Already, our house has the smell of Christmas about it, and the baking hasn’t begun. But, the entire peel of a naval orange is simmering with cloves and cinnamon on the stovetop, filling the air with delicious smells.
Last night's dinner plans, were modified to include the girls’ parents (surprise), who decided they would have time to eat with us, since learning we were dining out, and still have time to get on with their Christmas shopping plans in Tupelo on their way back to Belmont. Our son, Jason, joined us, too (no surprise, as we ate at Kirk’s, one of his local favorites, but a notch or two below his very favorite, Mi Pueblo).
At one point during our dining experience last night, somewhere between the salad and the entrée, a conversational dry spell occurred. Instead, three cell phones were silently being used at our table of seven. Anson was Facebooking, and Rayanne and Jason were texting others. I reminded them there was a time when families gathered round the table, ate, and actually talked to one another. It was my sarcastic way to let them know family time is more important than the pursuit of personal pleasures.
We turn the TV off, or else mute it, during family mealtime gatherings in my house. It is my belief that family conversation takes precedent over any and all things on the boob tube. And, as our extended family will gather for Christmas Dinner at our house, I’m taking steps to insure the family-time infractions that occurred last night are not replicated on Christmas Day. If my cell-phone ‘neutralizer’ doesn’t get here in time to block all cellular transmissions inside our house, I’ll ask all cell phones be turned off during Christmas Dinner. Surely, no one will have technology withdrawals as a result. And surely, Christmas Dinner 2009 will be more memorable.
~ By Wayne Carter