Finding your Post-election Thanksgiving Table Manners – Is a Seating Chart the Answer?

Our founding fathers must have been hitting the hard cider a bit hard when they decided that Thanksgiving, a family-oriented holiday of gratitude, should follow so closely on the heels of election day, a potentially divisive contest of wills. Good Thanksgiving table manners might be trickier to achieve this post-election year than they have been in previous years. The media (including social media) have fanned the flames of disagreement and controversy so much so that our eagerness to be right might overshadow our eagerness to be polite. And at many tables this Thanksgiving, awkward silences might be preferable to conversation.

At the Thanksgiving table, we can’t share videos of adorable labrador retriever puppies or the latest foible of Kanye West. And though we might not see eye-to-eye, here we are sitting knee-to-knee. Now, what? It’s generally agreed that we are not to discuss politics, sex, money, or religion at the family dinner table during the holidays. But political tensions are running particularly high this post-election, you might have to resort to a seating plan in order to keep the peace and avoid a showdown at the table tomorrow.

Here are some tips for a successful seating plan for Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Pair up those with similar interests
  • Seat lefties at the corners
  • Seat the Introverts next to the Charmers
  • Seat Peacemakers in the middle
  • The Host should sit nearest the kitchen
  • Seat a hearing impaired guests next to someone who will patiently draw them out
  • Separate couples, brothers and sisters, and best friends
  • If you must have one, seat the kids’ table as mindfully as you would the adult table

And of course, Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to bring some Blossom Water. You can use Blossom Water bottles as place cards by draping them with neck charms. Or use them as part of a centerpiece with real flowers. Or best of all, if you are serving wine with dinner, serve plenty of Blossom Water between glasses of wine to keep the alcohol-fueled conversation and Thanksgiving table manners on the sweeter side.

Good luck. Take care. And if all else fails, Emily Post’s kids make a good etiquette podcast.

Happy Thanksgiving!