Cooking, cleaning, working, laundry, appointments... and the list goes on. So why in the world would I be adding another burden, creating parsha tablescapes, into my already hectic life?
Hi! I'm Aidela Rabiski, founder and director of Camp Crate, and I am passionate about providing opportunities for kids to explore their hobbies and talents, and to blossom. If you have been following our social media, @campcratesummer, you probably have seen me taking you into my home this past year as we created Parsha DIYs, table decor, parsha treats and put it all together on Thursday or Friday in a beautiful tablescape.
Life is busy and I chose to get busier. Why? On a personal level, getting through each day, accomplishing the same tasks regularly, cooking dinners, tackling mountains of laundry, running to work, and everything else that comes along with being a wife and mom, didn't always produce a spark of joy. And to top it off, ending the week with shabbos coming up, had started to become more and more of a burden. Making a simple shabbos was practical, but I honestly did not feel much satisfaction, nor the celebration that shabbos was supposed to be. Setting the table was a chore I did following candle lighting, or even as my husband was coming back from shul (tablecloth and challos set before).
On a family level, my kids were growing up (oldest now 8 Ka"H) I wanted them to feel the excitement for shabbos, and not pick up my lack of enthusiasm. The idea popped into my head! (Mind you, I was 2 weeks post-partum with my fifth child ka"h, but I was too excited). I always loved design and decor and many other creative outlets.
"Using these hobbies of mine for shabbos will create an excitement for the special and holy day that we were gifted." I thought.
There was a double layer of motivation here. I would be creating some of these projects with my kids. It would be family time with mommy while getting their hands and minds into creative action. I've heard a parenting lecturer once say that if you spend time with your children with things that you enjoy, the time spent will be sincerely enjoyable to both you and the kids. (So I'll leave the book reading to my husband.)
"if you spend time with your children with things that you enjoy, the time spent will be sincerely enjoyable to both you and the kids."
And from there, the tablescaping challenge began. My goal was to create a tablescape for each parsha of the year. I started shopping for budget friendly table decor and materials (Dollar Tree became my number one stop). I was a bit over the top on some of them, but again, this was enjoyable to me and my creative side. My form of art.
My kids were involved in the parsha treats (isn't food always fun?) and many of the DIY's. We enjoyed the parsha tablescapes we created over the year, and looking back at the pictures are so satisfying and fun for the kids to remember.
So what's next? Seeing what my kids enjoyed most, I want to focus the parsha desserts. I love the food crafting and the kids anticipated our dessert-making time. I now have a collection of table decor which I will still enjoy
mixing and matching and creating nice scapes. Something I did want to focus on this year was creating a parsha activity for the shabbos table each week, keeping the shabbos table a kid-friendly experience. If I create them in advance, I can share them with you before shabbos.
I hope to create blog posts on some of our past parsha creations throughout the year for all those crafty kids out there that want to create someone fun for their shabbos tables. So stay tuned for any updates to the blog and new projects coming your way!