As the granddaughter of an Italian woman who perhaps wore the label a bit too seriously, Sunday dinners were the rule. "Colorful" doesn't begin to describe those occasions, where I learned how to set a table AND curse under my breath in another language. While the memory presents the exact opposite of the Norman Rockwell idea of a family dinner, I remember them happily. Even when, as a chronically shy child, the evening was spent hiding underneath the safety of the damask tablecloth-draped table. To this day, I only remember certain relatives by their shins and shoes.
Though a long-forgotten grudge put a premature stop to that tradition, the idea of gathering family and friends to share a Sunday meal has seemingly fallen out of favor on the whole. Even if you're not the self-proclaimed matriarch of a lovingly dysfunctional family, these dinners need to make a comeback. It doesn't have to be elaborate, limited to family or even that formal. Whether you're entertaining two or twenty with cocktails, potluck or an all-out meal, here's the argument for bringing back this tradition.