10 Conversation Starters for Your Thanksgiving Table

family gathering

It’s great to gather the family together for the holidays, especially after a long time apart. For many, the heart of any home is the dining table. It’s where some of the best conversations take place. Regardless of whether you haven’t seen family members for a long time or saw them last week, there may be moments when the conversation dies down and an awkward silence befalls the table. Break up those moments with fun talking topics!


From the time Aunt June forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pie to this year’s holiday must-haves, the team at Guardian Mortgage has put together 10 conversation starters to engage everyone at your Thanksgiving table, leading to a gobbling-good time.

Conversation Starters for Your Thanksgiving Table

  1. Recap your Thanksgiving morning traditions. ​​The most common time to eat Thanksgiving dinner is early afternoon between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. That means there is plenty of time before the family gathers for the holiday meal to take part in some other Thanksgiving traditions. Did anyone run a Turkey Trot 5K? What was their time and, more importantly, what happened to the pumpkin pie they received upon completion? How about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Any watchers? Who had the best performance, and which floats topped the list of favorites this year?
  2. Adopt an attitude of gratitude. Thanksgiving allows us all to reflect on the past year and concentrate on the things we are most thankful for. Take turns going around the table, asking each person to share at least one thing they are grateful for this Thanksgiving holiday.
  1. Recount your favorite Thanksgiving memories. There’s something about the holidays that makes the memories that much fonder. What are some of the group’s favorite memories from past Thanksgiving celebrations? How can you use those memories to tell someone who was not there, or was too young to remember, about a loved one who is no longer with us? Those memories will produce emotional reactions and breathe life back into your conversation.
  2. Impress the fam with Thanksgiving food facts. Did you know that the average person consumes around 3,000 calories at their Thanksgiving meal? Or that The National Turkey Federation estimates that approximately 46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving? That adds up to 365 million pounds of turkey! Chances are your family may not know these thought-provoking facts. Expand their knowledge base and get a few surprised looks by sharing these and other turkey day food facts.
  3. Earn brownie points by revealing your favorite holiday side dish. Is it the mashed potatoes and gravy that has you going back for seconds, or Grandma’s jello salad that’s calling your name? Take turns complimenting the cooks by sharing your favorite dishes. If your family is particularly ruthless, now might be a good time to call dibs on any leftovers, too!
  4. Share family updates. For many, Thanksgiving is a marathon not a sprint. Visits with multiple families and more than one celebration to attend are the norm for some. If talk at the Thanksgiving table begins to dwindle, share updates about your immediate family and other loved ones you were able to visit over the holiday.
  1. Reveal your predictions for the big NFL game or recap the make-or-break plays. Football is an age-old Thanksgiving tradition. It seems most people have an opinion on the game or turn the TV on whether they are big fans or not. What do the folks around your Thanksgiving table have to say about the big game?
  1. Engage in light trash-talk about the after-dinner family Turkey Bowl. Does your family partake in a lively game of football each year after dinner? If so, now is a great time to throw a few light-hearted jabs and get the smack-talk started.
  1. Take part in a little Thanksgiving trivia game. What does the woman behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb'' have to do with Thanksgiving? Were there balloons at the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Where do the turkeys pardoned by the President go? Find the answers to these trivia questions and others in Good Housekeeping, then pass them along to your table mates.
  2. Strategize for Black Friday and this year’s holiday gift-giving. Thanksgiving may be the one time of year that everybody in your family can gather in one place. That makes it a great time to cover important points of business, such as gift ideas! Start those holiday lists, browse the Black Friday ads and make a plan to finish up your holiday shopping.

Even if you have a great relationship with everybody at your gathering, the holidays are bound to have moments that feel a little awkward. Mend those gaps with these conversation topics, but above all, enjoy the time spent with loved ones. As we’ve all learned more clearly lately, quality time spent together is precious.


Happy Thanksgiving from your mortgage team at Guardian Mortgage! We’re grateful to each of you for trusting us to guide you through the mortgage lending process. We’re here to help you every step of the way.