I like the household to eat together when we can.
Thing is, we’re all really busy. Sometimes we have events going on at night where a big meal is really out of the question. Certainly greendalek doesn’t like to teach on a full stomach, but will often make himself a wrap before going out to teach for the evening.
So, I’ve adopted the custom of afternoon tea on those nights. If we have to be somewhere too early for a big meal to be feasible, but want to sit down together, I’ll do up a plate of cheese, crackers, fruit and other light but quick to prepare and healthy dainties (for the three of us, this is something that’ll fit on a single dinner plate) and brew up a pot of tea. We’ve done it the last couple of nights and I think it’s been a success. We’ll only sit down for twenty minutes or so, but I think those twenty minutes to have a nibble and a cup of tea are a nice way to reconnect.
A friend of mine pointed out a Time Magazine article from a few years ago about families eating dinner together. Apparently there is a link between eating meals together and how well children do in school and in life.
While we usually do eat together, and are not as overscheduled as many, even we have busy nights. I wonder if some sort of custom of gathering together for tea might not be a good solution for a lot of people. You could choose light, healthy foods that you don’t take much preparation, and the cup of tea for the warmth, and you’re all good. It takes nothing at all to get together, isn’t expensive and is even kinda fun.