Posted by: Bert Copple | December 17, 2013

Topics for Family Dinners

Recently, there was a funny article in The Onion about siblings developing a PowerPoint presentation to determine what would  — and more importantly, would not – be acceptable table topics at Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, it could apply to any family gathering, including our upcoming Christmas celebrations. While The Onion is satirical (sample quote from the article: “Now, if you would open your handouts to page 14, Jason’s going to give us the outline of Dad and Uncle Jack’s ongoing argument about renting a house together in Cape Cod this summer.”), the idea of holiday conversational landmines is all too common for many families.

This can be especially true when multiple generations come together. Once you’ve ruled out family history, politics and the romantic lives of the younger (and sometimes older) generation, that doesn’t leave much to talk about. Even an innocent comment about the weather could spark a global warming debate.

At Home Instead Senior Care serving the Detroit metro, Oakland County, Macomb County, Wayne County, and Southeast Oakland County, we have spent a lot of time talking to seniors and their families, so we’ve put together a list of some go-to topics that might make for a dinner table conversation that everyone can enjoy.

Entertainers of the Past and Present: From Jack Benny to Jack Black, every generation has their icons to make them laugh, fall in love or cut a rug.  Go around the table and have everyone talk about their favorite entertainers: they can be musicians, dancers, actors, comedians, you name it. After dinner, you can continue the conversation by sharing YouTube clips of the stars’ best moments.

Films, TV Shows and Books: Just like with entertainers, there are seminal stories that define every era. Talk about them long enough and you may find a central theme that resonates for everyone at the table.

Food: It’s already a star player at Thanksgiving, so why not give it some talk time. What are everyone’s favorite foods? What is the most memorable meal they’ve ever eaten? Does anyone have any food phobias?.

Unknown Fun Facts: Everyone has a secret. Go around the table and ask each person to disclose something light and not-too-personal about themselves that no one else knows (i.e. “I once had a mullet,” or   “I knew where the Christmas presents were hidden and peeked every year.”). If you’re up for it, you can make a guessing game out of this by having everyone write down their secrets and reading them off at random.

We wish you and your family a happy, safe and peaceful holiday season.

For more information about enriching the lives of seniors, please call Home Instead Senior Care serving the Detroit metro, Oakland County, Macomb County, Wayne County, and Southeast Oakland County at 248-203-2273, visit our website, or Like us on Facebook.


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