“Put on your shoes James, we are going to be late for dinner”, shouted Elroy standing at the bottom of stairs.
The small pitter patter of running feet could be heard and James, Elroy’s 5-year-old son came bounding down the stairs.
From the living room, Madison, Elroy’s wife, came out with her daughter Ella dressed in a cute pink dress and a bow in her hair.
“You look lovely Ella”, said Elroy when his daughter gave her dress a twirl.
“What about me dad?” shouted James.
Elroy picked up his son and said, “You my son look like a handsome prince”.
Madison smiled at her family and thanked God for blessing her with this life. They were heading out for dinner to celebrate their 10-year anniversary.
When they got to the restaurant, a fancy one at that, Madison found they were the only family there. When the order arrived, plenty of dishes were brought to the table, some that Elroy hadn’t ordered. When he asked the waiter about it, he was told, “Compliments of the chef”.
After they were done with dinner, the chef came out to greet them and said, “It’s lovely to see a family come in here and have dinner in our restaurant. We don’t get that anymore. This month is called National Family Month and most people don’t know about it. So, when we see a happy family, we make sure they are well catered.”
National Family Month covers the 5-week period from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. You probably had no idea that there was even such a holiday, right? It’s celebrated regardless of culture heritage or ethnicity, economic status, geographic location, or how children are being raised by their parents. National Family Month was created in 1998 by KidsPeace, which is a private, non-profit charity. Now here’s some information about them.
KidsPeace serves the mental health and behavioral needs of families, children and communities. The charity was founded in 1882. It provides a range of residential treatment programs, community and foster care programs and a psychiatric hospital. Its services are available in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The founder of KidsPeace William Thurston who is also the president of Bethlehem Steel Corporation created this charity when a smallpox epidemic broke out and many children were left homeless. At first, the charity was known as “Wiley House”, which was changed to “Kids Peace” at start of the year in 1992.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway, a funded information service of the United States Children’s Bureau, says that a strong family shares the following qualities:
Strong families build trusting relations by following through with promises.
Strong families feel like a team. They share traditions like having a family picnic on the Fourth of July or taking walks together after dinner. Family members show commitment to the family by making time for family events and making sacrifices for one another.
Members of strong families talk to one another about important decisions and daily plans. They discuss feelings as well as day-to-day activities at school or work. When there are conflicts, strong families take time to cool down before responding. They don’t bottle up their anger or let it get out of hand. They talk about possible solutions to problems and work together to carry out the best solution.
Grow Through Crises
All families experience crises. Strong families use these experiences to learn and grow. They know even bad experiences can bring about good changes and help them to become closer. They admit problems instead of hiding them. They seek help when needed.
Spend Time Together
Strong families spend time together, talking, reading, playing games, taking walks, cooking. Some special times involve closeness, like reading a good-night story and tucking children into bed with a kiss.
Have Fun as a Family
Strong families know that having fun is important and make plans to have fun together. They plan family trips or parties. Strong families know that laughter is important and use humor to help reduce stress. Family members laugh with one another, not at one another.
Show Love and Affection
No matter what children say or do, they need to know that their parents love them. Strong families show caring in many ways. Family members say to each other, “I love you” or “I’m happy we’re in this family together.” They give hugs and show affection in other small ways. They may call each other nicknames and enjoy remembering family stories.”
So National Family Month is not just an opportunity for families to spend some happy time together. It’s a time to emphasize everything listed above and remind everyone of how important those qualities are to America’s future.
To help you celebrate this joyous holiday and teach your children something valuable at the same time, we’ve got a few dinner table decorating ideas that you can do as a family. We are a table linen company, after all.
Table Setting Ideas
There are many ways you can go about creating a table setting for a family dinner or a party. Anything from a classic to a luxurious theme will work, but try to select a theme that your children will enjoy. Here are a few options for you to consider.
Classic Royal Table Setting
You don’t need fancy china for this because the star of this table décor is the food. Royal blue makes anything look great. You will need plain white napkins and royal blue tablecloths in any shape or size that fits your table. Place a couple of vases with fresh and colorful flowers in them.
For the china, go with plain white plates and dishes, and simple utensils on the white napkins. Now for the festive touch, since we are keeping it classic, hang a garland around the length and width of the table. You can go over to Ten Ways to Make a Garland. Garland is quite simple to make, so it’s easy to get your children involved. There are plenty of cutouts and designs to choose from, but garlands made with family photos sounds like a great choice for celebrating National Family Month. Hang the garlands around the perimeter of the table. Finally, if there’s a light chandelier hanging from the ceiling above the table, make sure to hang some cutouts from it too.to see
Christmas Is Early Table Setting
Some people like to keep their Christmas decoration long after the holiday has gone. We’re not suggesting that you do the same, but Christmas knick knacks do make for great décor. This décor idea uses only two things from Christmas decoration: pine cones and a wreath. You can easily get faux snow—tipped pine cones on Amazon. As for making the wreath, we suggest you head over to over to Bella Coco to see Sarah-Jayne’s Floral Wreath Tutorial. Using a styrofoam ring and silk flowers from Amazon, not only is this faux floral wreath pretty, it’s actually really easy and enjoyable for you and the kids to make.
Moving on to the table décor, get a white tablecloth with color designs on it. Adorn the table with it and then set the stage. Place a white bowl in the bowl and fill it with water. Throw in a few pine cones so they float. Place empty vases on either side of the bowl and insert the snow-tipped cone in them. Glue a scented candle on top of the pine cones and light it. Now set the table with the fancy china that you usually set out for parties. Finally, take dark green napkins, fold them like a bird and place them in the glasses.
And you are done with the Christmas look. To give your children a surprise and make them feel special, consider giving them a present… something they have been asking you for a long time.
Back to Nature Table Setting
Perhaps the best way to create the perfect dinner table décor is to use plenty of flowers and leaves. This back to nature theme creates a calming and aromatic environment that will allow you to enjoy a pleasant dinner. It has great for parties because it is not too festive or too simple.
Get out the plain china and the simple napkins. Use a solid white or ivory table runner to adorn the middle length of the dinner table. We’re suggesting a white or ivory table runner because any fancy print or other colors may clash with the flowers. Simply create a floral bed with the table runner and place scented candles in the middle. Place a favorite of each of the member in front of them and the others haphazardly.
Here’s something else that you can do: Fold the napkins in a rectangule and tie them individually with a ribbon. Insert a piece of potpourri underneath the ribbon and place the napkin on the plate. When the dinner is over, your guests can rub their hands on the potpourri and enjoy the natural scent of the dried flowers.
Colorful Carnival Table Setting
This is an elaborate theme that both adults and children will love. This bohemian style table décor will truly surprise your children.
The stage is going to be set in the garden underneath a tree. Clean your garden table and position it under the branches of a tree. You can either go with rustic feel of the wood table or adorn it with a colorful floral tablecloth. Place funky different colored placemats on the table and then place white china on them. If you don’t have utensils with colored handles, you can get satin ribbons matching the colors of the placements and wrap them around the utensils.
Now take a white napkin, fold them into rectangles and tie tie them with 3 different colored ribbons. Get all the glass vases from your house, insert candles and flowers in them and place them on the table. Lastly, place different colored and sizes drinking glasses besides each plate setting. Finally, place two pillows on each chair and the look is complete.
You can make the setting more comfortable, by placing the table on a wooden platform. This way, the grownups can sit at the table and the children can sit Indian style on the cushions. Finally, hang some paper streamers from the tree branches and the look is complete.
To capture the happiness of this moment, the tree will come in quite handy. Get your kids on the project. Create a hollow frame that you can hang from the tree to frame some great family photos. Since we are going with the colorful floral theme, glue a lot of flowers to the picture frame and you are done. Lastly, make some placards with tag lines such as:
“Crazy Family Day”
“I Love My Family”
“A Family that Eats Together Stays Together”
“Celebrating Love – My Family”
“I Am Blessed To Have Such a Great Family”
“Spreading the Love”
Attach a stick to the back of each placard to turn them into a prop, and place them on a small table beside the tree. You can make other props too such as bejeweled eye masks, crowns, funky mustaches and hats, a monocle is a must, pouty lips and more. This photo frame idea will take some planning to set up, but the end result will be worth it.
We hope you can use some of these décor ideas to make your National Family Month’s celebration even more special. But, as said earlier, National Family Month is not just about celebrating how long you have been together as a family. It’s about following through with promises, being a team and making sacrifices, including all your family members when making important decisions, learning and growing from your experiences, not abandoning your family in crises, spending quality time together (even if it is as something simple as tucking kids in bed and giving them a goodnight kiss), making plans together and most important of all – showing affection towards each other.
Visit our Bright Ideas blog to find out about other national food holidays and décor ideas. There are plenty of recipes that you can try to impress your guests. If your children have a sweet tooth, then they will definitely love the recipes that we wrote about in 5 Easy Chocolate Recipes You Can Make with Your Kids and 8 Strawberry Recipes to Celebrate National Strawberry Month.