24 November, 2009

Family Dinners

My family delighted in dinner.  The noise, the food, the laughter, the liveliness… dinner was a time when we all gathered around the table to exchange news of the day, but also to discuss events and happenings.  

Are there silences at our family dinners?

Most definitely yes, but they are of the relaxed “good company and good food” variety over anything else.  

Even though there are just the two of us at the table these days, a family dinner in my house remains full of laughter and chatter.  We discuss everything possible and find the delight in one another’s company.  The sky is the limit to our conversations – whether they are at the table or not.  

I was exposed to Conversation Starters a while back – questions designed to be used at the table or family gathering to encourage conversation and interaction.  

I found myself chuckling as I considered using these cards at a dinner in my family or my extended family… sure, we might find out some interesting things about one another but I don’t think that the topic would make it very far as the conversation would naturally flow from that point.  

And perhaps that is the point?  Not just to ask a question but to allow conversation to pick up and flow from that question?

Such a deck of cards wouldn’t last five minutes at a dinner in my family…

Which leaves me wondering about other families and their tables?

My family communicates… and how!  Nothing is beyond scope and even religion and politics have pulled up chairs and grabbed a plate from time to time.  

But… other families aren’t like this.  Perhaps they don’t talk much, spend a lot of time with technology or work, don’t have a lot in common, or simply enjoy a very quiet and peaceful meal.  Families… there isn’t  just one kind out there, there are many varieties.  Families are probably as varied as the types of stuffing that are served on Thanksgiving and the ways people prefer to eat their turkey!

This season I will spend a delightful meal with my daughter as my family is staying in the southwest and we have done our celebrating with them and with my “in-laws.”  This year it will be more quiet, but the conversation will flow.  Religion and politics might not join us, but I assure you that love and laughter will be front and center!

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