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The How-To Lounge: Arrange the Seating Chart For Thanksgiving Dinner

I know what you're all saying, you can't believe Thanksgiving is just four days away, but it's time to accept the fact that it's early this year, so get cracking on setting your table! If you are at a loss as to who should sit next to whom, check out some of my tips.

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  • Since Thanksgiving is a time when all are welcome, especially those who are far from family and close friends, be sure to use name tags at the dinner table to avoid seating anxiety and ensure no one forgets anyone's name!
  • Similar to seating at a wedding, I suggest seating boy/girl. It mixes up the conversation well and is aesthetically pleasing.
  • I always like to separate couples, brothers and sisters, and best friends in order to avoid cliques and encourage people to go outside their comfort zone.
  • Typically the hosts sit at either end of the table, and the person that is doing most of the serving should sit closest to the kitchen.
  • Be sure to sit a shy guest next to a more outgoing one and make an effort to seat people together who have similar interests so you don't have to worry about everyone getting along — Thanksgiving is supposed to be fun!
  • A lot of people have an open-door policy on Thanksgiving day, so make sure to have some extra chairs if you're expecting anyone to drop by.

I hope these tips help, and for any and all things Thanksgiving, check out what my good friends over at YumSugar have to say!


Join The Conversation
nikkeeb nikkeeb 9 years
i'm totally with ufshutterbabe. i would think it would be just as rude to split couples in a seating arrangement as it would be for the couples to only talk with each other and nobody else.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"Does anyone know why THANKSGIVING is so early this year?" It's always the fourth Thursday in November. It's "early" because Nov 1st was a Thursday.
mrspiven mrspiven 9 years
who needs assigned seating at thanksgiving? the point is just to eat and relax... that's way too formal. anyway, who has thanksgiving with everyone they know? i have it with my extended family and occasionally a friend or two will show up, but its nothing to make special seating arrangements for.
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
Does anyone know why THANKSGIVING is so early this year?
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"That said, when we go places together, we're not wrapped up in just each other - we talk to everyone and generally try to be good guests." Exactly, and that should be a given. I shouldn't have to be assigned a seat in order to be friendly. I don't think that increases chatter, it just creates resentment that you can't choose who you're talking to.
facin8me facin8me 9 years
Sit people boy/girl because it's aesthetically pleasing? That's just ridiculous. Where do you come up with this trash?
ilove2ski ilove2ski 9 years
hahahaha well I have a large large family. 7 brother and 2 sisters. And lots of cousins and aunts and uncles. and 4 nephews and 2 nieces. So there is about 60 of us, so we all just sit wherever!
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
I know its usually encouraged to separate couples at events, but I just hate it. I have a limited amount of free time to spend with my husband, if we're spending it going to events like dinners or weddings, I'd at least like to sit next to him. Etiquette is supposed to be about making everyone feel "comfortable" - I think most people would be more comfortable next to their partner. That said, when we go places together, we're not wrapped up in just each other - we talk to everyone and generally try to be good guests.
grits grits 9 years
My thoughts exactly! I would never separate couples...I mean I understand wanting to encourage mingling, but I would be so mad if I went to dinner at someone else's house and they told me I couldn't sit by my husband! I'm not all about the assigned seating either, but then again, I'm only having family over...
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I agree with ashcwebb, I'd be pissed if I showed up to a get together and wasn't seated with my husband. That would be way outside my comfort zone. But assigned seating always takes the fun out of Thanksgiving for me anyway. I find that it discourages the warm togetherness of Thanksgiving by making people sit where you want them instead of where they're comfortable.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I would hate to not sit beside my boyfriend at a dinner.
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