Thanksgiving is more than a feast of delicious food and obligatory time with family–it’s an opportunity to connect through meaningful conversation, a chance to be generous and demonstrate God’s love, and a time to refocus on what’s important before the Christmas holiday is underway.

This Thanksgiving, we want to encourage you to make time for meaningful conversation with your families despite the divisive topics we can all fall prey to. Read on for conversation starters, ideas, things to remember, and resources to make this Thanksgiving one of your best yet!


CONVERSATION STARTERS

Here are a few things to chat about while you pass the stuffing and ideas to keep the conversation going:

  • What are you grateful for? Why?
  • What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
  • What’s your least favorite Thanksgiving dish?
  • What’s one you’d like to make, but haven’t tried yet?
  • Have you ever had a recipe fail?
  • What’s your funniest Thanksgiving memory?
  • What’s on your bucket list for next year?
  • What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received?
  • What’s your signature dish?
  • What’s your passion?
  • What was your greatest challenge this year?
  • What’s one thing you hope to achieve next year?
  • What are you reading and watching right now?
  • What’s a hobby you’ve always wanted to try?

IDEAS TO KEEP CONVERSATION GOING

  • Make a blessings jar together. Give each guest a couple of slips of paper and a pen, and as everyone is settling in and enjoying their meal, have them write down a couple of things they’re grateful for. When they’ve written down their blessings, have them put the paper in a jar on the table. When everyone is finished, take turns picking a blessing to read and discuss together.
  • Learn more about each person at the table! Use a paper placemat and leave a pen at each place setting, and put a guest’s name on it. Have someone who isn’t that person sit at the place setting and write down memories, attributes, and experiences shared with that person. When everyone has finished eating, share the placemat with the person and relive some of those memories together!

REMEMBER THESE THINGS

As you are celebrating the season of Thanksgiving, always remember to:

  1. Let insults and off-color remarks slide. The holidays can be very stressful and emotional, and sometimes people say hurtful or insensitive things. Remember to respond to these situations with extra grace, no matter how difficult it may be to do that.

    “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for o this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).

  2. Enjoy the imperfections rather than seeking perfection. Did you burn the pie crust? Chip heirloom china? Forget to make your grandmother’s favorite cookies? We’re all human, and the holidays certainly don’t make us perfect when we otherwise aren’t. Embrace the hiccups that accompany holiday meals and celebrations, and you’ll be left with happy memories instead of worry.

    “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).

  3. Pray. We’re called to pray without ceasing for good reason–it’s a great way to continue to be connected with God during some trying times and a wonderful way to relay your gratitude.

    “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).


  4. RESOURCES

    Take a look at this blog on Thanksgiving conversation topics and this one on how to navigate the political climate as a Christian.

    Looking for sermons related to Thanksgiving? Check out Grateful, a sermon series centered on helping you enjoy the special moments the holidays bring and being thankful for the blessings in our lives.

    Don’t forget to download the Crossings app to listen to messages, worship music, share prayer requests, and more all from your phone or tablet wherever you go this Thanksgiving. Follow us on social media for event and class updates and meaningful content!