So, who do you plan to vote for?
Just kidding. Don’t ask that. In case you are living in isolation, this is just a firm reminder to avoid all politics on our holidays. Don’t hint, allude, joke. Thanksgiving is a time for unity, fellow Americans! If someone took the time to cook a 15-pound turkey, basting and stuffing, glazing and carving, the least you can do is avoid topics that make your host want to crawl in their preheated oven. Here are my safe conversation ideas for the Thanksgiving Table.
As a group, our conversation felt like an open prayer for the miracles we all long to witness in this life.
1. Two truths and a lie.
Have you played this game? It’s a classic game if you have children at the table. Someone has to share two true facts about themselves, mixed in with one lie. Everyone else has to guess the lie. It’s an acceptable little time for people to laugh about hair dye disasters, crazy childhood pets or brag about cool places they’ve been and marathons they’ve run.
2. Some of my favorite ice breaker questions include…
- Best vacation you’ve ever taken?
- Worst gift (and best gift!)?
- What would you buy if you had unlimited money?
- What type of book would you write if you could?
- What was the first concert you went to?
- What is something about you that can’t be found on the internet?
- Who would you like to meet, or be interviewed by?
- What are 3 things that bring you joy?
- If you could open a store, what would you sell?
- What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
- And of course, don’t forget to ask what everyone’s thankful for!
3. One of the most intimate dinner questions came most recently with friends…
If Jesus could come back and do one miracle, what would you ask for?
Our answers revealed a sweet piece of our desires. As a group, our conversation felt like an open prayer for the miracles we all long to witness in this life.
4. My only advice on bringing up table topics…
The person to ask the question must go first! You’ve had time to prepare and think, so be the first to offer up an answer. The conversation gets better as people warm-up, so be the first to go, and let others think through their answers. I also suggest being aware of who might be uncomfortable with this format. Gently include them, without forcing them to share in front of people. Dinner shouldn’t feel like a hot seat!
It also helps to have a partner in crime. Have a few people you know will jump into the topic once it’s brought up, and be “all in” with helping you create a table-inclusive conversation. Ice breakers can be difficult to begin, but having a chatty table is worth the discomfort it takes to dive in. It sure beats a cranberry-sauce-slinging political debate!