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Memories - family candlelight dinner4A set table with lit candles for dinner – even on leftovers night – gives a solid signal it’s time to put away the electronics and sit down for a meal together. Over the holidays, with all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget the joys of eating dinner at a set table in the middle of the week.

It’s time to start creating some memorable nights and conversations again – and start with Wednesday nights. Pick up a bag or two of clementines and some candles – pillar, votive, whatever floats your boat. Put the clementines in glass vase or bowl with the candles arranged on the table as you wish in small dishes, bowls, glasses, or candle holders. You just created a simple yet elegant (and delicious) seasonal centerpiece. Just remember to light the candles when it’s time to sit down. And unless there is an absolute need to get up, stay in your seat and just relax. When it’s dessert time, grab a clementine.

For those with kids: I know. I know. It’s a tough to combination of having an open flame on the table with tots nearby. Here me out though on this one: there’s something about lighting a candle for dinner that will draw them into the moment. For us it took a few tries, but it was completely worth it. When we first gave this a try, our oldest was two years old (he’s now four) and *wanted* to be at the table after he cleared his plate. Use a sturdy hurricane vase to hold your candle. Set the placemats. Fold the napkins. Place the silverware. Dim the lights a bit. Trust me. It will be worth it. Maybe not the first time. Maybe not the tenth time. But give it time and enjoy what will unfold in front of your eyes.

{making memories & creating traditions} are a set of posts created by Sparrow Soirées for the holiday season to help readers create their own memorable experiences with loved ones. Click “Making Memories” or “Creating Traditions” in the tag section to see other posts in our series.