5 Topics other than politics to talk about at Thanksgiving


Photo by Jed Owen

Alexandra Bakker

Saying “let’s talk about politics” at Thanksgiving is the suburban equivalent of shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. Chaos will ensue. This is especially true if the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents from every corner of the country (and political spectrum) are gathering for the first time in a while. Since the last election was just a couple of weeks ago, opinionated families are sure to have a blast this holiday season.


So how can you avoid this dreadful family frenzy on Thursday? Here are five conversations you can start if things get a bit too rambunctious.

  • Make plans for Christmas

Redirecting a passionate and opinionated conversation towards planning can be beneficial. If you don’t want to hear about your grandpa’s crazy time at the polls or the bickering over the election, a simple way to avoid this is by working out the who, when and where of the next family holiday.

  • Play a game

Nothing will get your relatives’ minds off of controversial topics like a competitive round-table game. Explore a deck of cards, dust an old board game off the shelf, or come up with something new. Whatever it is, it’s certain to be more enjoyable than the alternative screaming match over elephants and donkeys.

  • Tell stories

Be it fictional fairy-tales or your grandparents’ life story, settling into an anecdote together can be enjoyable. It’ll be refreshing to hear one person talk at a time. And who knows, you may even learn something new about your family.

  • Other happenings

You may not be able to escape the topic of current events, and that’s okay! Talk about your favorite sports teams, the powerball, or even the weather. There’s always something interesting happening apart from the never-ending storm of politics. Come prepared with a few topics or conversation starters to fall back on.

  • Thanksgiving

It’s never too late to live in the present. Remember, you’re gathered for Thanksgiving – so why not give thanks? Talk about something you’re grateful for or, if that’s too cheesy, talk about the food. It’s no secret that cooking for Thanksgiving is an all-day (sometimes all-week) endeavor, so it will surely pass some time. Compliments, recipes, and cooking mishaps are all great ideas for conversation.