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The B4FD Project features blog posts from guest writers that explore the far-reaching benefits of family dinner.

Family Dinner Month 2012: Sept 17 -- Oct 29, 2012

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B4FD Reflections: The Tradition of a Nontraditional Family Dinner

by Billy Mawhiney

This month, Blog for Family Dinner founders will reflect back on some lessons learned from our B4FD guest bloggers over the past year.

It could simply be my generation, but finding the alternative or nontraditional way of doing things seems to be the new tradition. I grew up in a traditional family dinner home where we enjoyed many a meal around the dinner table. It was an excerpt out of a “fill in the _____” family TV show. I knew nothing else and would be surprised if my friends did.
As I traveled around and performed workshops on the family dinner, I have learned everyone does NOT have the same traditions as I imagined as a child. That is why I love this post from Bettina Siegel of The Lunch Tray and The Spork Report. 
It all started when two sets of parents met through their children’s public school in Washington, D.C.. Another parent at the school, a Mediterranean chef, offered a “meal of the week” each Thursday as part of her catering business. The two sets of parents — who happened to live across the street from each other — started buying and sharing the meal together. Over time, three other families on the same street also bought the meal and joined in the Thursday communal dinner.
The story continues on about how the chef moves on, they hire another and that chef moves on as well. Despite the ongoing struggle, the families try to keep the tradition going and they fill in with pizza, Chinese take-out, and pizza again. Who hasn’t been too tired or had a failed meal plan and ordered pizza as an alternative? We all face struggles every day, whatever our tradition may be. In the end, after the second chef had moved on, the families were still determined to keep their communal family dinner tradition.
Read Bettina’s full post “12 Adults, 16 Kids, 8 Years pf Family Dinner” to learn the unique solution they came up with.

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