“Conversation is in trouble,” says Judith Martin (aka Miss Manners). “People have been brought up to express themselves rather than to exchange ideas.” Hence the announcement in this New York Times article that the dinner party is dead. Of course, it has not perished, but is merely in a supine state waiting for us to summon the courage to resuscitate it. The dinner party need not be the pretentious affair where your status is measured by how sublime is your souffle, how daunting your table centerpiece or how powerful your guests. Instead, the dinner party can be reclaimed as the “epitome of civilized living” where the intimacy of hours at your home table conjures a heady mix of entertainment and conversation. Enjoy your holiday season by dining at home with a diverse mix of guests imbibing each other’s spirited conversation.