My husband thinks I need to let everyone in on a little secret: I like to surprise my family with special dinners. Sometimes I prepare them in advance, but often I find out there's some holiday I forgot to prepare for and then I'll magically transform our dinner table for the occasion.
For example, yesterday was Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras. So I grabbed anything I could find in my house that had a little sparkle and went along with the color scheme. I dressed the table in a white table cloth and then decorated the center of the table with a scrap of shiny purple lining fabric, a big candle, a mask I brought back from Venice, and a bunch of gold, green, and purple beads. I brought out my china -- green and gold for my theme -- and bought a couple of purple-topped cupcakes for the kids. Then I let the kids eat the cupcakes first (yes, this is the ultimate decadence in my house), and they drank lemonade from gold-rimmed champagne flutes as they ate the jambalaya I prepared for dinner. During dinner, I put on some Cajun music and the kids loved it so much that after we'd had our fill of food, we danced to the music together in our family room.
My husband always smiles when he walks into our home after work and finds a mini party going on in our dining area. And I guess those smiles are a big reason I do these things. Sometimes I like my family to break from the normal routine for a bit and have a good time together. I've told my kids that the china is for special occasions. Tuesday night with them was special enough.
Tuesday could have just come and gone, but instead, I chose to seize it, and we'll have a little memory that will last long into the future!