His primary rule was that no one could talk unless the subject was of general interest. Dad was the one who decided whether a topic was of general interest... Usually at the start of a meal, while Mother served up the plates at one end of the table, Dad served up the day's topic of conversation at the other end.
[Frank & Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen]
Here's a plug for one of the Church Ladies' favorite books about the twelve Gilbreth children's hijinks. Don't let the Steve Martin movie spoil this classic book for you.
With all the upcoming holiday meals, the Church Ladies urge you to take the time to read a newspaper or two. That way, you'll have plenty of general interest topics to share, making for scintillating conversation and lively meal-times. You can thank us later.