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“Meals can be very small indeed, very inexpensive, short times taken in the midst of a big push of work, but they should be always more than just food.  Relaxation, communication and a measure of beauty and pleasure should be part of even the shortest of meal breaks.  Of course you celebrate special occasions — successes of various members of the family, birthdays, good news, answered prayer, happy moments — with special attention to meal preparation and serving.  But we should be just as careful to make the meal interesting and appealing when the day is grey and the news is disappointing.  Children feel the difference in the home that takes this attitude.  Father comes home tired and discouraged after some sort of failure or disappointment to find, not the food he dislikes, nor burned soup and sloppy serving, but a beautifully set table, with his favorite food served artistically . . . with all the air of a special occasion.”

Edith Schaeffer, Hidden Art of Homemaking

 

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