Conversation Starters for Holiday Dinners

Conversation Starters

Last night we were invited over to my parents’ house for dessert and a few gifts.  While we were visiting, my dad asked everyone to tell about a favorite gift they’d gotten a different year.  It turned out to be really fun going around the table and hearing what was most memorable to all the various people.

My mom and dad both have memories of getting Christmas bikes that were joint gifts to them and a sibling or two or more. One of our kids declared gummy bears to be the best gift ever. :)Of course my fingerprint Christmas was my very favorite, but I also remembered getting the gift of piano lessons one year as a child, with a prelude of dozens of cryptic clues smilingly supplied by my mom, none of which helped me guess a bit. John remembered the lengths to which his dad went to ‘prove’ to the kids that Santa did exist.  (Tape recordings of the jolly elf saying ‘ho, ho, ho’ and rattling packages pretty much seal the deal, right? 🙂 )

Anyway, the conversation was so delightful that it got me thinking about other conversation starters that a family could employ at a holiday meal that would provide interesting conversation and leave everyone knowing a little more about each other.  So I did some thinking and some looking at similar lists and compiled one of my own:

1. Tell us about a favorite gift from a different Christmas.

2.  If you could eat only three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

3. What was a job you hated when you were younger?  One that you like now?

4. What is one thing you wish had more time to do during the next year?

5. What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done in your life?

6.  What is one adventure you’d like to have in the future?

7. What is the hardest thing about your current age?  The best thing?

8. What is your earliest Christmas memory?  Your best?

9. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever gotten?

10.What’s one thing you got better at this year?  What would you like to get better at next year?

Have any questions you would add to this list?  I’d love to hear them.  And here’s hoping holidays with your family will be treasured memories!



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  1. I just got back from visiting my parents and siblings in Eastern Oregon, and these were a couple of my favorite conversation starters that pulled out during family time.

    If you had a time machine, where and when would you visit?

    If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with your extra time?

    If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be and why?

    I think these hypothetical questions are fun because they reveal a lot about the person answering! For example, my sister said she would like to trade places with someone without a family so that that other girl could experience what a nice life my sister has. Doesn’t that just melt your heart? 🙂

  2. I once asked this question to my 13 year old nephew, in front of his parents. Oh my! The room got quiet!
    “I will one day be a parent to teenagers. Tell me what makes a good parent.”.
    It was really fun to hear his answer.


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