White Cloth Napkins

Many of us work hard to “make everything perfect” when entertaining guests. I do. I want my guests to know that their presence is important; that I care enough to “pull out all the stops.” When I host an event, I want it to be as seamless as possible so everyone can relax, laugh, talk, and know they’re welcome. That’s great, right? Isn’t that what we all want when we have people over? Unlike those special guests and occasions, we sometimes get a bit lazy when it comes to the people we love the most. We often rush through the time together. We don’t sit down and really look at each other and talk and honor the important now.

Peace-filled homes don’t exist for many of us. We haven’t figured out how to choose serenity over chaos. We often fill every minute with things we believe we have to do, instead of relating to each other in meaningful ways. Don’t get me wrong; I know how challenging it is to be working full-time, raising a family, and still be responsible for all the things on the “must-do” lists. I know that it takes effort to prioritize our real priorities!

My Dad died when he was only 67 years old. After his death, my Mom and I went to dinner almost every Wednesday night. When my daughter, Sara, moved back to the area, she joined us. If my younger daughter, Erin, was home, she’d be with us too. Then, when Sara’s children, Lauren and Ethan, were born, they became part of this tradition. Toward the end of her life, at our weekly dinners, Mom would always have a drink (usually a White Russian), she’d eat her dessert (she and Lauren loved anything chocolate!), and she’d take most of her actual dinner home. After all, it was never about the food! Those dinners usually lasted for hours. We talked about everything and nothing. We shared life. She told stories about the past, held her great-grandchildren, and she laughed. Could I have used that time to do the work I took home, clean the house, or watch TV? Of course. Would I have traded those dinners with Mom for any of that other stuff? Never.

What do cloth napkins have to do with this story? Contrary to what it seems many people think, I believe that your family and closest friends are precisely the people you should be using cloth napkins for! I know it’s not as easy as throwing a piece of paper in the trash. I know using real napkins means that you have to wash them (and that you probably already have too much laundry to do. But, what if you set the table with your best dishes and glasses and cloth napkins? What if you used those “special occasion” pieces for your most special people? What if you broke one of those Waterford glasses having a sparkling grape juice toast with your grandson? Wouldn’t that be better than having someone give it all away when you’re on the other side? What if you used those precious Irish linens? What if one of them got a huge pasta sauce stain on it? Wouldn’t that be better than letting it sit folded in that blue tissue paper forever? What if you said a prayer of thanks before the meal? What if that prayer of thanks acknowledged that you have food to eat and someone to share it with? What if you became purposeful about creating peace-full? And, what if that started in your own home with a humble, white cloth napkin?

What if you actually set the table with dishes and glasses and cloth napkins? What if you used those “special occasion” pieces for YOUR most special people? What if you broke one of those Waterford glasses having a sparkling grape juice toast with your grandson? Wouldn’t that be better than having someone give it all away when you’re on the other side? What if you used those precious Irish linens? What if one of them got a huge pasta sauce stain on it? Wouldn’t that be better than letting it sit folded in that blue tissue paper forever? What if you said a prayer of thanks before the meal?  What if that prayer of thanks acknowledged the fact that you actually have food to eat and someone to share it with? What if you became purposeful about creating peaceful? And, what if that started in your own home with a humble, white, cloth napkin?

Kay
© PeaceFullHome.com 2013-2020

4 thoughts on “White Cloth Napkins

  1. Pingback: Food, Kitchens, Souls | peace full home®—intentional living

  2. Pingback: Home Peaceful Home | PEACE FULL HOME - Intentional Living

  3. I agree. I have used cloth napkins for the very reason you wrote about even when my son was only 4 years old. There are plenty of cloth napkins that are easy care and take no more time to fold than a washcloth. Besides, it is good for the environment,too, and in the long hall, saves money over disposables. Thanks, Kay, for encouraging us to “see” differently.

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