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Thanksgiving is like food heaven. Yum. But preparing for Thanksgiving can feel more like Dante’s Inferno. Especially when you forget the marshmallows for your world famous yam casserole and trek back to the grocery store for the fifth time in a week.
We’ve all been there.
Life is full of chaotic moments, especially around the holidays. But the great thing about this time of year is that you have family around to make it all worth it. (And the food. The food makes it worth it too!)
Small talk is a great way to make big memories.
So grab your daughter and take her to the store with you. Use the car time to chat about her favorite family tradition. While you’re cooking, ask your spouse to talk about his or her biggest life accomplishment. And at the Thanksgiving table, turn off the iPads and smartphones and encourage friends to share their most embarrassing childhood nicknames.
Make it fun! The right questions make all the difference. Be intentional with how you steer your conversations this season and discover new reasons to be thankful for the people you love.
Here are 15 topics to get you started:
1. Who were you named after? Share a little bit about that person.
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2. What’s the most profound lesson someone taught you?
3. What’s your favorite U.S. town or city and why?
4. If someone gave you a free plane ticket to anywhere, where would you go and why?
5. What’s your favorite quote? What does it mean to you?
6. What’s a family tradition you look forward to every year?
7. If someone gave you a $1,000 gift card, what store would it be for and what would you buy?
8. What’s the first book/movie you ever remember reading/seeing?
9. Embarrass a family member with a funny story from their childhood (like goofy nicknames).
10. What life accomplishment are you most proud of?
11. What’s the most unfortunate thing you ever spent money on?
12. What do you most admire about each person at the table?
13. If you could drive any car you wanted, what would it be and why?
14. What’s the worst job you ever had? Why?
15. If you could invent a new superhero, what would he or she be called? What would his or her superpowers be?
The best part of this exercise is you’ll probably get on a roll and start making up fun questions of your own! And you’ll leave your gathering knowing new things about old friends. How cool is that?
Challenge your family to be open, honest and playful. Because small talk is a great way to make big memories.
Focus on being grateful for the people around you and ignore the social media pressure to be perfect. Check out Rachel Cruze’s new book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs, about quitting the comparisons and living the life you want.