National Day of Listening: A Family Dinner Table Talk

11/25/2011 01:21 pm ET | Updated Nov 25, 2011

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

One of the best day-after Thanksgiving activities we’ve heard about comes from StoryCorps, a group dedicated to collecting great stories. And today, instead of just sleeping in, eating yummy leftovers and going to see The Muppets (all good options, of course), they've invited everyone to take part in a National Day of Listening.

The idea is that since many of us are still gathered together with family, it’s a perfect opportunity to really talk. David Isay, founder of StoryCorps, explained how to do it in an interview last year:

"Take an hour and interview a loved one as kind of the least expensive and most meaningful gift we can give to each other."

This year's National Day of Listening theme (the event has been going on since 2008) is to "Thank a Teacher." So let's do this! Tonight at your family table, have everyone record a note of gratitude. StoryCorps isn’t just talking to kids in school who have favorite teachers now. It’s the perfect opportunity for adults to thank their most memorable teachers on StoryCorps' Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube, and on this Wall of Listening.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Which teacher do you want to thank most and why?
  • Do you know anything about your parents’ teachers?
  • Why is listening to other people’s stories important?
  • If someone interviewed you, what do you think you would talk about?
  • What’s a memorable story you’ve heard from someone recently?

This Week's Recipe:
Each week, we give you something to talk about at dinner time, and now, something to eat too! Tonight's recipe comes to us from The Naptime Chef: Puttanesca-esque Baked Cod for a School Night.


In her new cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.

Subscribe to receive HuffPost Family Dinner Downloads by email every Friday afternoon.

For more tips and recipes, check out The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt (