We all remember those family dinners at our grandparents’ house. Raise your hand if there was a kids’ table at your family dinners. My hand is up. The adults, at least most of them, gathered around the big family table, while the kids were relegated to smaller tables nearby. As the kids grew up, sometimes some young adults ended up at the kids’ table. Has that ever happened to you?

The most important thing is for everyone to be included in the holiday meal. If your home is large enough for really large dinner table, that’s a wonderful way to celebrate family with a meal. If the weather is warm enough, dinner on the grounds is another way to gather everyone together. There are other ways to accomplish this, too.

Musical Chairs

After the first course is completed – maybe that’s the salad, ask everyone move to another chair seated by two new people. You can rotate as many times as your meal allows. This allows everyone the opportunity to visit with different family members. The downside is, every family has one or two people (more or less) that no one wants to get stuck by. The upside is, you’ll only be stuck by them for one course. Everyone shares the love!

Fill Up Your Plate, Find a Seat

This is what our family does now. And, when we get up to fill our plates again, that seat is available for the next person to enjoy. If you don’t like the person who sat down next to you, feel free to go fill your plate again and sit somewhere else when you return.

Love Your Family

All this said, try to give some love to everyone in your family. Visit with everyone for a little while, and try to talk about something that interests them. My Dad was always the quiet one at family meals, but my husband and my older brother, John, both could get him talking. Dad and John share a love of all sports, so they can talk forever about sports. My husband is a natural conversationalist, and he quickly learned that my Dad loved to talk about his job at Roadway Express, the Teamsters, fishing, and sports. Love even the odd one out enough to include them in family meal visiting.

Do you look forward to or dread family get togethers?