Remember when we all sat down together to dinner? Remember when it was a time of visiting and laughing and catching up?

Well maybe you didn't have those dinners, or maybe you stopped having those dinners when life changed. I know we did! As kids grew and grew up, getting lives and families of their own we got out of the habit and routine of family dinners. I also began to realize that even though my husbands family lives in the same town we do we were beginning to see them less and less often. Shame on us! But after a long days work and frantic catching up on everything else on Saturdays, we just weren't taking the time to stop in and have a visit.

So enter the Sunday dinner. It started with me cooking a meal and taking it over to my sister inlaws, she's the most centrally located house. Everyone was invited, my husbands brother and his family, his sister, his parents, and our kids and thier kids. When we're all together we number over 20! The next week I just texted it out again and whomever was around and available showed up. It quickly became a weekly tradition and the cooking now is shared among all of us. Usualy someone will volunteer, sometimes we have potluck. Sometimes we try new recipes, sometimes we make old favorites, sometimes we have an all out Sunday dinner and sometimes we have soup and sandwiches.

Its nice to have a great meal together but the food isn't really the point. We come together as a multi-generational family, grandparents, parents, aunts, cousins siblings, and we visit, we laugh, we share, we coordinate schedules, we connect as a family. This one afternoon a week everyone knows where they will be and what they will be doing. This one afternoon a week family is the priority, what a concept!

Does that mean it's perfect or that we never have interference? Good Heavens no! But mostly it works. We have some family that rarely comes, we have on occasion, meetings or concerts that have to be rushed off to, we have life! But everyone knows that on Sundays we have dinner together and it's a very nice thing.

Now if you want to start a thing like this, don't stress about who does what, just communicate, or organize or make a chart. Don't think you need a magnificent meal every time, don't try to one-up each other with fabulous dishes. Just remember that the focus is on family time and making connections that will last a life time.

This has been going on with our family for just over a year now and I'm hoping it will continue far into the future. Weekly works for us, maybe monthly works for you. If you're getting along as a family it's a great source of fun. If you're not getting along it's a great way to start. Families are important!

Studies have shown that kids who grow up within multi-generational families and have those connections are more productive, happier and more successful than those who don't. Family dinner could be the place to start to give your kids that foundation of family. And if you need new dinner recipes, check out the recipe box!