Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Focusing on Togetherness

My friend, Tari, creates beautiful centerpieces for her dining room table. She selects a theme and changes her centerpiece each month, depending upon the holiday and season. I love her ideas for table runners, candles, silk flowers, and things that she hangs from the chandelier overhead. Her dedication to this task has inspired me to make sure that my tabletop also brings focus to a central point in my home. My centerpieces are not as organized and perfect as Tari's. I tend to like eclectic, quirky, and homespun things. Centerpieces I create generally use bits and pieces of nature that I see around me. I love to blend those elements with pretty items from my home, some of which are hidden away until I find a use for them. Candles, teapots, bowls, and linens are all items that help me create a focal point on my dining tabletop. I like the 'out of the ordinary' or 'unusual uses' of items that I find around me. When the family gathers for meals and chat, a centerpiece works to bring togetherness to the family circle. The table becomes the focus and all eyes are drawn to the center. The atmosphere of a meal is affected by the beauty of surrounding. Not only can a centerpiece induce conversation, but it helps center each individual and brings calmness and grace to mealtime. Those who gather at a well-prepared table will find respite from the cares of the day. There is warmth in knowing that someone took thought and care in preparing a beautifully arranged, original centerpiece to the table where food and conversation are shared. Everyone has a table where they eat. Whether they eat alone or with family or friends, a pretty table can make pleasant the day and set the tone for happy meals. The centerpiece in the photograph is one that has been set on my dining room table for the past week. A cross-stitched bread cloth, crocheted and patchwork hot pads, a crystal bowl filled with oak leaves, and a scented candle with topper are blended together to create a homey and fragrant focal point that uses elements both of the nature the season presents and home arts. The candlelight flickering throughout the day reminds me that my family will be home for dinner in the evening --- fragrance fills the house --- and a sense of place and calmness fills my heart.


  1. I read that families have fallen apart in many aspects due to the lack of family meals around the table. So much more than food is enjoyed at a family table. Memories are made, problems shared and many times solved during a time around the table.

  2. I agree, Patty. Family meal time is an important ritual in holding the family circle together and making it strong.


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