Mixing it Up – Young and the Old

The winds were fiercely blowing last week as we were sitting around the gas log fireplace in our friends’ beautiful home. This was after a wonderful meal (where we all participated in bringing a dish!), with fun, festive table settings created by the hosts, who just returned from a trip to Africa (note the fun “giraffe-shaped” napkins at each setting).

Not only did we have place cards at the table, the settings went like this: adult, child, adult, child, adult, child … (the young mixed in with the older). It wasn’t your typical adult dinner conversation taking place around the table that night. Adults were talking with kids and inquiring about their lives, and the kids were asking adults questions in response!

After dinner, our hosts came up with a great conversation starter. They asked each person to share his or her most memorable birthday! We had many laughs and shared some great stories and memories.

I thought to myself, how appropriate to talk about our favorite birthdays, as we celebrated Minor and Nancy’s shared birthday. Because (taking it a step further), the whole ebb and flow of the evening went perfectly with the season at hand.

Then the room became even more intimate when the power went out and left us all sitting around in semi-darkness. After the initial shock, (who isn’t surprised when the lights go out?), we turned to the flickering candles and the glow from the fireplace, from which came a comforting light. And we continued around the room …sharing.

This time of year, our celebration is for the One whose birthday will never cease. It’s for the One who came for all. It’s the most important birthday celebrated in the history of mankind.
It changes my focus and brings meaning and sense to this sometimes-senseless holiday.

Yes, we mix it up as we partake in this wonderful celebration.

The most humbling thought is this: it includes us all – the young, the in-between, and the older.

12 comments on “Mixing it Up – Young and the Old”

  1. Wonderful dinner party! I always find such great ideas here. Have a great day.

  2. What a wonder evening and seating arrangement! The power outage actually sounds kind of cozy since the food was already cooked. :-)

  3. I felt so cozy reading about this wonderful evening. Such great ideas here, too…I love the idea of all the ages being mixed together.

    I know we both live in the same state…so you saw some of the same storms! You were brave to go out in the wind, but seeing the pictures, I think it was worth it! :)

  4. You make me wish I had more friends :)

  5. What a lovely idea. I like the mixing of adult, child, adult, child. You probably won’t realize how memorable it is to them until much later on.

  6. Thanks again for sharing your experience. You have a wealth of great ideas!

  7. My kids love sitting with everyone at the same table, though I don’t think we’ve ever intentionally placed the guests in adult-kid-adult-kid order before. Cute idea!

    I also like their conversation starter. I may have to borrow that particular idea! *smile*

  8. What a great post! How neat it is that your kids are growing up being valued by so many older people, and learning how to converse with those with more life experience.
    I’ve got a question for you. Is there a good list somewhere of conversation starters? I saw that Restoration Hardware is selling a box of them, but it costs $40, and there’s no way to see if they’re even any good. Maybe (if you haven’t already) this would make a good post and then readers could comment with their own favorites.
    Thank you!

  9. It seems like a truly enjoyable evening for all attending! The napkins are great – how fun to have an interesting way to bring a recent trip into the dinner decor.

    I love the idea of the table settings with a child in between the adults – I am sure dinner conversation was much more stimulating that way!


  10. I’m so glad you didn’t run out on your host because the lights went out. You have way more class than that and obviously it shows!!

    Your dinner event (I like to call dinners events) sounds perfectly festive and more accurately a perfect tribute to the One whose birth saved us.


  11. It sounds like a wonderful time! We all loved those giraffe napkins!

  12. I like the idea of specific conversation starters. So many times, when we get together with the same groups of people, the tendency is to talk about the same things. Every single time. Without variation. The topics vary with the groups, but it seems that each group seems to be stuck in its own conversational rut. And it’s often the same people who dominate the conversations. Having pre-selected conversation starters might level the playing field a little and give others the feeling that they had something important to contribute as well.

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