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4 Thanksgiving Conversation Ideas For Families

Thanksgiving dinner with my family can be so…awkward. I'm always saying the wrong things. Like, say, this conversation:

We're so glad you could come this year, Aunt Meredith. How's work going?

Silent pause.

Actually, I was laid off two months ago.


Or this one:

Hey Steve, I saw that you bought a new truck recently. How exciting!

Shifty glance followed by a swift kick under the table.

Shhh! It was repossessed last weekend, my husband whispers urgently.


Or finally this [lack of] conversation:

So Jess--tell me about Trevor. How's he liking school this year?


What's he into? Sports? Music?


Like soccer? Basketball? Baseball?


Aw--I loved soccer as a kid. I remember playing it all the time with my friends. What a fun thing for him.

Silent nod.

(I give up. Apparently Jess hates conversation.)


This year I'm officially abandoning all attempts at small talk and tossing around a few alternative conversation-starter options. Here are my ideas:

4 Thanksgiving Conversation Ideas

  1. Take turns reading Bible verses about giving praise and thanks, and then share what we're thankful for.
  2. Read President Lincoln's proclamation on the first Thanksgiving and talk about how his words apply to our modern Thanksgiving holiday.
  3. Read Trivial pursuit cards (okay, so this has nothing to do with Thanksgiving but my family used to do it when I was young and we had a great time trying to answer random and obscure questions.)
  4. Use Gabbit for Family, a free app that has conversation questions. None of them involve repossessed cars or job layoffs, either, so I'm probably safe using them. Available on iOS here and Android here.

What does your family do to keep the conversation flowing during holiday meals?

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