There are a lot of decisions you need to make on Thanksgiving Day. Do you take an extra scoop of stuffing or do you save room on your plate for green bean casserole? Should you watch the dog show, a football game or a re-run of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? But the most important decision that you have to make on Turkey Day isn’t about food or TV — it’s about where you sit.
Thanksgiving is centered around a meal, after all, and a meal is nothing if it isn’t shared with others. Some seats are objectively better than others. An interior seat, for instance, allows you to be the life of the party and catch up with family members you may not have seen for quite some time. If Thanksgiving isn’t your bag, then perhaps you want a seat near the bathroom or the kitchen for a quick exit.
Regardless of your preference (or where you just so happen to end up), your seat at the Thanksgiving dinner table reveals a deep truth about you and how you tackle the holiday season. What does it all mean? Luckily we have a guide for every possible seat!
Whether the head of the table is your elected position or if you just nabbed it, you are the Thanksgiving alpha dog. The toast? You’re giving it. The prayers? You’re leading them. You prompt people to talk about what they’re thankful for. You’re the first to pass the sweet potato casserole on to the next guest. This is your holiday. Relish it.
You’re the life of the Thanksgiving festivities. This spot has all of the social benefits of the head spot with none of the responsibility. An interior seat also allows you to engage easily with everyone at the table. Oh, and if you want seconds, you’re within arm’s reach of perfectly-roasted turkey, savory stuffing and mountains of fluffy mashed potatoes. Want the happiest Thanksgiving? Go here.
You just want to get this holiday over with. You see, this spot has a wide variety of issues: You’re far from the gravy and mashed potatoes, on the edge of multiple conversations and in a dark spot that makes taking a flawless Instagram photo for your social media feed next to impossible. The kind of person who picks the corner seat (or just ends up there) is at Thanksgiving out of obligation, not out of desire. Don’t worry; you only have to deal with all those difficult family members again in a month at Christmas.
You’re either the host of Thanksgiving or the sort of guest who loves to help others. If you sit closest to the kitchen, be prepared to check on the pies in the oven, grab an extra serving spoon for the cranberry sauce and to get up every time someone needs another glass of wine. This is a worker’s seat, so proceed with caution.
You’re easily distracted, even at a holiday table. As you sit near the bathroom, your mind wanders to the football game on TV, Black Friday deals and what everyone on your Instagram feed is up to. Luckily, it’s easy for you to sneak away to check that score or your phone. Everyone knows that texting at the table is rude, after all.
While turkey and stuffing is fine and good, if you’re sitting next to your parents this Thanksgiving, you know that this holiday is all about spending time with family and loved ones. You probably battled busy airport hubs and traveled a long way to grab this seat, and you’re not going to take that for granted.
You either have a lot of compassion or you’re just late for everything. Sitting next to your overly-perfumed Aunt Pauline or that cousin who can only talk about how the moon landing was faked. You’re going to share the Thanksgiving table with a lot of different characters, and by nabbing a spot next to the looniest of them, you’re doing everyone else a major favor.
Some spots are better than others, and you understand that. You’re not willing to take any risks that you’re going to end up next to that creepy uncle or in a dark, cold corner. So, you switch around a place card or two. Or maybe you get to the table long before everyone else and set down your wine glass or your cardigan. No judgement; the Thanksgiving table is serious business.
You have the ultimate chill family, and you’re a chill dude or dudette, too. While spending time with loved ones is great, the best part of Thanksgiving (to you) is the big game on TV. What goes better with turkey and gravy than an ice cold beer and football? You’d rather be tailgating, anyway.
You’re either among the youngest in your family or you drew the short straw and have to take care of the youngest ones in your family. This seat may seem like a bummer, but you’re actually pretty lucky. At the right Thanksgiving, the kids table is the best place to be. You don’t have to talk about politics or hear any of these other rude Thanksgiving table phrases.
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