Tuesday, 21 May 2013 16:07

Talking Over Your Turkey

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Family Thanksgiving holiday tradition happy family storytelling 

With friends and family gathered around the Thanksgiving table this year, what will the conversations include? If your family is anything like mine, conversations can vary from the mundane, to the outrageous! When a large group of people get together, it can be hard to keep conversation away from topics that are sure to bring debate to the gathering. Let’s face it, unless everyone in your family agrees 100% on politics, religion and which movie was the best of the year, chances are that you are in for a less than “Norman Rockwell” experience.





We all have pictures in our heads of what the “perfect” holiday has to look like. We slave for days over the menu, the decorations, the place settings, etc., and we all want to achieve the “perfect” holiday meal. Unfortunately, sometimes things go awry. Timing can be off on the turkey, and you have another hour to fill, or perhaps someone forgot to bring rolls, so you have to hurry and send someone to the store to find some. With too much time on our hands, things can get out of hand… or at least out of our hands.

Here are some ideas to keep conversation flowing around your table:

Use our Chat Cards as name/place settings. Each card will have a question on the back that is bound to get the stories rolling as each take their turn answering their question.

Or, place your chat cards in a small dish in the center of the table, those that want to share can draw out a card and take turns answering different questions.

Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving holiday tradition happy family storytellingHave everyone answer the same question. Go around the table (or room) and let each person respond to a question like, “What is something that turned out better this year, than you expected?” (Make sure it’s a good question that elicits positive conversation.)

Use our Fall Story Starter and cut the questions into strips. Tuck a question strip into the napkin ring at each place setting and let each person take a turn sharing their memories. 

Pay tribute. Honor the oldest member of the family (or someone else who could use the encouragement) by having each person go around the table and share memories. Start the conversation with questions like, “Tell about a time that made you laugh,” “What is a lesson you have learned from ___________,” or “Describe something you think __________ is good at.”

Place a bowl of candy corn on the table and encourage everyone to take as many or as few pieces as they would like. Tell them to hold on to the candy for a minute and not to eat it right away. Then go around the table, and for each piece of candy a “thankful” memory must be shared.

These are just a few ideas. Using even one of them will have your family talking over the turkey long after the second helpings are gone.






Eggnog Pumpkin Pie

Recipe originally published in Taste of Home magazine

Submitted by: Terri Gonzalez



1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

1 1/4 cups eggnog

2/3 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)


In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggnog, sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour into pastry shell.

Bake at 375 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate until serving.

Yield: 6-8 servings.


Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested with commercially prepared eggnog.

Last modified on Thursday, 12 December 2013 12:31
Carol Rice

I grew up in a home rich with family heritage. My mom loved genealogy and knew how to breathe life into dusty documents and color to faded black and white photos - my mom told me stories.

As a grown woman with five children of my own, I've tried to do the same. For years I did it through scrapbooking. But it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't my artistic skills my children really cared about. They never stopped on a page and said, "Mom, you matched that paper to my shirt - perfectly!" Nope. What they did say as they leaned across my lap, pointing at photos is, "Tell me the story!" "Tell me mom about the day I was born... Tell me mom about the day I cried when everyone sang me happy birthday... Tell me mom about my grandma and her garden..."

Don't worry if you haven't done it forever, just start today. The consistency and cumulative effect of one good question - just sharing one story a day, adds up.

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