6 Things to talk about besides politics at the holiday dinner party
Getting together with your family during the holiday season is probably something you look forward to each year, but in these tumultuous political times, family gatherings can also be a minefield. Adeptly sidestep any touchy topics around this year’s holiday dinner table by sticking to these neutral talking points instead.
- The food. Whether you opt for a potluck-inspired, homemade meal or outsource the grub to professionals, you can’t go wrong by talking about the food. If the chef is in your midst, he or she will enjoy the praise. And if the event was catered, you can always discuss how cranberry sauce just isn’t what it used to be.
- Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals. One thing that everyone can agree on is that Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the most wonderful time of the year for shopping. Ask around the table who will be hitting up the stores later on after the Thanksgiving meal or in the wee hours of the morning. You might just leave the dinner table with a renewed game plan of your own, once you learn about the deals your family members are going after.
- Sports. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, there’s always something to talk about on the sports front. If the dinner table conversation starts straying into dangerous category, turn it to the rivals that are facing off on the football field and forget about any rivals facing off on the political field.
- Trending TV. Was this week’s Game of Thrones episode a real jaw-dropper? Did you finally finish the latest Netflix Original Series? Are you agonizing over the fall finale of The Walking Dead? Then chances are someone else at the table is, too. Read the room at the family party before bringing up a show that’s trending right now. Not everyone in the crowd is going to be into the same TV, but if you can engage a few other family members, everyone will get involved regardless of whether or not they watch the show.
- Family memories. No one will be left out when you talk about that time your uncle overcooked the turkey or reminisce about the year that everyone got snowed in at your grandparents’ house. If you know there’s a chance that things will get tense at the holiday dinner table, come armed with a few go-to anecdotes about fun holidays past. Bonus points if you round up some old photos or videos to accompany the tales.
- Ice breakers. If the holidays are the only time of year that your entire extended family gets together, politics might not be the only source of awkwardness. Dead silence is not your friend at big family gatherings. So you might also want to have a few conversation-starting questions in your back pocket for when the natural conversation dwindles. For instance, “If you could have named yourself, what name would you have picked?” “Which person at this table would make the best news anchor?” And, of course, the Turkey Day tradition, “What are you most thankful for this year?”
20 Fun Conversation Starter Questions for Your Thanksgiving Table [RealSimple]
20 Thanksgiving Conversation Topics That Aren’t Politics [The Odyssey]
Thanksgiving Dinner Talking Points [CNN Money]