Another reason to gather around the table: Late last year, Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse released "The Importance of Family Dinners V."
"Simply put: Dinner makes a difference," the survey says.
In terms of substance abuse, "Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are: twice as likely to use tobacco or marijuana; and more than one and a half times likelier to use alcohol."
Eating together also impacts academics: "Compared to teens who have five to seven family dinners per week, those who have fewer than three family dinners per week are one and a half times likelier to report getting mostly C's or lower grades in school," the survey reported.
And, most important, family togetherness results in family closeness: "Teens who have frequent family dinners ... are likelier to say they have excellent relationships with their parents."
This also relates to faith: "Teens who have frequent family dinners are also likelier to attend religious services at least weekly compared to teens who have infrequent family dinners."
"Bless us, O Lord ..."