Did she just say that?

Ways to avoid a holiday catastrophe.

It’s finally here, that time of year: Thanksgiving. I love this holiday, the smells of fresh baked pies and turkey drifting thru the house, the table set in all it’s finest wares, the sounds of the parade or football echoing for all to hear, and a warmth of closeness created with family and friends all gathering to celebrate. Oh but, of course, the ever fear of conversation. With a room full of differing views on politics, how to raise kids, sports teams, and so many other potentially toxic topics, let’s look at some conversation starters to keep the peace, especially at the table.

If you plan out some questions ahead of time to throw out there when you start to see the conversation heading in the wrong direction you could prevent a disaster. Another great idea could be to pick 20 questions, write them out on paper and fold into a bowl, each guest (if it’s a larger group) gets to pick their question for dinner. This would definitely keep the conversation flowing in a positive way. 

Would you like some ideas on conversation starters? There are so many topics, but here are a few. And by the way, at the end I have included some kid friendly topics for our mini-guests.



Have you ever thought about the different relationships or memories other members of the family have experienced, maybe how your grandparents shared their first date, these will inspire the family memories to be handed down and shared.

Ask the longest-married couple at the table to tell the story of their wedding day.

Tell a fun and hysterical story about your parents, sibling, or a family event.

Ask the parents at the table to describe what happened on the days their children were born.

What’s the best surprise that you’ve ever received?

How did you celebrate last Thanksgiving? (If you weren’t together)

What holiday movie are you looking forward to seeing?

What are you most thankful for?

Black Friday: yea or nay?

Where were you when [insert topical event] happened?

Ask older family members to describe their first jobs.

Did someone at the table experience a career milestone this year, such as starting a new job, graduating, or receiving a promotion? Ask them to share how it’s going.



Food, who doesn’t love food? Sometimes, food can be the center of a lot of memories. Family holiday meals, parties attended, restaurant meals, weddings, first dates, buffets, I could keep going…

What’s your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?

Your most creative leftover-turkey idea: Go!

What was your most memorable meal of the year?

What was the menu at the best wedding you have attended?

What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever been to?

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Who has the best buffet?

What is your favorite kind of cheese?

Chicken and Waffles – yeah or nah?

What’s your signature dish?

Healthies meal you enjoy?

What’s your favorite recipe book and why?



Questions to inspire conversation without the possibility of a war breaking out.


What’s your favorite way to give back and help others?

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Do you remember your first kiss?

What would you do if you won the lottery?

When did you know you’d found “the one”?

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

What were you like in high school?

What’s your earliest memory?

What does your ideal Saturday look like?

What fictional place would you most want to visit?

What do you remember getting for Christmas when you were younger?

What subject do you wish you’d studied more in school?

What was your favorite band in high school?

What’s your favorite drink and why?

What do you remember most about your wedding day?

Would you rather time travel 100 years into the past or into the future?

What’s your favorite family tradition?

Which person at this table would make the best news anchor?



Who is the funniest person at the table and why?

Pretend you just won $5 million. What’s the first thing you would buy?

What are you most thankful for this year? (You knew it was coming.)

What do you think is the hardest thing about being a kid?

If you could eat only one food on this table for an entire year, which one would it be?

How would the world be different if animals could talk?

If you could grow up to be famous, what would you want to be famous for?

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

What is the best gift you were ever given? Why was it so special?

What is the hardest thing about being a kid?

If you were a teacher, and the kids in your class would not listen to you, what would you do?

Where is your favorite place in the world?

If you could give one gift to every single child in the world, what gift would you give?

When was a time that you felt lucky?



How did you celebrate Thanksgiving when you were my age?

What was your favorite thing about where you grew up?

What about my mom/dad drove you crazy when she/he was a kid?

If you could live in any decade of your life again, which would it be?

I can’t wait to sit at the table this year my family

I’m really excited for Thanksgiving and these conversation starters are going to keep our table talking. This year we are away from family so we are having a “Friendsgiving” and I can’t wait to share these questions with my friends.   I hope you find these useful.  Feel free to leave a comment or idea on conversation starters at dinner.

Please take a moment to meet our guest blogger:

Nancy Mulligan






Please also take a moment read Nancy’s recent blogs

*Guest Post| How to Communicate With Kids Effectively

*Guest Post|National Make a Difference Day

*Recipe|Quick Breads



9 thoughts on “Guest Post| Avoiding the Dread of Holiday Conversations

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