When we go back to our big family get togethers in the States, I still feel as if I’m sitting at the kiddie table, no matter how old I get. I think it has to do with the fact that my parents’ extended families are large in number whereas I’m “only” one of two children, with “only” two children of my own. The older I get, though, the more I want to celebrate this feeling.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a link to a photo from Country Living entitled “Embrace the Idea of a Kid’s Table.” By this, the editors of the magazine meant that you should make your holiday kiddie table fun and exciting for the little ones. They dressed up a kid-sized art-table for Thanksgiving by covering it in brown craft paper, setting out cups of crayons, and drawing “frames” beneath each place setting in black pen. Pretty plates, a little fruit, and large print place cards set the tone for a fun space for the kids to eat their Turkey and to draw some turkeys, too.
Taking the idea of “Embracing the Idea of a Kid’s Table” to the next level, I decided to set the table for our entire family’s [Canadian] Thanksgiving Feast in a similar manner. [We do our dinner on the holiday Saturday as opposed to the Sunday, so as to enjoy our left-overs all weekend long.] My daughter and I picked up a roll of brown craft/packaging paper and a thick black marker at the dollar store. We used the box top from one of her holiday barbies, of all things, to trace out a rectangle at each place setting. Then, we gave each person a customized “place mat” by adding different edges to each rectangle. Some were simple swirls or triangles. For our special guests, the grandparents, we drew a 3D-ish book of award winning poems and a fancy crackle-edged photograph “held down” by photo corners. Instead of making separate place cards [too fussy for us], we wrote each guest’s name beside their drawn-in placemat/frame. And we set a couple of markers and coloured pencils in a cup in the centre of the table. Et voila! This year, everyone sat at the kiddie table. And we all had a marvelous time!