The idea to start doing a Sunday dinner as a family started when Thea was a little over one. We didn’t have structure in our meal times, especially with a baby and both working our own businesses. I realized that I wanted to start designating a day each week that we had as a family. Whether that meant just us, with friends, or with more of our family, I wanted a day that felt dedicated to time together with an open invitation in our home. I found the book Sunday Suppers which was a great guide to encourage me to pick a meal from the book and go all out. I kept the book on the open shelves in my kitchen to remind me to start planning my Sunday dinner a few days ahead.
Sunday Dinner is a way to slow down each week to connect to one another outside of the weekly rhythm of life.
I recommend starting off being intentional with your Sundays by getting everyone on board with the idea. It’s taken some time to convince Joel to stop making plans on Sunday, but we are getting there. Now that I have him more on board with the idea of taking an official day off from life, it's made it easier to take a family day together since we all expect it.
7 Ways to Slow Down With a Sunday Supper
1. Make Breakfast to Start the Day. We start our day with a breakfast as a family. We light candles, play jazz, and Thea helps me make biscuits on days when we are making something from scratch. Sometimes we have an easy breakfast with bagels and fruit. Regardless of what we eat, we spend the morning eating together which is a rare occasion compared to the rest of the luck sometimes.
2. Have the Plan Not to Make Plans. We don’t make plans, but that doesn’t mean we don’t do things. It feels freeing to not have plans for a day and have the ability to do whatever we feel like in the moment. Even if that means making plans in the moment. We go to the park, a movie, or stay home and have a movie marathon. It really comes down to whatever we are feeling that day.
3. Have Down Time. With the normal rhythm of life throughout the week, it's nice to have the space to have down time on Sundays if we need it. Sometimes we all want a nap or to spend the day truly relaxing. Sunday is our day as our dedicated slow day.
4. Make a Fun Sunday Dinner. Sometimes I wait until the day to pick a meal and it works because we are having a chill day, but sometimes I go all out. We have done all kinds of Sunday Suppers from a huge picnic style dinner with friends in our backyard where everyone brought picnic style food to share, to following an entire menu plan from the Sunday Suppers book. We've also gone as simple as a charcuterie board. The point is to make it something fun, something you wouldn’t normally make every other day of the week.
5. Plan to Have Everyone Gather Early. We have everyone coming to Sunday Supper arrive around four o'clock in the afternoon to start the evening. This gets us started on drinks, appetizers, and good conversation. If we have friends coming, we have everyone pitch in a drink and an appetizer to share.
6. Dark For Dinner. This means no phones. We put our phones away at the four o'clock mark when the official Sunday Supper starts. This has been a great way to disconnect from the distraction of technology and have everyone be present in the moment. We make it a Sunday Supper requirement for everyone coming, including friends.
7. Make It a Long Dinner. One of the reasons we start our dinner early is because it is Sunday and most people, including us, like to wrap things up earlier on Sundays. By starting early, we can enjoy a long evening and a slow dinner. We take our time eating dinner, getting more than one plate, then we clean up and sit back for a while before moving onto dessert. This is typically when I light the candles and make it the most relaxing part of the evening. Once our food has settled, I start getting out the dessert to top off the evening before everyone heads home.
Sunday dinners with friends and family have turned out to be a unique gathering for us. It doesn’t happen every Sunday with friends and family, and that’s okay. Slow Sundays are not meant to have rules. It’s the one day of the week that we have given ourselves freedom from the busyness of plans where we can truly relax and enjoy a day as a family as a refresh for a new week together.