5 Tips for Better Thanksgiving Conversations This Year

When family members of different generations gather for Thanksgiving, there is always a strange silence and awkward family tension.

Fortunately, with clever and funny Thanksgiving conversation starters, the dinner table will become a perfect place to build family ties and relationships. 

Good conversation starters can ward off controversial dialogues such as political topics and sour memories.

In addition, creative thanksgiving conversation starters will prevent you from retelling the old cliché stories or asking generic Thanksgiving questions.

During this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, be intentional about using conversation starters that generate conversations to unite family members and strengthen family relationships.

Here are good conversation starters and holiday ideas to implement as you break bread with your loved ones over the Thanksgiving festival. 

1. Use Creative Thanksgiving Conversation Starters.

Thanksgiving attracts all family members of different generations, religious affiliations, and political persuasions.

With such differences, getting a conversation subject that can spur meaningful dialogue without disintegrating into a heated argument is tough. 

Avoid dwelling on divisive topics like sports, politics, and celebrity gossip that can build passion and elevate into quarrels. 

Applying a creative Thanksgiving conversation starter to break the ice helps family members have decent conversations where they can learn incredible things from each other. 

Further, implementing innovative Thanksgiving conversation starters can initiate a dialogue between family elders and younger generations.

Why not try family storytelling? You can add a twist by starting a story behind a family heirloom. 

This offers a distinctive opportunity for young people to tap into the elder’s pool of wisdom, knowledge, memories, and history. 

Quick Holiday Tip

A good Thanksgiving conversation starter can be a friendly joke, a well-structured question, or an unbiased statement. 

2. Practice Active Listening and Turn-taking

Listen attentively to your family members during the Thanksgiving dinner as you show them genuine interest. 

Listen to understand what each member is trying to put across.

Since it is not an official conversation, you can ask follow-up questions on issues misunderstood.

You can respond to each discussion thoughtfully while portraying that you treasure their opinion and perspective.

Lastly, practice turn-taking by giving equal opportunities to each member to contribute to the conversation. 

Quick Holiday Tip

Record your thanksgiving gathering memories on video and share them so everyone can relive the family togetherness moments later.

You can find principles and ideas for capturing fun family event videos

3. Utilize Open-ended Question When Inquiring for Holiday Ideas and Activities

Rather than asking close-ended questions that require yes or no answers, use open-ended questions during Thanksgiving to encourage family members to elaborate on their responses.

Quick Holiday Tip

For instance instead of asking your nephew his profession, try asking about what his job entails.

Utilizing open-ended questions enriches the conversation and aids in averting the awkward silences at the Thanksgiving table. 

4. Share Gratefulness

It is a Thanksgiving festival; therefore, encourage all family members to share things they are grateful for and capture those moments of gratitude. 

Sharing gratitude encourages other family members by demonstrating that their dreams are also achievable. 

Quick Holiday Tip

When you focus on positive things, it creates a good and uplifting environment that stimulates meaningful conversations. 

5. Embrace Differences and Avoid Sensitive Topics

Despite being close friends and family members, everyone has their point of view, preference, and experience. 

Members of the same family can support different sporting teams, or close friends can have different political opinions. Hence, one should deal with the differences amicably by respectfully acknowledging them. 

The differences present an excellent opportunity to learn from each other. 

Quick Holiday Tip

Avoid divisive subject matters that foster disunity.

Controversial topics such as politics and religious subjects can ruin your Thanksgiving event.

Focusing on positive experiences and shared interests is an excellent holiday idea for Thanksgiving.


By implementing these tips, you can foster an environment of connection and understanding, making your Thanksgiving conversations more enjoyable and memorable for everyone involved.     

Start your private, shareable family memories album and get everyone from grandparents to grandchildren talking and connecting beyond the holidays!

Download the intergenerational app, Autumn Whispers.