Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Dawn of "Dapper Dinner"

January can be a rough month; the holidays are over, spring is in the distant future, the days are cold, the nights dark. Sean and I had several discussions on this topic during the last lingering days of our winter break, and we decided to get proactive.

As you may recall, during the month of December our kids had an advent calendar that, in addition to chocolate, suggested daily fun activities for the family. I was a bit ambivalent going in, as the daily activities could have very easily lapsed into "another thing to do" at what was already a super busy time of year, but for the most part that didn't happen. The kids loved the experience and as a family we spent more time together doing the activities than we may have on a typical weeknight.

So we decided to kick off January with a brainstorming session of fun things to do and to attempt an activity a night. Listed among the ideas (which ranged from "themed movie night" to "build a marble run" to "have a dance party") was "have a fancy dinner." This event was shortly thereafter renamed "Dapper Dinner" by Finn: according to his teacher, this is his favorite word and is used at least five times a day.

Here's how it works:
  • Plan a dinner that is slightly fancier than your usual weeknight fare.
  • Pick a night. I highly recommend Friday - this is a night that all too often feels like any other weeknight, and "Dapper Dinner" made it feel extra special.
  • Dig through your closets and find your fanciest duds. This is a great opportunity to put your kids in those dressy hand-me-downs that you may not have an opportunity to use otherwise. It's also a chance to trade in your mom clothes for a night. Finn was amazed by my dangly earrings (which I'm fairly positive I got in 1992 for my sister's wedding...).

Sean dressed the boys while I finished making dinner, and when Finn came down wearing a courderoy sport coat and one of his dad's ties, my heart melted:

Emmett followed close behind in his little blue sport coat and "lellow" tie:

And you know what? The night felt super special. We had crackers and olives for appetizers and let the boys drink sparkly water out of wine glasses. We played the "Cool Jazz" station on Pandora and danced around the living room with the boys. We ate a fancier than usual dinner (how often do we get to use those napkin rings we got for a wedding gift?) and had berries and whipped cream in shiny glasses for dessert. We had fun together.

I have a feeling that this will be the first of many "Dapper Dinners" at our house. But we won't have it too often, or it wouldn't feel special. 

Happy January, everyone!


  1. Oh my you guys are way too cool!!! I wanna come next time!

  2. You guys are so awesome!! thanks for sharing a window into your wonderful world Hope!