A few years ago, I read this article, written by Hilary Mantle from the Daily Mail, which listed some of the fabulous gifts Henry VIII received and gave, as well as the massive amounts of food eaten as part of the Christmas/New Years festivities at his court. According to the article,
"We have a lot of mistaken ideas about how the Tudors ate. They didn't gnaw chicken greedily and throw bones on the floor, and there were no dogs fighting over scraps under trestle tables.Though Henry received many elaborate gifts, he also bestowed them. For example, Catherine Howard received "sables and diamonds, looped with a rope of 200 pearls." I wouldn't mind a gift like that!
In a well-conducted house, the dogs - except for little spaniels - were exiled to kennels. Table manners were strict and refined.
Knowing how to cut your bread and what to do with your napkin was an infallible social signal that separated a gentleman from an oik, and every young noble learned to serve at table and to carve."
Be sure to read the full article here. Have a very merry Christmas!!!