A lot of us are preparing for Thursday. Whether it be limiting your food intake to ensure maximum Thanksgiving food consumption or steeling yourself for spending time with berating family members, this week is a stressful one. Some need to finish assignments or tests before they can make the several-hours-long journey home for the holiday.
Your Thanksgiving is probably shrouded in traditions, whether it be that dinner is at 2pm, always 2pm, or that pumpkin pie is served during the game. Maybe Black Friday shopping is a family affair, that takes hours of planning and meticulous preparation, like a secret operation. Perhaps that tradition is that Aunt Sue always asks you (mid-bite) why you aren't dating anyone. Or that your parents bring up how you're doing in classes, in front of the entire family, so you have to try to explain that while you were at the top of your class in high school, you're working on a 3.2 GPA and that sometimes on weekends you get 11 hours of sleep, but Thursday night you're lucky if you get three. Maybe your traditions are as much about the turkey day spread as they are about your family pestering you about your life.
If this is the case, you've probably devised plans to avoid these uncomfortable topics. However, if you haven't thought that far ahead (because let's be real, there is so much more to worry about), take a look at these talking points.
Whatever game is currently on is good to talk about, but all sports are an okay talking point. Generally, you and your family have the same favourite team, or, at the very least, you can bond over your least favourite teams.
2. A recent movie
Did you go to the midnight showing of Fantastic Beasts? Does your cousin love the new Star Wars as much as you do? Have a chat, spoiler free, of course!
3. Television series that multiple people watch
Just as good as a movie is a tv series. These have much more content, and therefore can be talked about for much longer.
4. A television series that you watch, and encourage them to see it also
If there aren't any movies or tv shows that you and your family have seen, talk about some of your favourites. Convincing people of good things to watch or read is a generally safe topic, and you have the added bonus of them being grateful if you've managed to choose something that they end up enjoying.
Alright, this one is a little dry, but still valid. Has it snowed for you yet? Do you want it to? Are you prepared for it? How was the drive across the state with that nasty northwestern wind? If you ask the right questions, this topic becomes more about concern for your family members' well being than direct avoidance of unsavoury topics like school and life goals.
Without bragging too much, this can be a great thing to talk about. People love learning about positive experiences like vacations. Even if it was less of a "vacation" and more of a weekend getaway, talk it up. Whether you were able to go abroad for a month, or simply visited Wisconsin for a few days, you had a good time, and people feed off of that positive energy.
If politics or global warming is a safe topic at your Thanksgiving table, throw those in as well. Just remember, the holidays are a time of celebration, and it is perfectly okay to tell your family members that you do not wish to discuss certain topics. Have a good, positive time this holiday weekend, and if you are going Black Friday shopping, be safe.