Ok, so... It doesn't happen every night, but 9 times out of 10 in the Mama Owl household we all sit around the table for our meals. Growing up, we always had our evening meal at the table - there was no sitting in front of the TV, no taking plates to our rooms, we sat together. At the table. Without fail.
This isn't just evening meals either, we mostly eat breakfast together (if we're not running late), and also lunch at weekends. We sit around the table and talk about our day and what we have been doing, anything we're looking forward to that week, what we're doing tomorrow...
Some nights are more chaotic than others and it's a successful mealtime if someone's drink hasn't been spilled across the table or one child hasn't elbowed another in the face (is it just my kids that eat with their elbows sticking out at all angles? Why?!).
We're trying to slowly coax L back to the table with us now too, his aversion to many foods (smells as well as taste/texture) means that he won't even entertain the idea in the evening, but for breakfast and lunch he will sit with us, and he has started joining us for fajita night again & will have lettuce wraps (the plainest things on the table).
We also have 'birthday breakfast' on our special days, this normally means home-made pancakes but sometimes it ends up being a spread of pastries and a full English. Sundays are roast days mostly, the Mister is as obsessive about his roasts as I am about my brinner.
Christmas Eve is always a Mexican feast of fajitas and nachos that we prepare together and Christmas Day is a traditional turkey roast, and the kids take in turns to set our festive dinner table (I'm currently on the lookout for things to spruce it up for Christmas 2013 if you have any recommendations).
With there being seven of us, it seems like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done, especially with the added rush of clubs, lessons & activities every week. Meal times in our house are family occasions, and they ensure that we spend at least half an hour sat together and making time for each other. I know that this isn't possible for everyone, which makes it that much more important. To not take the time that we are lucky enough to have would be a waste.