Guest Author - Michelle Anne Cope
You may have heard jokes about the ďKidís TableĒ as it has often been teased as a shunned secondary place to enjoy a holiday meal, complete with food fights and culinary chaos.
Iím here to tell you, thatís really not the case at all! Yes, there may be a little more noise or a little more mess, but itís not a table of shame. You may find that you will enjoy harmless shenanigans and silliness. Also, sharing time with young members of your family can be awesome.
Letís talk about why many families might have a table just for kids. The holiday dinner could be served at one big table or as a buffet style. Either way, itís often hard for younger children to reach the foods they would like to eat. Platters and bowls can be heavy, and with so many crowded around to fill their plates, it can be confusing for anyone. The idea of having a separate table for little ones might be a result of the desire to cut out the stress, and any feelings of being overwhelmed for both adults and children. Parents know what their child will or will not eat or what foods may cause an allergic reaction. Plates can get heavy and difficult for younger children to carry and some children may still need help with utensils.
I know you understand the above reasoning, but why are the older kids and new teens often at this table? Older siblings can help their younger siblings navigate spoons and forks, as well as help keep a semblance of order during dinner. Yes, that sounds boring, but being helpful is a great contribution to make. Especially if older family members have been busy for a few days preparing the meal. Itís a great way to give back and show your appreciation.
A separate table is also a great place for younger family members who may only see each other during the holidays. It gives you all a chance to visit and catch-up. Some of them may not yet be teens, but they are interested in your new title and life. They look up to you and want to hear about your new school, classes, activities and sports. And, just because you are a new teen, you are not too old to giggle about the wiggle of cranberry sauce, or share the urge to find a wishbone!
If the ďKidís TableĒ is where you decide to sit, keep in mind that you might not be the oldest one. Itís not unusual for a fun loving uncle or even a grandparent to join in the fun. You could also split your time between both tables. One for dinner, the other for dessert!
Enjoy your younger siblings and family members. The holidays are about being together, and you will still have plenty of time to visit with your adult family members.
I wish you all wonderful holiday gatherings and meals, no matter what table you choose.
Please stop by the Teen Site forum to share stories about your holiday table choices, as well as any interesting and unusual dishes you may have sampled.