Family life has never been busier, and the more we try and squeeze in, the easier it is to disconnect from our loved ones. Enter: a family ritual. A simple, Sunday family lunch. Like our grandparents did. Because they knew a thing or two about connection.
A family ritual, like a Sunday lunch where everyone gathers, chats, decompresses and eats, nurtures the idea of family connection. It’s a chance to bring your people, those closest to you, together, no matter how big or small your home or table. With IKEA there are so many clever ways to help bring family and friends together.
In its 80 years, IKEA has been the key to helping so many families design and decorate their homes for living, and gathering, through smart design and easy-to-use products.
So we’re bringing back the art of the weekly ritual Sunday family lunch. Whether it’s Sunday lunch, Wednesday dinner or Friday breakfast – it’s all about connection.
An easy, IKEA-inspired guide to gathering family for Sunday lunch
Most of us grew up with Sunday family lunches. Sometimes just mum, dad and siblings, sometimes aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. But it was a time when the food was plenty, the conversation flowed and all of those special moments from the week before were shared.
And while we may not have realised it at the time, the mere act of collectively eating was wrapped up in one, overarching truth. That happiness starts at home.
I know that it can seem overwhelming to prepare a meal for many (or even just a few). But just breaking it down into a few simple steps will mean Sunday lunch will be stress-free and nostalgia-filled. Promise.
It starts at the table
I can remember our friends and family gathering around mum and dad’s dining table (complete with plastic covered lace tablecloth!) when I was little. Everyone pulled up a chair, or a step, grabbed a plate and the constant drone of conversation would only be interrupted by loading up more food.
IKEA has always been the master of gathering families together, even in the most compact of spaces. Even if you think you can’t possibly fit your loved ones in your home, a clever IKEA NORDVIKEN Extendable table means extra space is a cinch. It’s a great option for smaller spaces that need more room day to day, but want some extra seating space when the fam gathers. Because that true sense of sharing and belonging, starts with the simple act of being gathered.
Setting the scene
It’s amazing how the smell and taste of certain meals can transport us back to childhood. The soup that Nan used to make. The apple crumble Uncle Dave used to throw together with the apples that had to be used up. Part of our Sunday family lunch ritual centres around the preparation. Leafing through recipe books, shopping for ingredients and preparing the food.
And food prep usually starts with chopping! I can still remember my mum’s wooden chopping board. It was the workhorse of the kitchen – used to chop ingredients, and then serve cheese and crackers after lunch!
I love that the IKEA PROPPMÄTT Chopping board has become my own little link to Sunday lunch nostalgia. It’s part of the preparation, the thoughtfulness behind making food for the people you love, and it also works perfectly as a charcuterie board.
Hands up if you had to set the table as a child?! It’s such a lost art these days, because we’re used to eating on the run or in front of the TV. But the purposeful setting of a table, and creating a space for each loved one is such a beautiful and thoughtful ritual. It’s a trigger to remember that happiness can be found in the simplest things, at home.
Lighting candles is a beautiful mood-setter. We light a set of IKEA FULLTALIG Candlesticks to signal the start of the Sunday family meal, but instead of using them on the table, we place them on the buffet.
A little bit of practicality
Now that the table is ready, the food is prepped and the mood is set, it’s time to get practical.
Scattering IKEA 365+ Serving plates around the table for a shared meal, or tapas-style family lunch really captures the sense of ‘breaking bread’ together. A communal way to eat. Everyone can help themselves, and feel part of the meal, rather than being served.
Bring out a triumphant Sunday roast, straight from the oven in a show-stopping IKEA GLADELIG Oven dish and let everyone help themselves to continue the theme of connection and sharing.
And finally, table settings can be as simple, or as fancy as you like. But we do like the idea of the adults being able to raise a toast to the week that was and a wonderful week ahead using IKEA SVALKA Wine glasses.
It just reinforces that sense of togetherness – of taking on life as a unit. We often use this time to goal-set for the week – nothing too difficult, just something we’d like to achieve, or something we’d love to happen. It’s also a chance for the kids to share their triumphs and hopes. Kids love to feel as though they’re part of something, that they’re connected. And this simple ritual shows them that they’re important.
We love the idea of gathering our family for a once-weekly meal. A ritual that connects and creates memories to pass down the generations, to create a bridge between generations and to unite through the hustle and bustle of every day life.
Happiness starts at home … with IKEA
Learn more about how to nurture happiness in the home with the help of IKEA.
We’re proudly working with IKEA to bring you this article. IKEA believes that everyday rituals create a better everyday life. And home is the perfect place to practise our everyday rituals, because it’s where happiness starts.