As the nights begin earlier, the cold envelopes us, and we approach the Holiday season, I find myself thinking a lot about family dinner. The image that pops into my head is that idyllic Norman Rockwell painting…the one with grandma holding the turkey and everyone looking excited to just be together. It was probably a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
I wonder what Norman Rockwell’s painting would look like if he were to paint it in 2017. Would grandma be holding hot pockets? One of the teenagers would undoubtedly be distracted by social media, perhaps taking selfies and sending it to friends. There would like be at least 5 devices in the painting. And don’t forget the TV in the background. Okay we might be exaggerating a little bit...but the point is, it would look a lot different, right?
What happened to Sunday dinners? It seems that Sunday dinners used to be a time for families to gather, engage in good conversation, laugh and enjoy one another's company. At least in our family, great grandma used to make ham, potatoes, and typically some sort of pie or cake (her blueberry pies in the summer were the best). It seems, though, that this tradition has sort of gone out the window. We've become too busy. Kids have homework, soccer games, overnight trips, and play dates. We're so exhausted from the busy week we've just had that we just veg out in front of the TV, maybe take a nap, and try to prepare for the coming week.
But that's where we want to push back: family dinners and spending time with loved ones can actually be just as rejuvenating as a nap in front of the TV, and in fact, we might argue that it's more refreshing.
Research shows that family dinners are actually really good for us, and have beneficial impacts on our health and mental wellness. Dinners provide time to spend together, to unwind, laugh, relax, and have good conversation. In a world as busy as ours, it seems like we could all use time with our families to just be ourselves without distractions, without outside pressure and just to spread love between one another.
On average, we check our phones at least 85 times a day. Doesn't that get exhausting? If we were to spend a day, unplug and turn our devices off, what would happen? You likely wouldn't get an important message (how many of those do we really get in a day?), and would find time to just spend with yourself. Take a walk, enjoy time with family and friends, maybe even cook a delicious meal. Constantly reaffirming connections with our family and friends, face to face, is so important.
This season, whenever you have dinner with your family, we want to challenge you to put away the devices and connect with each other. Enjoy the time you have together and take a break from the hustle and bustle. You might find you really enjoy it! I know it's hard to find the time, but I promise it'll be worth it!
And as always, if you’re looking to add a new, unique ingredient to your family dinners, Black Garlic is an ingredient everyone in the family will enjoy.