“So, the weather today is nice…” How often have we made awkward conversation with the person next to us at Christmas lunch? For all the excitement around the festive season, one of the most anxiety-provoking parts is making small talk at festive functions. Whether you’re seated next to a stranger or a family member you don’t quite connect with, here are a few light conversation starters to have tucked up your sleeve for Christmas Day.
“Do you have plans for the holidays?”
Whether they hold a neighbourhood barbecue, attend a church service or take the kids on vacation, most people have traditions over the holiday period. Ask the person about their plans and then share yours.
“Have you seen any interesting movies lately?”
Movie buffs could go on for hours about their favourite films, and this is only helped by the onslaught of new feature films that hit theatres over the holidays. If they’re not into movies, ask about their taste in books, TV or music and take recommendations.
“How are the kids going?”
Lots of parents and grandparents will happily talk about their children, especially when asked by another parent. Ask for their names, and inquire about their favourite subjects at school, sports they play, and what they’re interested in. This breaks the ice and you may often find you have common ground.
“Tell me about what you do.”
This generic question gives people space to answer without feeling judged or awkward. Some people may tell you all about their career and work, others may speak about study or a hobby, and some will tell you all about their home life. This is a great prompt to figure out what someone is passionate about.
Change the topic
Are you looking to keep the peace on Christmas Day? Sometimes it’s best to avoid awkward topics that leave everyone counting down the minutes until they can leave. Here are a few that you best approach tentatively or avoid all together: marital or relationship status, politics, family gossip, and core differences in values.