Keep the dinner convo merry and bright (and save those sharpened knives for slicing the turkey!) with these completely uncontroversial conversation starters.

By Sharon Boone
December 12, 2017
Tom Stewart/Getty Images

Raise your hand if you have relatives who are very passionate and opinionated about current events. Keep it raised if you’re worried that your festive holiday meal will turn into a full-blown shouting match about everything from Al Franken to whatever the President’s tweeting about today. This holiday season, avoid hot-button topics from the news and leave the fighting to Facebook. Try these alternative conversation starters to help foster a little détente at the dinner table.

1. What was your favorite holiday gift growing up? Do you still have it? How much would you pay on eBay to replace it?

2. If your pet could magically gain the power of speech for a day, what would you like to ask him? And what do you think he would want to tell you?

3. If Hollywood made a movie about our family, what would it be titled, and which actors should be cast to play all the relatives?

4. What did you want to be when you were growing up, and how would your life be different now if you stuck to that plan?

5. What do you think the next great advance in technology will be? How will it change our lives?

6. When was the first time you ever saw your partner, and what was your first impression or him or her? Were you right? Where did you go on your first date?

7. If you had to live in any other country, where would you choose and why?

8. Which celebrity do you think would fit in most around our family table? What would you ask them if he or she were here?

9. If you could bring either Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman to life, which would you choose and why?

10. If you could create your own flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, your ideal Starbucks drink, or a new flavor Oreo, what would it be?