5. Make it Fancy. Or Make it Easy.
Boost up your enjoyment of the family meal by crafting it to your own tastes. Create an environment that works for you, making changes based on how much time you have that night. Make the table look nice, adjust the lighting. Or make it easy and use paper plates. Do whatever you can to make it fun for yourself and your family.
Since tonight’s Friday, maybe you or one of your children can take a few extra minutes to put out a tablecloth or candles. Kids love the privilege of using fancy glassware or special plates. If your kids are old enough not to spill or instantaneously break things, put out nice dishes. You don’t have to save your nice stuff only for holidays, use it! If you don't particularly like your tableware, you can get some reasonably-priced plates at Target or CB2. Get something you like and that makes you happy to place on the table. The cost may be less than a take-out meal or two. I recently purchased a rustic Mediterranean-style serving plate that I love. It really makes the food look great and instantly makes everyday dinners seem special.
On the other hand, some families make Friday "take-out" night. Order Chinese or a pizza and watch a family movie or play a game together. That’s a fine tradition too! (If you want to avoid take-out, making your own pizza is also fun.)
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