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The NYTimes spotlights one of the all-too-often neglected areas of diplomatic negotiation:  the family meal. 

The problem: Americans, as a whole, have lost touch with the ritual of the shared homemade meal. Although we eat at home a lot, the food often is from restaurants or the prepared foods section of the grocery store. Families eat in shifts and leave the television on. The sandwich has become the most popular dinner entree.

No wonder we have no idea how to behave at Thanksgiving.

I have a friend whose Thanksgiving meal went south just after her grandmother called her brother a cowardly Communist. Another friend’s nightmare began when her mother’s new boyfriend started talking about breasts, and he wasn’t referencing the turkey.

The article goes on to discuss the potential fiscal viability of a dysfunctional family problem-solving chatroom for holiday emergencies…and I just started laughing because it could probably work as a business model with the right amount of tweaking, just based on the stories that I hear from folks about their own family issues.

So today, I thought we could do a little sharing amongst our little online family, before we all skitter off to far flung places across the country or across town, to stuff ourselves silly and watch football into the wee hours and contemplate that "just one more little slice" of pie.

Here's a little "getting to know you" quiz for us all:

1.  Three songs you can — and do — listen to again and again.

2.  Three movies you can — and do — watch over and over.

3.  Three dishes you would choose for your last meal.

4.  Three most relaxing vacation spots you've ever visited.

5.  Three books that you consider great reads.

6.  Three shows that you consider the best on television, past and present.

I look forward to reading the answers on this one.  To all and sundry, have a very happy Thanksgiving.  And thanks to all of you for being a part of our little family here at FDL.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com