How to be a Good Guest this Thanksgiving – REALLY?

One morning while wandering about the house, I had the television on for background noise. It was the morning news, and if something struck my interest, I stopped to listen. The local station was doing a fluff piece – instructing the viewers on the finer art of being a good Thanksgiving Dinner Guest. Really? I had to stop in my tracks. Have we reached the point in our social evolution that we need instruction on proper behavior from the television. Aren’t manners taught in the home anymore? Or have the rules somehow changed? They had my attention.

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The Casualization of America and Eclectic Entertaining

I’ve been giving this subject a great deal of thought. When Kiddo was a number of years younger, (and the task of setting the table fell squarely upon his shoulders) he once asked me why we went through all the trouble of setting a “fancy” table. Granted, a fancy table setting wasn’t something we did for every meal. Everyday dinners involve a plate, a fork, an occasional knife, and a napkin. Rarely is the table set beyond the basics anymore. Yet “fancy” settings still made an appearance in our home – reserved for “Sunday Best” or whenever we had company at the table for a meal that did not involve barbecue or center around a particular “theme”. I felt it was important that he knew how to set a proper table.

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