Thanksgiving Conversation or Let the Games Begin

Thanksgiving conversation: That delicate annual dance between cheerful fodder and high blood pressure. There are rules to be embraced at times like these–lest you and your (insert your scandalous statement here) be the topic of conversation at the next family prayer meeting. So here are a few ideas on avoiding missteps during this annual foray into family front.

Topics to Avoid:

While it will be painfully obvious as guests eat their meal in peace and quiet that you have not blessed your parents with grandchildren yet, I would suggest that this is not the right moment to bring up that you also vote democrat.

No one cares about Scandal as much as you do. No one. And no, I don’t want to binge watch it so we can talk about it. No. Really.

Aunt Ivy may not have invited Clara Sue to that reunion, but who knew her address changed after the divorce? (Everyone but Aunt Ivy apparently.) All families have tiffs. If you are neither Aunt Ivy or Clara Sue, this issue is not yours. Sit there quietly and daydream about the Nora Ephron movie of your choice. (For me, it’s always the street fair scene in You’ve Got Mail when Rockin’ Robin is playing and Tom Hanks is in the turkey.)

Topics to Embrace:

Projects that involve just enough skill to be impressive to Uncle Bill. For example: An outdoor project involving a drill or shovel. Warning: Avoid projects involving saws as these stories always lead to unappetizing anecdotes.

Topics that entice a humble brag from your guests. People love to talk about themselves, y’all. Know your guests before they arrive, and encourage them to talk about something fab they’ve done lately.

Taylor Swift. She’s everywhere right now and your niece, grandmother, and even your brother Steve (after reading this Esquire article) can now openly admit they love her.

Your vinyl collection. Universal truth: 99% of people like music of one sort or another. People over the age of 49 have memories of spinning vinyl as they discovered rock-n-roll and made out in their parent’s living room. Those under the age of 49 relish the hunt for their favorite old records in pristine condition. Bonus: Every family has an audiophile at the table who will be more than happy to share the science of why records are superior to whatever you just downloaded from iTunes.

The Playlist

Finally, when in doubt, sit back and enjoy that you get time with this crazy special group of family and friends. Perhaps sit back and enjoy it quietly while listening to whatever music is playing in the background. Here is our Thanksgiving playlist…

Mind Your P’s & Q’s: Cellphone Etiquette

Aunt Bee: Opie texting at the table?! Never!

Kids, with the holidays approaching, there is no excuse for cellular discourtesy at the Thanksgiving table or in front of the tree. So here are a few definite rules to follow this holiday season to ensure there’s nothing distracting you from being the belle of the ball!


~ Rest your cell-phone on the table or bar. Unless you’re a mother, this can be very insulting to your dinner/drink companions.

~ Play on your cell-phone in the elevator. You never know when you may get the opportunity to chat with the CEO about that amazing stitching on his pocket square. (True story.)

~  Answer your cell or text during meetings. This sends the signal that you are not engaged in the action… unacceptable!


Feel out the situation. Are you with a group of people that regularly tweet and/or are also addicted to instagramming every meal? Then, you’re probably safe to do the same a few times. This summer, we met up with a group of twitter buddies for drinks at the Carlyle and though the conversation was lively, I must confess we were all tweeting away. However, if you’re with your grandmother, your parents, your co-workers, your boss… just say no!