basic table manners. Their meals came out of boxes and sacks and served in front of the television. But they loved it when Miss Deb made things 'nice' for them. It was my gift to them.
Try it some time soon if it's not your habit.
See how your people respond.
Receive the joy of treating those you love and care about, that they are worthy of the special effort.
It is memorable for both the receiver and giver. Win/win.