A wonderful family tradition… will you take the pledge? 31



View Profile

There is in my opinion one thing that great families do regularly… they have easy ways of coming together and being together often borne of tradition and built up over many years of just doing it rather than forcing it.  But sometimes you need to force it if your family is out of practice and you want a bit of love back.

My family used to have a great tradition: Sunday night dinners, and I think it is time we brought them back. Nothing fancy, nothing formal, just a standing booking for anyone who wanted to in the family to come together over a dinner my parents would be prepared for on every Sunday night. It made sure the grandparents and grandkids caught up as much as weekly, and kept us all connected in this busy busy world.

It was, for many years the one night we would all see each other. Parents would be home from work, teen and adult children would rarely have anything on and grandma and grandpa would come over. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to share their week’s activities without formality. The great thing about Sunday is that everyone in the younger generations has work the next day so they are not really looking for a large and raging event. So my parents declared long long ago that Sunday was a good fit for our family.

What we never expected was for a simple family event to become a well-looked-forward-to connection for three generations. Even my uncle, aunt, cousins and dear family friends would know the family dinner night and if they were passing through town would eagerly suggest they could pop in for it. It was a great way to be a part of something. That is it in a nutshell… belonging. We all want to belong somewhere and to feel special but I wonder how many families today have an easy and regular connection with the kids and grandkids that can become a part of the family process.

My parents in their fabulous retirement have moved too far away now to have Sunday dinner with. Dinners have become more occasional and more deliberate. It’s a pity because I remember them fondly, and I anticipate that as the people in the middle of the family, my home would be the perfect one to anchor these warm and easy to have events.

I’m remembering it because the other day in the business world one of my nearing 60 year old colleagues was telling me how he keeps his gen-y family popping in when life is busy and hailed his own family’s strategy of “regular, guaranteed, family dinner night” every week. For them it is on a Saturday night every week and their children all pop in for a good quality home cooked meal and bit of family love before their social lives kick in at a much later hour of the evening. They put on the barbeque and the kids roll in at about 5.30, and are gone by 8-8.30 leaving them in peace to enjoy each other’s company. In the early years their parents would come along too, although there is only his mum left now.

And so I want to know today if your family has a Sunday Night Dinner, and what you think of the idea of creating simple routines in your family that reduce the isolation of each individual and help them know their family can be an incremental part of life at any age. I love the idea of the Sunday Dinner Pledge and want to ask if you will take it today.

If we get enough people who like the idea we’ll start looking for great family recipes for the Sunday Dinner Night and send them out on Saturdays so you can have some fun when everyone pops in!

Tell us today… is Sunday Dinner for you? Or do you have another way of bringing everyone together? Or has it become too hard in your family?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I think this is a great idea. However, both my daughters overseas, so it will be a while, but will start Sunday night dinners on their return.

  2. Some of my happiest memories when the children were growing up are of dinner together every night sitting at the table each talking about their day. Years later we have no regular dinners however we treasure the times when the whole large family can be together. So lucky!

  3. I think too many make it a night at the local club or pub or restaurant rather than around the home dinner table. I look around and see that people just don’t want to talk to each other. They are all on their phones or wandering around talking to people at other tables and the noise is deafening.
    Yes, I would much prefer a home round the table once a fortnight meal where phones are banned.

  4. Definitely used to do it weekly but the kids and grandkids are pretty busy these days and we live further away so not so easy. Perhaps we need to move closer?

  5. Yes. Every second Sunday roast lamb for lunch at Grannie’s house. Usually always followed by Apple Crumble and Cream. I miss it.

    1 REPLY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *