Celebrating Modern Jewish Living Through Food, Tradition, and Family
I clearly remember my days sitting at the bridge table–the default kids’ table set up at my grandparents’ house for the youngest member of the family–and wondering just what it would take to move up to the grown up table. It’s not that I didn’t love sitting with my cousins and brother (well, maybe), it’s just that the bridge table always had, well, the bridge chairs, the mismatched dishes, the food that eventually made its way to us, and we seemed to be missing out on whatever was really going on at the coveted Big Table.
Years later when I hosted my own holidays, I made it a point to make the kids’ table fun and a place where the kids would feel included. I typically include little games or toys, some kind of personalized treat (a candy bag or small bag of homemade cookies tied with a ribbon) or some little gift for each child.
My kids help decorate the table (or tables if we’re having a crowd) and we all get into making the youngest members of our get-togethers feel the most welcome, writing name cards or making a little drawing or card for each child. We put out kiddish cups, a challah for the kids’ table and their own set of toy candlesticks. This also encourages them to lead the family in the holiday blessings.
These small gestures can make such a difference. Now when our friends and family come for the holidays, the kids can’t wait to see what we’ve got set up for them and actually love sitting at their own tables.