As I nourish community around my table, the blanket basket is a simple provision that fosters an atmosphere of intimacy and literal warmth.

Blankets, like food, represent being cared for and loved.  They are a significant part of inviting people into a space of belonging and lingering.  And they encourage the feeling of community and family as you gather people around your table.

Putting a blanket basket together is easy.  I purchased a large wooden crate from Home Goods – a large plastic bin will do – and I began buying fleece blankets (a few at a time) until my crate was full.  I also included a few blankets that I received as gifts over the years.

I often find lightweight fleece blankets (that are the perfect size for wrapping around your legs or your shoulders while you sit at the table) at CVS and Walgreens on sale for 3 for $10.  They are great for outdoor use, and are machine washable on the delicate cycle.  (I’ve never tried putting them in the dryer, I just lay them over the backs of the patio table chairs and they dry quickly.)

If you nourish your community on your patio, simply setting out a blanket basket at your next gathering will significantly influence the connections being made around your table.  Because when people’s basic needs – like hunger, warmth, and belonging – are thoughtfully cared for, they stay at the table long past the end of the meal to talk, laugh, and share.

And generally the longer a conversation lasts – the more personal and intimate in becomes.

Blankets.  A simple addition to our community meals that offers invaluable benefits.

Is there anything simple that you provide for the community who gathers at your table that significantly develops the connections being made?  Please share your ideas in the comments section.


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