12 Safe Thanksgiving Conversations

The biggest no-brainer. Compliment the cook.

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Let’s try to avoid throwing food this year, shall we?

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on November 21, 2016.

It is that time of year again! The turkey is cooking, the potatoes are simmering, and you are more than ready to eat your three plus plates of dinner. Your family is sitting down. Everyone has a drink and starts eating. Then, out of no where, that one aunt or uncle opens their mouth to talk about the election. Suddenly, everything is ruined because your family cannot have a civilized discussion, and you cover your face waiting for the food to start flying. Concept: You save the day by changing the subject to a safe topic. Here are twelve to start with.

1. School

If you are in college, or one of your cousins is, this is an annoying, but safe topic to talk about. You know the questions everyone is going to ask. “No, I do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend.” “Yes, I am getting enough sleep.” “Yes, campus is very safe.” “No, I do not party or drink.” Easy as pie.

2. Television

You know that your aunt and mom have a crazy obsession with “Dancing With The Stars”. Talk it up! Ask them how they feel about the latest finalists and who they think will win. Spend as much time on this as possible.

3. Everyone’s Health

There is always one family member that loves to talk about their back issues. Ask them a hundred questions. Go down the family member line. Keep going until you are no longer a part of the conversation. Take a breather.

4. The Superbowl Halftime Show

How does your Uncle feel about Lady Gaga performing in front of all those people? Who was everyone’s favorite performer from past years? Who should perform next?

5. Sports

If the females are not particularly interested, although some are, try navigating them to a common subject, like Ellen DeGeneres, or this week’s issue of People Magazine. Get them in their little circles and they can go for hours.

6. Hamilton

As long as the conversation doesn’t turn to the fight over immigrants and refugees, feel free to throw this award-winning Broadway musical in there. Talk about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “SNL” episode. Have a sing-a-long over dinner.

7. The Old Days

Ask your grandparents about their childhood. Ask for funny stories of your parents as children. Get the nostalgia rollin’. Break out the yearbooks!

8. Black Friday

Ask everyone what deals they are thinking of grabbing. Alternatively, talk about why Black Friday is a chaotic mess.

9. Thankfulness

Go around the table and ask everyone to list what they are thankful for. Make sure you have the longest list.

10. Upcoming Plans for December

You know that everyone is going to become the busiest bee in the next few days. Ask about shopping plans. Talk about when people are going to put up their tree, if they celebrate Christmas.

11. Babies

If there are any babies in the family, turn the conversation to them. If they are present, even better. If there are no babies, ask for baby stories. Note: You put yourself at risk of embarrassment for this one.

12. Food

The biggest no-brainer. Compliment the cook. Ask your aunt if she has that pumpkin pie recipe. Talk about the creamy mashed potatoes. Ask your dad if he will teach you how to carve the turkey next year.

You did it! You survived Thanksgiving Dinner! Next challenge: surviving dessert.

Author: cleming13

I'm a Junior English major at Shippensburg University! I've created my page {Title Goes Here} to post some of the work I've had published online!

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