37: Go on a Date (with your child!)

We’ve started a Mommy-Daughter date night in our family once a week after choir rehearsal. I pickup my daughter from choir and we have dinner together with lots of talking, then we go to a bookstore, then home. This has been a really wonderful thing for us as she gets older (9) and needs to have some one-on-one time with her mom. We make lists, have some “girl talk,” giggle and laugh, and sometimes even grab some Starbucks hot chocolate to finish the night off.

Today, I had a date with my son. We took a walk outside, watched a construction site, and shared a basket of fish and chips for lunch. We had a great time, and he got some time alone with his mom.

The kids love going on their “dates” and so do I!

Here are a few ideas for your date with your child:

  • Baking cookies
  • Christmas shopping
  • Wrapping gifts
  • Volunteering
  • Bowling
  • Dinner
  • Dessert
  • Coffee/Cocoa/Tea and Bookstore
  • Walk

I don’t recommend movies for dates because there is no interaction. If you do choose a movie, include time after the movie to talk about the movie together. Have fun with it, and post your kid “date” idea in the comments!

64: Tablescapes

Now that you’ve decided to host Christmas dinner at your place this year, it’s time to think about your tablescape. A great tablescape adds a lot to the atmosphere of your dinner when done well.

My favorite way to serve the food for a big dinner is buffet style. If you choose to do that, it’s another opportunity to stage your food in an interesting presentation on the buffet, and you can still have a great dinner table. The key to staging your buffet is varying heights. Use a variety of pedestal stands and candelsticks and you’re halfway there! (TIP: When using candles in a food setting, make sure they are unscented.)

Other additions to your table or buffet could be silk flowers and foliage, themed dishes, wired ribbon, food identification cards and place cards, small ornaments or balls, confetti, tablecloths and runners. On the dining table, make sure your tablescape is low enough so that guests can see one another across the table. Centerpieces should not interfere with conversation. If you are using fresh flowers, make sure the scent doesn’t overwhelm diners. If the arrangement is very fragrant, remove it from the table during dinner.

Before the big day, determine your menu and get out all of your serving dishes you will be using. Arrange your table and buffet area with everything and take a picture of it, once you’re happy with it. Keep this in your planning notebook for Christmas so you don’t have to figure it out again.

Photo courtesy of Liz Lawley