Do you “assign seats” at Thanksgiving dinner?

posted 9 months ago in Holidays
  • poll: Do you assign seats when hosting large holiday dinners like Thanksgiving?
    Yes : (11 votes)
    15 %
    No : (51 votes)
    69 %
    It depends : (12 votes)
    16 %
  • Post # 16
    Member
    3458 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Yes, I like to assign seats at formal dinners with more than 8 or so guests.  That goes double if there will be some people who won’t know each other. I started doing this after I noticed people acting confused about where to sit at a couple of my dinner parties. Nothing fancy, I basically just sit couples across from each other, minors next to a parent, and I may take lefty/righty into consideration if I have that knowledge beforehand. I love making place cards as I think they really finish off a fancy tablescape. I do this regardless of whether the meal is served family style or buffet style. 

    Post # 17
    Member
    1115 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    We go to my aunt & uncles house. When my cousins were younger, they enjoyed making name cards for everyone and picking their seats. So, that tradition has stayed alive even though they’re in their early teens now 

    Post # 18
    Member
    11821 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper

    It’s not a strange thing to do at all, it’s very traditional in fact. It was considered incorrect to put people next to their spouses, who they see all the time and is designed to mix people up and promote interesting conversation. It may also be one of several reasons people in general used to have better social skills! That said, other than my husband and I taking the seats at the ends, I don’t assign seats for holidays. Depending on the size and the guest list I occasionally will for a dinner party. 

    Post # 19
    Member
    2017 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    At my husbands aunts house, she assigns seats. She always sits me next to this person that I do not like at all. I’m not even sure why he is at their dinner ever. 

    My SIL used to assigns seats, now she doesn’t and lets people eat where and when they like. I like that so much better! 

    Post # 20
    Member
    134 posts
    Blushing bee

    MrsWiggles :  Totally agree – I’m much less likely to converse with people if I’m uncomfortable/next to somebody I’m not very fond of. I also never understood the whole “no spouses together so they talk to other people”….. my husband and I always sit next to each other but we still converse with people across from us/the entire table/etc. I’m more likely to branch out and chat with people if I can at least sit nex to him haha! 

    Post # 21
    Member
    2922 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    Besides my dad always sitting at the head of the table (if he was actually there and not working), we don’t do assigned seats at any kind of holiday.  My Mother-In-Law tried it once to be different and all of DH’s family protested so they don’t do it either.  Neither of our families have ever had a problem with conversation.

    Post # 22
    Member
    1595 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    Even at formal holiday dinners I’ve never seen place cards. That’s a little odd.

    Post # 23
    Member
    992 posts
    Busy bee

    I never host but I much prefer assigned seating. Whenever there isnt I always feel like I need to rush to the table so I can sit with Darling Husband. 

    Post # 24
    Member
    2500 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I voted “It Depends”. 

    If it’s a group of 8 or fewer people who all know each other at least a little bit: sit where ever you want!

    If it’s a group of 9 or more, or people don’t know everyone attending: placecards for everyone! I’ve found that some guests are nervous or unsure about where to sit and don’t want to offend the hosts by sitting in someone’s usual or preferred seat.

    Post # 25
    Member
    3210 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    No I don’t, it’s not done in my social circles and I would be a little peeved if the traditional style of splitting couples was done at a party I went to. I mean, I wouldn’t complain and I’d sit where I was told but I would be upset not to be sitting next to my husband and/or to be sat next to a stranger. 

    Post # 26
    Member
    183 posts
    Blushing bee

    One side of my family growing up always assigned seating for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and I always hated it. And by hated, I mean HATTTTTEEEEDDD it. Even the kids table was assigned seating. 

    When I was 16-17 (my birthday is really close to thanksgivig so I don’t remember exactly how old at the time) I was mostly talking with the adults of the family and I was disappointed to find that I was assigned to sit at the kids table with my cousins who were in elementary school and younger. I also had to use the paper cups instead of the glass cups and I was kind of insulted at the time that they thought I couldn’t handle glass at the age 16-17 lol. I’m not really a kid person and so I was annoyed having to entertain my cousins who thought it was funny to steal my food and “watch me do this with my food” over and over again. I was also jealous of my cousins, one who was a year older than me and another who was a year younger than me, who got to sit with the adults (but it was their mom who assigned seating so that made sense). 

    Because of that, I hate assigned seating for family dinners. I mean, we’re all family so I think we can all figure it out. I prefer to sit with whoever I’m mostly talking to that year. One year I may rearly connecting with my uncle, another year I’m connecting with my cousin. Let me and everyone else decide who they want to sit with. At least, that’s my opinion. It may be different for others.

    Post # 27
    Member
    2839 posts
    Sugar bee

    When I was a kid we used to do place cards for our big 35-40 person extended family thanksgivings. However, it’s possible they only did it to entertain us kids because we loooved making each person a custom name card and dictating where people sat (which the adults later swapped). Now we just have adults’ and kids’ tables.

    Post # 28
    Member
    79 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: November 2018

    My step-moms parents do and it always feels really awkward. 

    Post # 29
    Member
    598 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2019

    I have often been to Thanksgiving dinners with assigned seating. When my grandparents (now deceased) hosted Thanksgiving it was always SO fun to see who they sat us with that year. My circle of friends and family leans towards a more formal 20+ ppl Thanksgiving dinner, though.

    Post # 30
    Member
    779 posts
    Busy bee

    I would be pretty pissed if I was purposely separated from my husband. Not that I can’t not sit by him for a dinner, it’s just the principle of it. It’s rude. 

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