Importance of Family Dinners

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The Importance of Family Dinners

Do you remember watching television sitcoms such as "The Brady Bunch", "The Partridge Family" or even "The Wonder Years"? In those television shows families would gather together around the dinner table every night and talk about the adventures of their day. This dinner ritual is about more than providing your body with required sustenance. It gives families a time to reconnect with the people closest to them and opens the doors of communication. Studies have also shown that teens in families that eat dinner together are less likely to use drugs, alcohol and cigarettes than teens that don't eat dinner with their parents. With today's hectic schedules, it can be nearly impossible to fit family dinners
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Kliewer's immediate and extended family is gathered there for a Christmas feast. "The festivities began just after noon with the feast – an enormous array of beans and corn and mashed potatoes and bread and rolls and relishes and pumpkin pie surrounding this shank of a pig that two or three months earlier had walked around its pen some fifty yards from the kitchen" (237-238). In this story Kliewer makes us feel the warmth and comfort of his family. We get the feeling that they are supportive and encouraging. His family is so large they have to eat in two shifts. "Because the gathered clan was much too large for Uncle Pete and Aunt Anna's modest dining room table, the grown-ups ate at the first seating. We children waited. When the grown-ups were finished, the table was reset for us, and we were joined by Aunt Anna, who had been the presiding cook and now became the children's chaperone" (238). The story ends with Kliewer receiving two books from his Uncle Pete. One of the books is "Robin Hood"; Kliewer feels this is the best present ever. It was the gift of imagination, which he enjoyed for many years after by rereading the story or acting out the scenes with his friends.
In contrast, we can look to a story written by David Leavitt, "Danny In Transit". In this story Danny and his family did not gather around the dinner table together. They ate separately. "Every night Elaine

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