For many, that means sitting down at home to a sumptuous meal in the company of family. But for those whose family lives far away, the jewel of hospitality gleams brightly at Decatur’s Diamonds Family Restaurant, where great dining and bonhomie never take a break, even on Christmas Day.
The place opened at 6 a.m. and was jumping from the get-go. Waitresses dressed in festive attire ranging from clip-on reindeer antlers to flashing Christmas light necklaces weaved among the packed tables bearing plates full of everything from turkey and dressing to roast pork, baked ham, baked chicken, catfish filets and what are billed as the best ribs anywhere at the best price.
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“So today, we are open for everybody and those special families; from our family to yours, merry Christmas.”
It’s also a place where others feel moved to be generous at Christmastime. The Diamonds Facebook page saluted Jeff Rauch with Decatur Elks 401 who recently stopped by and announced to the customers eating or about to order breakfast that the tab was on him. And then he also tipped the employees $100 each.
Diamonds regular Jim Wells, 67, said it’s always a warm, friendly restaurant where he chooses to eat most days — and Christmas Day was no different. “I was here last night (Saturday) also,” he said with a smile.
“Look, my kids are grown, they’re gone, and so I come in here to see people and talk to these guys (he waves a hand at passing staff) and meet new friends.”
“Well now, if we had a checkerboard it would be just like home,” he said.
This thing of avoiding eating alone isn’t just seen as something many adults find it healthy to practice. There is now a coast to coast event called “National No One Eats Alone Day” that is aimed at getting America’s students to share a dining hall table, and conversation, at school.
It was started 10 years ago in California and now involves schools in all 50 states and more than one million students. The No One Eats Alone day set aside in 2023 to break the ice with potential friends you haven’t met yet is Feb. 17; to find out more, go to www.beyonddifferences.org.
Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid