Mother-Daughter Banquets: A Reflection

mother daughter banquet


This year is kind of a sad one for me;  it’s the first year since my daughters were born that I probably won’t be attending the annual Mother-Daughter Banquet with my grandmother in the town where I grew up.   I am due to have a new baby next month and driving 3 hours and chasing around my 5 and (especially the) 2 year old and then trying to get them to settle down for bed in a strange place just sounds like too much for me this year.

I remember attending the Mother-Daughter Banquets with my grandmother as a child.   We didn’t really get very fancy for church, but I remember that I wore my best dress and went out for what felt like a fancy night out with the other women and daughters in our parish.  Growing up in a small, close-knit Polish town, it was not uncommon to have generations of women in attendance.   After my daughters were born, we frequently had 4 generations, which is more the exception than the rule these days as families become more spread out.

Put on by my home parish’s Daughters of Isabella chapter with dinner served by the Knight’s chapter, I remember it seemed like a fancy event.   Tablecloths and corsages complete with Marian hymns in, you guessed it, Polish.   To this day, hearing those old tunes sung in Polish brings tears to my eyes.   There is also a small procession where the girls march around with flowers depositing them in front of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Practically a free event (I believe last year, entry was approximately $2 per person), the main meat dish was cooked by the men and sides & desserts were all contributed by members, potluck style.   There were door prizes (the table centerpieces which varied from year to year), as well as prizes for oldest, youngest, longest married, farthest traveled and such.  In recent years, there has been an auction of sorts – basically, you purchase tickets (very low cost) and stuff the box in front of the basket you want to win.   There is also a children’s contest of guess how many candies are in the jar and a 50/50 raffle.

While the mother-daughter banquet is nothing that will ever be on Pinterest, it provided an incredible way for our family to live our faith and show value for our Mother Mary and our mothers on earth.  It saddens me to think that there won’t be many years to share this piece of my history with my girls.  But I’m glad that I have pictures to show that it existed for at least a short time.

Does your parish have a mother-daughter banquet?   What is yours like?

Jen is a Catholic wife and mother to two little girls whose nose can usually be found buried in a book, learning once all the work is done.  Or sometimes, even when it’s not!  You can always find Jen blogging about the big 5 — God & Catholicism, taking care of yourself, serving your spouse and children and managing the home.   She can be found blogging at Happy Little Homemaker and on most of the social media sites including Google+.