Sunday Dinners: How We Do It
Since my husband and I started hosting Sunday dinners a couple of months ago, I’ve received countless comments and emails asking for details about why we’re doing it, how we’re doing it, how many people we host, do I make all the food, etc. etc.
There appears to be a lot of interest in our little tradition, so I thought I’d go ahead and talk about the nitty gritty details that you’ve been curious about!
Why Did you Start Having Sunday Dinners?
It wasn’t long after we started dating that my husband and I realized that we had very similar upbringings, and one of the commonalities was that we both had Sunday dinners at our grandparents’ each week. It’s a tradition that we both loved growing up, and after Joseph was born, reviving traditions became even more important.
I have so many great memories sitting around my grandma’s dining room table each week… not for any special occasion, birthday or holiday, but just because she made dinner and we all wanted to go. It was never eat and run, either… we lingered over coffee, biscotti and dessert until the late afternoon, when everyone begrudgingly headed home to get ready for Monday. When we were little, my sister, cousins and I would run around the house playing and making up games as we went along.
My husband I wanted Joseph to experience the same tradition of family each week as he grows up, and we’re so glad that we’ve decided to do Sunday dinner!
How Many People Do You Have Each Week?
We extended a standing invitation to around 12 people – both of our immediate families as well as some extended family. Whoever is able to make it on any given Sunday is welcome to come on over, and if you have something else going on, that’s okay, too. So far, the least amount of people we’ve had is four and the most has been 10 or 11.
Who Makes All the Food? What Do You Eat?
Everyone! When we first planned to do this, I expected to make the food since it was our invitation, of course! However, that first week, everyone either called or texted me to see what they could bring. That Sunday, my aunt said she was reading the comments on my Friday Things post when I mentioned that we were going to be starting Sunday dinners and that someone’s family did an email chain for planning food (I just looked back – thank you, Marcia, for the inspiration!). She thought it was a great idea and suggested we do something similar, so we’ve been doing the same thing, via text, each week. I send out a text on Thursday with what I’m thinking about making, and everyone replies back if they’ll be coming and what they want to bring.
I’m not saying it would be impossible for me to make all of the food myself, but it sure does make it a lot easier having everyone pitch in!
If you’re ever curious about the types of food we have, check out my Weekend Dish posts – I started posting our weekly menus there. Generally, we have a meat, a pasta, bread/rolls, vegetables, salad and potatoes. However, we change it up from week to week depending on what’s going on and what we might be hungry for… For instance, we grilled and had hamburgers and hot dogs and picnic-style food the day after the 4th of July.
What Do You Do All Day?
Not surprisingly, Joseph gets an INSANE amount of attention on Sundays! He’s the only baby (actually, the only kid, period) in our family, so everyone has been getting their Joseph fix in each week. There is a lot of passing the baby around :)
Otherwise, we eat, linger at the dining room table talking, have coffee and dessert in the kitchen and family room, and often times, there are sporting events on the TV (naturally). Generally, we just enjoy each other’s company and catch up on life. It’s relaxed and so much fun.
So, that’s how we handle Sunday dinners! It’s been a great time and we’re so, so glad that we decided to jump in with both feet and do it. I’m sure as Joseph gets older, it’s going to become his favorite day of the week!
We do this in my family. We usually meet at my house, since it is a central location. We love getting together, and talking over the dinner table. My grandkids love it! I could never live far from my kids and grandkids.
we r Jewish … its a tradition to have family meal on Friday evening and/or Saturday.my family loves it and actually no one miss it..and its not from religious reasons !! its only for gathering eating good food and shearing .
when u start u cant give up this meetings.
Sounds wonderful. I would love this tradition, even if only once per month. Love your blog!
I miss Sunday dinner at gram’s as well. Unfortunately my family is spread out and not very close. But maybe I can do friends instead. I really really miss this tradition.
It’s such a wonderful tradition and such a great way to regularly bring family and friends together with our lives being so busy all the time.
Sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing, Michelle!!
Congratulations on being committed to keeping this tradition alive for our son. I think it’s wonderful and hope my son meets a girl who values family traditions as you do! I also think it’s great that everyone pitches in, sounds like you have a fabulous family.
sorry – should have read …your son.
I love love love this idea!!
We are Jewish and have Shabbat dinner every week. It’s really a sacred (pun intended) tradition. It’s usually just our family (me, hubby, 2 kids), and my MIL, but we do invite guests from time to time. We always have challah, usually chicken, and lots of sides. It’s really a wonderful thing to have traditions like this!
I too grew up with Sunday dinners and so continue the tradition with my family. I always thought it was an Italian tradition, but everyone seems to look forward to a good meal and getting together. I mostly cook pasta and meatballs since it feeds a crowd. The sauce can be prepared the day before which leaves me time to play with my 20 month year old grandson, Joseph. It’s a great tradition since I believe family is so important in forming who you. Thanks for sharing!
What a wonderful tradition! We did something similar when I was growing up and like you, I loved it. You have inspired me to try and do this for my family (since my grandparents – the hosts of previous family dinners – are gone now). Keep up the good word – the world and families need more “hanging out” time.
Yay!! Thank you SO much for sharing more about this new tradition you’ve started. Love it!
I love it – good idea with everyone bringing something – that way you don’t get burned out on the cooking – and Joseph sounds like he is definitely getting plenty of attention
I love this. I wish it was more doable for ys, but everyone is kind of spaced and we have the tiniest house ever! Joseph is a lucky boy!
This is awesome! I really wish we had family that lived closer because I would love to do this! Such a great tradition.
It’s really nice to see families who genuinely like to hang out together, and who will relax and linger, not eat and run. I’ve been told so many times that it’s a Pittsburgh thing to have families live so closely to each other. Whether it is or not, I love it. Since we’ve first been married, my husband and I would always spend Sundays with his mom. And we continued to do that until our kids got into high school and their high school sports became our weekends. At that point, phone calls to Grandma became the precedent. I’d like to revive that Sunday dinner tradition once my kids are married. You’re right, Michelle, it is so important and provides many needed memories for families.
Thank you for sharing, I love the idea and when once I am married, I will be making this a tradition too. LOVE IT
What a lovely tradition to re-adopt . If we lived closer to our (big Italian) families, I would love to host Sunday dinners at our place. Sunday dinner was always very special in our family too. Enjoy them and this wonderful time with your family.
This sounds absolutely fun!