Tis the season for family time, work parties, church get-togethers and time spent around the Christmas tree. When you get together with people from all different walks of life, it’s important to remember that there are some topics that are best to avoid and some really great opportunities to sit and make memories. Keep these things in mind to help the conversation move forward no matter who you have over for the holidays. And of course, remember to pull out your phone and record some of the memories of your grandparents when they get started talking!
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Conversation Starters for Christmas Dinner
Are there topics to avoid?
The best advice anyone can give for holiday dinners when you have extended family and friends over for the meal is to avoid hot-button topics. For most people, politics and religion are the two major hot buttons. In any crowd, it is inevitable that people will have strong opinions. So keep the controversial topics to a minimum. Instead, why not use some of these conversation starters instead.
Ask each person to share their “Favorites”:
- Christmas memory
- Gift you gave
- Gift you received;
- First memory of cutting a live tree
- A tradition that you want to bring back
- Christmas carol
- Anything you can think of that involves holiday memories and favorites is a great way to keep the conversation going!
Talk about Christmas milestones:
Do you remember the year the Christmas the tree fell over? Do you remember the first Christmas when we got snowed in? Remember the Christmas we had the flood in the backyard instead of snow? Who remembers the year mom and dad had to go shopping on Christmas Eve at the local variety store because the main present fell through?
One story will often lead to the next. We spent some time brainstorming these conversation starters the other night at dinner and it was fun to have the kids share the things they remember.
A few years ago, I spent some time with Grandma and recorded some of her Christmas memories!
Spend time around the Tree:
If you are like our family, every ornament on the Christmas Tree has a story. And yes, in some homes, there are multiple trees. Take some time to look at the tree and enjoy the stories that organically unfold as you look at each of the ornaments.
Want to know my favorite ornaments on my tree? I took my kids baby socks and hang them on the tree each year! So if you come to my house, I’ll be sure to show them to you!
Put the Christmas Cards to Work:
In our house, we display Christmas cards on the back door. Some families keep them in a basket on the dinner table or hang them in a prominent place. These special cards can be a great place to focus after dinner. You can create thank you cards, special placemats or crafts with the kids. Take some to time to pray for the senders or share your favorite memories about the people who sent them.
Ways to Pass Memories to Future Generations:
I asked my Mom what her favorite Christmas present I ever gave her and she brought out a little metal can that I gave her about 15 years ago. I had recruited my brother and sister to type up one line memories and put them on small strips of paper. We filled the can with memories. She has kept that canister and brings it out periodically to enjoy the memories that we shared.
How to create your own memory canister: Find a canister, write or type up memories and cut into strips. Keep and share over the years!
What are some of the things you love to talk about around Christmas? Got any favorite questions to ask? I’d love to hear! Merry Christmas to you all!