I agree with you. All family holiday meals in the past - heck, even recent holiday meals when it's just been my husband & I - are eaten in a nice setting & NOT in front of the tv. Of course, since our house is set up with the kitchen/dining/living room in one big cathedral-ceilinged "great room", I don't have a problem with the tv being on while we're eating. So I guess in my case it's sort of a best of both worlds.
We have a family member that plays for the Vikings so if the Vikings are playing the TV is on, otherwise no TV during dinner! Oh and my husband played football for UK and bleeds blue so if UK basketball is on he is allowed to watch.