This story was written by James Warden, Patch editor.
Family dinners are one of the most special parts of the holiday season. The holidays seemingly offer a rare chance to slow down and enjoy a meal with loved ones—except family dinners aren’t really all that rare, according to a Gallup study released the day after Christmas.
The study reported that a slight majority of families eat together at least six days a week. On average, families share 5.1 dinners a week.
The average is down slightly from the 5.4 dinners per week reported in 1997, the earliest year in the report. Yet it’s the same as the average found in 2001, 2005 and 2013.
By contrast, other Gallup studies done between 2003 and 2008 found that Americans eat out at a restaurant 1.2 to 1.4 times per week, on average.
“The dining table may be larger at holiday celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas than at other times, with more generations than usual represented, but the practice of families gathering at dinnertime to share a meal remains a routine part of American parents' daily lives,” the report stated. “As younger parents are even a little more likely than older ones to regularly eat dinner as a family, this seemingly traditional aspect of American life will likely continue for the foreseeable future.”
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