Nesting: Tabletop

“Big top” conjures images of crowds and performers at a circus. “Tabletop” brings to mind holiday dinners, nightly family dinners, entertaining friends, and hosting book club meals. How we set our table creates a mood for our family members and guests.

We have a “This is Your Special Day” plate that comes out on birthdays and first-days of school to celebrate the events. The Easter-themed deviled egg serving dish arrives for two weekends each year. And the Christmas plates and serving dishes are used for multiple meals in December.

Magazines include tabletop décor, place-settings, dishes, placemat, and place card ideas. Seasonal or themed tabletops bring a smile. “Getting out the good dishes” means important people are joining us at the table. Why not get out the good dishes once (or more) a month to celebrate the important people we’ve been with 24/7 this year?

People are “looking for products that add color, comfort, and individuality to their daily lives. They’re appreciating cooking and setting a table for their families, and taking more time to share stories and feelings, whether in person or virtually. … Today we must create things that tell a story, that add meaning to people’s lives in very special ways,” says clothing and home décor designer Ralph Lauren.

With a nicely set table, tabletop time increases, and storytelling is invited. What family stories can you share tonight at dinner? Consider sharing family trip stories, or growing up stories, or even embarrassing moment stories. The more we talk with each other, the closer we become. Shared stories connect us in ways that passing conversation about the weather simply cannot do.

Tabletop time might include family game-night with or without snacks. Phase10® and Uno® by Mattel are great for all ages – and allow conversation to continue during play. We also enjoy several versions of CLUE® and LIFE® by Hasbro. Spoons is a fun game early in the evening, before moving to a quieter game like Phase10.

This year, tabletop time includes work and study hours in all new ways. Sharing the dining room table with work and school desk duties may mean meals are pushed to other seating areas. How can the areas you now eat meals in also feed your soul, rather than causing you to feel untethered? Perhaps special placemats or cheerful napkins will mark your new eating areas.

Outdoor tabletops range from dining-table sized to side-table sized. Before the cold weather really sets in this year, consider changing up your routine and eating some meals outside.

Whether your tabletop is for a meal, for study or work, or for game night, set the table for comfort, enjoyment, and nourishment.

What are you doing to dress up your table?

Doing to spend more time at the table together? related links:

Nesting is about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without home, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive. Enjoy the Nesting series of blogs on your search for and creation of a deep sense of home. Also, enjoy browsing for fun, for gifts, and for joy-spreading possibilities. ~ Jana

Jana Kemp

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