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We have a rather large crowd coming for Thanksgiving. It's going to be necessary to split into 2 rooms for the meal. It's a mixture of people and ages. I am trying to come up with a clever way to "split" the group. I had thought numbers, the odds to one table and the evens to the other and then for dessert maybe have a dot on 6 people's numbers so 3 from each table have to go to the other table for the dessert time. I can't stand the thought of children at one table and adults at the other. This 2 table idea would also work for the toddler that won't sit still for much of the meal. He can visit back and forth. Any other ideas as how to do this? Thanks in advance.
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It is part of the cultural heritage of all American children to sit at the inferior "kids' table" at holiday dinners. Any other arrangements will interfere with normal development and will cost untold amounts in therapy and medication in later life.

On behalf of your children, I beseech you, do not be fair. Be the boss.
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It is part of the cultural heritage of all American children to sit at the inferior "kids' table" at holiday dinners. Any other arrangements will interfere with normal development and will cost untold amounts in therapy and medication in later life.

On behalf of your children, I beseech you, do not be fair. Be the boss.


Absolutely. All children must sit at the kids' table. Older kids help the younger ones. There's some sort of law, isn't there??

;-)

-Kelly
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Absolutely. All children must sit at the kids' table. Older kids help the younger ones. There's some sort of law, isn't there??

There's got to be somewhere:-)

On a serious note, having all the kids together allows them to talk about stuff that intersts them and not be bored by "adult" conversations.

However...that would mean the adults miss out on the fun stuff, like food fights <lol>
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I never sat at a kid's table, even as a kid. I hate the idea of "kids tables" (unless there are tons of kids of all ages to make it fun for them.

How large will your crowd be? How many adults and how many children?

I would do a mixture of adults and children at each table (infants and SMALL toddlers stay with their parents). I like the idea of odd and even numbers, then switching later in the meal.

Louise
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Here's the most important reason to keep them seperate:

Kids are free to blow milk bubbles, slide down in their chairs until their hair is in their potatoes, eat only olives and pickles, crawl around under the table, and pinch their siblings.

Adults, out of view of this behavior, can blissfully pretend that their children are behaving perfectly until the sound of a loud thump followed by a piercing wail informs them otherwise (this last interruption can be prevented by turning up the volume on the stereo).

Happy holidays!
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YOU might not like the idea of a kid's table and an Adult's table but what about the kids.

I only hated it during that middle ground of time where I considered myself to be an adult but still had to sit at the kid's table. My family eventually addressed that by having buffet dinners. We sat wherever there was space.

As a child I remember hilarious fun at the Kid's table. I once bribed my cousin with candy so that he'd eat my scalloped corn.

We had a mini-food fight as ten-year-olds, sitting in the kitchen, while the adults were in the dining room.

We could dish up ourselves with only a little help and then eat only what we wanted. Forget nutrition. This was holiday fun.

As we grew up, we could talk about kid things, without worrying what the adults listening in.

I have happy memories of those Kid's tables. We even have pictures!!

J.
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~infants and SMALL toddlers stay with their parents).~

That's a given. No matter what. The big kids don't want to "babysit" the little ones and they'll need "babysitting". All of the adults will be more comfortable with this, too.

J.
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Here's the most important reason to keep them seperate:

Kids are free to blow milk bubbles, slide down in their chairs until their hair is in their potatoes, eat only olives and pickles, crawl around under the table, and pinch their siblings


Not in my family, they aren't. My mother would kill us if we did that. We keep ours together and expect the kids to have good table manners.
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I have always found that if you separate the children from the adults, the concerned parents (usually the ones with well-behaved kids) keep running out to check on them while the other parents (with kids who are "brats" IMHO) don't bother to check on them at all.

It depends on the number of children, their ages and so on. It also depends on whether or not the adults can see them from where they are sitting.

If you have enough "older" well-behaved kids, go for the separate table of kids. If not, mix the adults and the kids.

This is all JMHO.

Christina
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Not in my family, they aren't. My mother would kill us if we did that. We keep ours together and expect the kids to have good table manners.

You must be much more civilized than my family. Good table manners are generally reserved for when people not related to us are present. When it's just family, we don't really care. We are expected to act like people, not wolves in front of others though!

We readily admit that we're basically the Simpsons. That makes me Maggie <sucksuck>. ;-)

My dad has 3 brothers. The general rule at the family table when he was growing up was to eat as much as possible as quickly as possible to insure that you got your share. Also, anyone who got up from the table for any reason usually found that his/her plate and/or chair were gone upon return. <insert nostalgic moment>

It's just DP, my mom, my Dad, the baby and me for Thanksgiving this year. *sigh* I'm sure there will be a noticable lack of plate hiding and putting out of candles with spoonsful of mashed potatoes.....

-Kelly
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If you have enough "older" well-behaved kids, go for the separate table of kids. If not, mix the adults and the kids

That is a great idea.




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Good table manners are generally reserved for when people not related to us are present

I think I'm jealous.

We had to keep our elbows off the table, hold our forks correctly, etc. My mother's feeling was (is) that you need to behave at the dinner table regardless. She would even discipline other kids that came to vist and eat dinner with us. Her other pet peeve was that we had to eat a little bit of EVERYTHING on our plates. There was no "I don't like this" or "I don't like that"

I'm glad she did that. As a result I'm willing to try practically anything, as is my daughter.



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I can't stand the thought of children at one table and adults at the other.

It's your party, but I just want to point out that this robs the children of the rite of passage known as "moving up to the big table."

Given the current state of affairs in Florida, you might want to separate any highly partisan people, for the sake of everyones digestion.

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti
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We keep ours together and expect the kids to have good table manners.

Party pooper!

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti
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Her other pet peeve was that we had to eat a little bit of EVERYTHING on our plates.

This was never a problem with me, although I will admit to quickly learning how to mush up eggplant so it looked like some had been eaten, followed by a sincere-sounding, "It's delicious, but I've had enough."

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti

Loathing eggplant since 1902
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Oh, my goodness what funny stories! Mainly everyone at our home this Thanksgiving here will be adults or young adults, there's only 12 people total.
That's not including the toddler. I hope to give his Mom and Dad some relief. If I separate them then he may spend meal time going back and forth between as he just started walking. There's only one teenager and the rest of us are adults with differing ages from the college sophomore to a grandad.
Really, I am so glad to hear about the kid's table stories. I always thought that was a right of passage also. At what age did one join the adult's table? I got "called on it" one year by young one who didn't want to sit there anymore. I think we have "fun" adults in this house.
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At what age did one join the adult's table?

In some families, never! I was at my fiancee's grandparents' house last New year's, and they put a graduate student (my fiancee), 2 college seniors (his brother and me), and a college freshamn (his cousin) at a "kid's table." I found it quite humourous!
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At what age did one join the adult's table?

DP (28) still sits at the kids' table. :-P I guess it's by choice by now. I think I moved to the adults' table when I was 15 or so.

Mainly everyone at our home this Thanksgiving here will be adults or young adults, there's only 12 people total.

In that case, I'd probably say."It's about time to eat, there are the 2 tables with 12 chairs, find a place to sit!" But, as I've previously established, we're not the most formal group you'll ever meet. We tend to try to make company feel like members of the family, whether they like it or not!!!

-Kelly

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At what age did one join the adult's table?

I remember it more as when there was room, rather than at a certain age. There seemed to be a certain symmetry that when there were too many kids for the kids table, some great aunts and uncles had died, freeing up spaces at the big table.

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti
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There seemed to be a certain symmetry that when there were
too many kids for the kids table, some great aunts and uncles had died, freeing up spaces at the big table.


Phil:

Interesting use of the word "symmetry"!

Christina
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<<There seemed to be a certain symmetry that when
there were too many kids for the kids table, some great aunts and uncles had died, freeing up spaces at the big table.>>

Is this what is meant by "the food chain"?
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After being about 14 and having to sit and have a soooo immature 9-year-old throw food around and..you know, just be gross, I hate the idea of a forced kids' table. That said, we usually give everyone the choice of where to sit, and this year, the "extra" table will probably, like every year, hold the youngest that will be there--ages 16 to 24 or so (the youngest generation, basically). They just find the rest of us boring, I think. When little ones are present, they either are near their parents, or one of the older kids volunteers to take care of them.

Madeline
P.S.--anyone doing the Great American Smokeout? Join us on the Quitting Smoking Board! http://boards.fool.com/messages.asp?mid=13719604&bid=113254
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Adults, out of view of this behavior, can blissfully pretend that their children are behaving perfectly until the sound of a loud thump followed by a piercing wail informs them otherwise (this last interruption can be prevented by turning up the volume on the stereo).

This can also be accomplished by keeping the football game, another Thanksgiving tradition, on at full volume and in close proximity so the men can scream and yell even louder than the kids.
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<<<Here's the most important reason to keep them seperate:
Kids are free to blow milk bubbles, slide down in their chairs until their hair is in their potatoes, eat only olives and pickles, crawl around under the table, and pinch their siblings>>>

Not in my family, they aren't. My mother would kill us if we did that. We keep ours together and expect the kids to have good table manners.


MEANIES!!!!
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We readily admit that we're basically the Simpsons. That makes me Maggie <sucksuck>. ;-)

Excuse me???!!! :-)
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At what age did one join the adult's table?

My brother, who was 12 years older than me, decided he didn't like the "adult's table" and always sat with us Munchkins. He was the worst, too. He'd get me in trouble by starting a food fight and then telling my mom that I did it. Pitiful behavour for a man of 24 (at the time).
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<<<<<There seemed to be a certain symmetry that when
there were too many kids for the kids table, some great aunts and uncles had died, freeing up spaces at the big table.>>>>>

Is this what is meant by "the food chain"?


Okay y'all, I now have this wonderful mental picture of some ten-year-old standing next to the table with a fork in one hand, and a knife in the other, waiting for Great-Grand Aunt Geraldine to kick the bucket before the meal starts.
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We've had large groups before, and one of the things we tried that was very successful was to make up placecards with whimsical names, ie Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Blondie and Dagwood, etc. As the guests arrived they pulled names out of a box. They then sat at the seat with the corresponding placecard.

It makes for fun, and no time wasted (while the potatoes cool and the Jello mold melts), as people decide where they're going to park.

Lennie
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"On a serious note, having all the kids together allows them to talk about stuff that intersts them and not be bored by "adult" conversations."

Whatever happened to the old truism to the effect that "Children should be seen, but not heard." Was it Ben Franklin who first said this?

Ray
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"Whatever happened to the old truism to the effect that "Children should be seen, but not heard." Was it Ben Franklin who first said this?"

Hmm..You know, I have no idea. But children defintely do have opinions! And they should be allowed to express them, IMHO.

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The best hostess I have ever known followed this rule when there were going to be two tables:

Seat all the boring people at the "main" table, where they will feel honored and only bore one another. Seat the interesting conversationalists at the "auxiliary" table, where they will have too good a time to notice that they are not at the "main" table.
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Whatever happened to the old truism to the effect that "Children should be seen, but not heard." Was it Ben Franklin who first said this?

Ray, you aren't slow. C'mon, that's the reason you sit the kids at a separate table, preferably a few miles away from anything you want to keep in one piece and not filled with mashed potatoes. Sheesh, some people just don't understand. <grin>
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Seat all the boring people at the "main" table, where they will feel honored and only bore one another. Seat the interesting conversationalists at the "auxiliary" table, where they will have too good a time to notice that they are not at the "main" table. -- TchrP

ROTFLMAO!

But, prey tell, what should one do when the only ones invited to the "party" are one's family?

Who goes where?


B*Mann
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But, prey tell, what should one do when the only ones invited to the "party" are one's family?


The hostess I described was my aunt. Her usual practice was to make her husband sit at the bores' table even though most of them were from her side of the family.
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"I can't stand the thought of children at one table and adults at the other."

"It's your party, but I just want to point out that this robs the children of the rite of passage known as "moving up to the big table.""

In my family, child is defined by whether or not you were married (a rite of passage). My 53 year old cousin is still sitting at the children's table.
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I now have this wonderful mental picture of some ten-year-old standing next to the table with a fork in one hand, and a knife in the other, waiting for Great-Grand Aunt Geraldine to kick the bucket before the meal starts.

Heavens no. We were waiting for her to "go to her reward."

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti
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"In my family, child is defined by whether or not you were married (a rite of passage). My 53 year old cousin is still sitting at the children's table."

We're not even that lucky in my family. My brother, who is married with a young child, doesn't sit with the "grownups". He doesn't get to sit with his daughter, either, though, because she is stolen by her aunts :).
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