17 Thanksgiving Conversation Topics That Aren't About Politics

For families who just need one peaceful meal.
When your Thanksgiving table needs light and civil conversation, turn to some of these topics.
When your Thanksgiving table needs light and civil conversation, turn to some of these topics.

It’s a longtime American tradition to argue over the holiday table. This Thanksgiving, many Americans will show up at their relatives’ homes armed with pumpkin pie and political talking points.

But you may be like many people who feel they’ve already argued with their relatives about these issues ad nauseam ... at the last family reunion, on Facebook or even at weddings. And sometimes you need a tiny bit of self-care.

If you’d like to put aside the intensity for just one meal, we’ve compiled a list of conversation topics that aren’t about U.S. politics to help guide your Thanksgiving experience. Of course, if your racist relatives say something morally reprehensible, do call them out on it. Last year, Showing Up For Racial Justice created a great hotline to help guide people through these difficult moments and important conversations.

But if you’re just trying to keep the meal light and civil, consider these topics that steer discussion away from sensitive news stories and political debates. While we can’t guarantee these questions won’t lead to more heated territory, we hope they offer enough to explore on their own.


Where is your next vacation? What are you excited to do there? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

The Beatles

What’s your favorite Beatles album and song? Did you know this year marks the 50th anniversary of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”?

Thanksgiving Food

Which side dish is your favorite? Which pie do you prefer? How did you make this delicious casserole?

The Winter Olympics

Which events are you most excited to watch? Have you read anything about the next big Olympians to look out for?


Where did you get your sweater? Did I tell you about these cool necklaces I found? Are you planning to hit up any Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales?


Have you tried meditating? What do you do to unwind? Have you checked out that new plant-based restaurant in town?

The New Emojis

Which new emoji is your favorite? How annoying was that iOS update bug with the letter I? Do you think people overuse emojis?


How is your dog doing these days? Do you follow any cute animals on Instagram?

Home Decor

Where did you get this tablecloth? I love your gallery wall ― did you hang all of those yourself? How did you design it?


Have you read any good novels lately? What’s your book club reading these days?

Tom Hanks

What is your favorite Tom Hanks movie? (Because who doesn’t love Tom Hanks?)


Everyone hates traffic right? Where has it been particularly bad lately?


Has anyone taken up knitting? Are you still learning the saxophone? Did I tell you about my new bullet journal?

The British Royals

Do you think the Duchess of Cambridge is having a boy or girl? Any name predictions? Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married? Have you watched “The Crown”? Are you excited for the new season?


How do you like your coffee? What’s your coffee routine? How many cups do you drink each day?

Moon Drop Grapes

Have you seen these things? Why are they so strange?

Upcoming Holidays

What are your plans for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/New Year’s?