Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, but it has nothing to do with the food. For some reason, it seems that everyone is equal on this day. There is no pressure to buy gifts, no stress about “so much to do, so little time”. People gather and enjoy each others’ company and the food is a bonus to the fellowship.
Now, as I look back, there is one thing from childhood that always bugged me. That was the “children’s” table. Each year when I see a familiar commercial for a food chain and the child asks, “Grandma, can I sit at the big table this year”, I remember that feeling of isolation, although it was all of us under a certain age. Of course, lost in my feeling of isolation was the fact that ALL of the food and the wonderful aromas were with the kids, not the adults. We could have really pigged out, had we wanted. We ate in the kitchen with the pots and pans, and the adults were in the dining room. See, food didn’t matter then either. It was feeling left out that was uppermost in my mind.
I do not know the arrangements of Thanksgiving celebrations in your particular family, but it might be a good idea to have the table for the younger ones in the same room as the table where the grown-ups sit. It may be cramped, but there is something to be said for feeling like a part of the whole. Children can also help set the tables, pass out napkins, put bread baskets on the table, even make place cards. It’s all about inclusion. May this Holiday be truly memorable for everyone in your family from the oldest to the youngest.