Thursday Night Supper
When our kids were little, my mom started having Thursday night supper. 6:30 PM give or take. Whoever can make it. Leave whenever you want. Sometimes a full course meal of beef and potatoes and all the trimmings… other times hot dogs and frozen pizza. No strings attached.
At the time, I didn’t think much about it. But now I know better.
Thursday Night Supper isn’t about supper, it's about fellowship.
Our weeks get so busy that we have no time to spend together as an extended family. An hour or two spent together around a table allows everyone to catch up with what’s going on in each other’s life. Melinda and Valissa can trade notes on what’s going on in their respective school districts. Chloe and Nathan can catch us up on the latest high school gossip. Lamont and Jimmy can talk about the latest goings on at the tax offices. Yes, we even talk about farming once in a while!
When the kids were small, it gave them a chance to play together. Sometimes there were squabbles, but they developed a respect for each other that endures to this day. When the divisive issues (COVID for example) surface today, we don't all agree on how they should be handled, but we do respect each other and seek common ground.
As the kids grew up and started getting significant others, it amazed me that young adults would adjust their schedules and drive 40 minutes one way to eat at their girlfriend/boyfriend’s grandma’s. Because of that, they have become an important part of all our lives as well.
What are the keys that keep it going 20 years later?
The environment. No guilt trip if you can’t make it or need to leave early. No score keeping. Honest, open conversation. A generally fun time that leaves you energized, not drained. It seems like a very casual, laid back idea, but it is a very intentional plan to keep an extended family together.
What can you do?
Do you have a special time to get together as a family? If so, what do you think makes it successful? If not, I hope we sparked your interest in starting something yourself.