As much as I love the holidays, thinking about Christmas dinner sometimes fills me with anxiety. No, it’s not that I’m worried someone won’t like my Turkey, dressing or candied yams. I got that down! I don’t often talk about it, but I’m an ace in the kitchen! No, what keeps me on the edge of my seat is knowing that one unintentional slip of the tongue—or perhaps one deliberate political jab—could derail the entire evening, turning a harmonious meal with friends and family into an ugly shouting match.
So, what do you do if you got that crazy Uncle who is just itching to blurt out at the dinner table “Thank God for Donald Trump!” Well, one thing is to be proactive and steer the conversation toward topics that are enjoyable to discuss, or ones that will help everyone be happier and more productive in the coming year. Here’s my suggestion for seven conversation starters that can help you keep the peace at the dinner table:
1. The upcoming Winter Olympics
Whether your debating the finer points of curling, or if the first black female speed skater, 17-year-old Maame Biney, can win a gold medal—talking about the winter games is fun and drama free.
2. Your favorite new TV show and why you like it
With Netflix, Hulu and Amazon TV churning out content that rivals the best of cable and the broadcast networks, there’s more than enough new shows to talk about. I mean seriously, who doesn’t like watching Shemar Moore on SWAT!
3. The last book you read and why you recommend it
I recently dusted off James Baldwins’ The Fire Next Time. This mind-expanding book on race and religion is not only beautifully written, but at a mere 130 pages you can enrich your mind in just a few hours.
4. A new exercise you’ve tried that’s giving your fabulous results.
I recently started planking in lieu of backbreaking sit-ups. It did wonders for my abdomen and core strength.
5. How you started a new business or project in 2017
I wrote a book in 2017, Make It Rain, which is something I love to talk about. But even if your book isn’t finished, or your online business or home renovating project is in the early stages, talking about your projects with others can give you new ideas and inspiration.
6. Family stories and history that no one else knows
Did you ever share a car ride with your grandpa or great aunt? You probably heard stories that no one else in your family knows. Or, you could purchase an Ancestry DNA kit and bring it to dinner with you. That’s certain to spark conversation about your family tree and what the results of the test will be.
7. Creative ways you have found to save money by using a new app.
Apps that help you save time and money are in abundance. You only need visit the Apple store. Clarity Money is one of my favorites. This iOS budget app helps you control your finances in many ways from canceling wasteful subscriptions to creating a savings account. Aside from that, it also alerts you if you are spending more than your allotted budget in different areas of your finances.
Try these Christmas dinner conversation topics. They’ll not only help you avoid a family argument, but may help you start out 2018 with a bang!