The Worst and Best Conversation Starters For Your Christmas Dinner
Issue 8, Volume 113
By Aahan Shah
After much waiting, the holiday season has befallen us! For many, this means gathering for a holiday meal with their family—including extended family. Your grandparents or other relatives may not have seen you in a while and might have different ideas about what to talk about at the dining table. To make sure that your little cousin doesn’t start doing Fortnite dances or that your Aunt doesn’t ramble about the amazing societal advancement made by the air fryer, I’m offering topics to make sure that your conversations aren’t boring at all! But first, here are some to avoid at all costs.
There’s always one person who thinks that talking about politics will spice things up and contribute to the festive mood. Unless their family is full of think tank employees from Washington, that person is capital “W” WRONG!
Your uncle: “Hey, that Mitch McConnell is one ball-buster, isn’t he!”
Uncle Joe really just thought “Politics!” and didn’t try to ask for permission to speak about it.
Mom: “Okay Joe, that's enough politics for today, and please do not say ‘ball-buster’ around the kids! Can you start taking care of my niece and nephew instead of not buying them gifts for the fifth year in a row?!
Uncle Joe: “Okay, Okay. It’s just that ranting is the only thing that makes me forget having to unwrap the ninth new scarf from Mom tomorrow morning. Who said that Nerf guns were for kids only? Also, I’m indebted to every sports betting software out there because I bet that Germany would win the World Cup! Maybe, my high school janitor has a plan. Apparently, he died a millionaire!”
Grandparents: “Timmy, how many girlfriends do you have, sweetie pie?”
Timmy: “Grandma, Grandpa! I don’t have any, okay? Just leave me alone! All I want to do is play Call of Duty with my boy Jerome. I don’t need no females when I get my perfect loadout!”
Grandpa: “Oh, we’re just playing with you, son, but back when your father was a child he had quite the lineup. He’d pick and choose every day, just like you choose your characters in that video game of yours, am I right?
Grandma: “Oh, Arnold! He’s just a kid, let him be!”
Timmy: “You know, I’m not going to try with the ladies at this point. The only thing I have time for is my PlayStation!”
Grandparents: “Oh, Timmy; you know, back in my day…”
Timmy: “Yeah, I know, I know—kids played outside until the sun came down and your parents called you guys home, blah blah blah. Well, there’s something named the metaverse, if you can climb out of that rock! Now you can make fake friends that don’t even know your name and you can be in a virtual playground with them!”
Please do not start any of the conversations above because you DO NOT want to kill the vibe of the holiday meal.
And now, onto the part that you have been waiting for: the suggestions!
TV Shows and Movies
It is a fact of life that any conversation about your favorite shows leads to an awesome discussion about whether you agree or disagree with your family’s preferences. A normally quiet person will rise up and give the greatest speech that mankind has ever heard as to why The Rings of Power is just mid.
If your discussion leads to sitcoms, two sets of people will take center stage. The Humor people will act out one of the scenes until everyone’s dying laughing, milk that they drank for breakfast snorting out of their noses, and everyone will compliment the actor/actress: “Oh my goodness, what a surprise; I didn’t know we had a little comedian in the making!”
Or what about the Godfather? Now that’s a great one; it’ll turn a guy into an actor. “Leave the cake, take the cannoli!” Or, your dad goes, “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse. You better let me have the last piece of chocolate cake or you won’t be eating for the rest of your life.”
The only exception is when the Arts and Entertainment people try to put on an Opera performance. An A&E writer will try their best to fake-cry while everyone secretly looks up the best holiday deals on their phones. I mean, no one wants Mamma Mia!
Now would be a great time to introduce the slang of our generation to your parents and grandparents. You’ll get more questions from your grandparents than you did from your English teacher after using GPT Chat to write a paper on the history of the oppression of peanuts by the sunflower seed industry. It’s not plagiarism if it isn’t written by a human, right? By the way, sunbutter absolutely sucks, but one must respect the sunflower’s grind. It gets so many bees.
I think it’s good college interview prep. The same situation between you and your elders and you and the interviewer is the same: You both have a long and fruitful conversation on how American rock music was affected by the arrival of the Beatles, Queen, and Green Day. It makes you sound really cool and your Harvard interviewer might forget about how you weren’t able to solve world hunger by junior year.
For example, if your grandmother asks you, “Hey, why do those young ruffians always say ‘no cap’? I didn’t get the memo. Can you please tell me what I keep seeing in your tic-tac videos and why the teenagers are always saying ‘no cap no kizzy yo’? I would love for you to enlighten me, honey bunch!”
You: “Dawg, you’re speaking facts on God for real no cap no kizzy you feel me! But you never wanna exhaust your Gen Z dictionary or you might go back to having to play Pictionary and saying the word ‘rosemary’ every time you talk about one of your friends, you know what I’m saying?”
Your cousins: “Dude… Bars.”
You: “So, Grandma and Grandpa, no cap is when you are not lying and I know that my dad is lying whenever he talks about his college days saying that he was top of the class! You know why? Because he never said ‘no cap’! What’s even worse is that he’s always wearing a cap!”
New Year’s Resolutions
This is a must-do! You need to share your resolutions with people you love and trust so that they will hold you to your word. If you want to exercise more, shout it out! If you want to get better grades, let the whole world know! If you want to stop picking your nose during office hours because your teacher said that that’s why you have a negative participation grade in class… actually, that’s disgusting. Keep that to yourself, please.
That concludes our Holiday Conversations 101. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New-Year’s-Resolutions-Failure, and Happy Nervous-Presents-Unwrapping!