Kennedy at Seminary

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How to keep Turkey Day from being lame

I'm back home in Arlington for Thanksgiving break. I had a wonderful visit with the Beckmans in Nebraska. Lincoln is a pretty cool town. I had fun hanging out with AJ in Arkansas. Now I'm chillin' at home. Working on Bible class for this Sunday, filling out never-ending seminary paperwork, catching up on e-mails, seeing family and friends, stuff like that.

Here's a helpful and well-written article from today's Star-Telegram:

Give 'em something to talk about over turkey
Don't get stuck discussing Uncle Ed's hernia this Thanksgiving. Take our handy menu of conversation starters to the dinner table, and you'll never be bored again.
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

You're dreading Thanksgiving dinner, aren't you? It's not the cooking or the shopping or the dishwashing. It's all those hours of awkward, agonizing, maybe even angry conversation.
No wonder you start developing a nervous eye twitch every November. For many, Thanksgiving means a house full of extended family -- the crotchety great-uncle who spews hateful remarks, the new fiancee who laughs like a horse, the 15-year-old who's going through a difficult phase -- all forced to have one meal, one conversation and one very good time together, even if it kills them. Sometimes it feels like it just might.
Conversation can be excruciating. The desperate "How's school, kiddo?" The passive-aggressive "Oh, I wish you had told me you were bringing salad." (Followed by "No, it's fine, I'll just put mine away.")
And, perhaps worst of all, those painfully silent moments of thoughtful chewing, every second of silence getting more and more tense as everyone at the table avoids eye contact, racking their brains for something to say -- anything, anything! -- that's somehow both interesting and inoffensive.
But wait. Don't give in to the dread! Do not let your eye start twitching this year -- because we are here to help.
Follow our guide for breaking the ice and you might just survive the meal. We've come up with a dozen questions to help get you started. Clip and save.

In the movie of our family, who would play you and why?
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would it be and why?
If our house was burning down, what would you try to rescue?
Tell us about a memory that still makes you laugh.
Is there someone who changed your life, though you didn't realize it at the time?
What's the biggest disappointment -- the job you didn't get, the relationship that didn't work -- that turned out to be a blessing?
Have you ever thought about what life might have been like if we'd lived in another place?
Tell us about the best holiday you can remember.
Is there someone who you wish could be here today?
If you could stay a certain age, what would it be?
Where is your favorite place to hang out at home? What makes it so comfortable and cozy?
Do you have a favorite quotation? Where did you first hear it? And why is it your favorite?
Thanksgiving is an occasion to celebrate change and growth. How have you changed this past year?
If you could invite any famous family, from any time in history, to join your family for Thanksgiving dinner, what family would you invite and why?
The first American settlers had to create ways of sustaining a living in their new society. Tell us about your first job.
How many generations has your family lived in America and what has their experience been like?
Can you remember someone thanking you for something that you didn't realize was special or extraordinary?
What is your earliest Christmas memory?
What is the best thing that has happened to you since last Christmas?


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