I’m 28-Years Old — Here’s Why I Still Sit at the Kids' Table

It’s honestly the best place to be on Christmas Day.

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Photo by: Photograph by LEREXIS/Getty Images

Photograph by LEREXIS/Getty Images

In the spirit of holiday cheer and goodwill towards all, I think there’s no better time than now to get something off my chest. Though I don’t think this confession is dramatic enough to put me on this year’s “naughty” list, it’ll probably raise some eyebrows and reindeer antlers nonetheless. So, here goes nothing: I’m 28-years-old and I still sit at my family’s kids' table.

Yes, you read that correctly, and no I’m not joking. Name any holiday — Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July, National Cupcake Day even — and you’ll find me proudly sitting amongst all the 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds in my family. And despite desperate pleas from the more mature adults in the Baricevic clan to jump ship and come over to their side of the dining room, I happily choose to continue sitting with the kiddos year after year. You’re probably wondering, “Why?” The answer boils down to two main things: the company and the food.

Though I couldn’t think of anything better when I was a little kid than finally making it “Big Time,” and getting to sit with all the adults, there’s nothing quite like experiencing the wonder of a very big holiday — especially Christmas — than by seeing it through the eyes of a little kid. Everything — from the beautifully decorated Christmas tree to the expertly wrapped gifts nestled underneath it — is exciting to them, and that excitement honestly spreads to you as you’re sitting at the table, listening to them talk about it. There’s also something truly magical about being the “cool older cousin” in the group. Absolutely anything you say, even if it’s just, “I take the subway to work,” makes them look at you like you’re a total rock star. And let’s face it, all of us can use that level of adoration every now and then.

The food at the kids' table is also a bit more enticing than the ones over on the adult’s side. Sure, prime rib is great on Christmas, but it somehow loses its pizzazz when your eye catches on a platter piled high with fresh-out-of-the-oven chicken tenders and golden tater tots, or a bowl that's overstuffed with spaghetti and meatballs. My family always has some kid-friendly mains like these on standby for our holiday celebrations, and as a proud member of the kids' table, I get to add a few to my plate as well. Trust me — Christmas chicken nuggets need to become a thing!

The kids' table also gets served first in my household, which means that I, too, don’t have to wait to get that coveted corner piece of stuffing or that very first ultra-creamy scoop of mashed potatoes on to my plate. For a family as big as mine — there’s 30 of us total — getting served first is a pretty big deal. I honestly still have nightmares about that one year we ran out of pecan pie…

The kids get dessert before everyone in my family too; while all the adults need to wait around for the coffee to be done brewing, we “kiddos” are munching on our fifth or sixth sugar cookie. And let me tell you, Christmas cookies taste sooo much better when you have the entire tray all to yourself.

With Christmas less than two weeks away, I'm even more excited to be a “designated kid” once again and take my seat at my family’s kids' table. Though our gathering will be smaller than the ones we've had in the past, after not having been together in months and months, I know I’ll cherish this year’s memories all the more. So take a page from my book, and sit with the kiddos this year — your heart and your stomach will thank you!

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