by Derek Gillette
One of the more common American cliché’s is the idea of dreading to spend time with our extended families on holidays such as Thanksgiving.
I think this negative notion comes from the prevalence of awkward moments that arise. Whether it’s an aunt bringing terrible Jell-O salad again and commenting that you didn’t eat your helping, or the painful silence after your cousin’s new boyfriend accidently insults your uncle for the second time, holiday dinners just seem to have their uncomfortable moments.
One of the goals of High Low Glitter is to create opportunities for meaningful conversation to happen. When it comes to holiday dinners, the saavy HLG’er will rejoice at the simple fact that they have been blessed with a captive audience.
What we do with that captive audience is up to us. This Thanksgiving take charge, and decrease awkward moments by making dinner table conversation a bit easier.
Here’s to a more meaningful and memorable Thanksgiving meal!
- The Highs
Asking people to talk about their recent accomplishments is a great way to warm up the table. This is a chance to celebrate together and break out a few easy smiles and laughs. Don’t begin by cheering for yourself though. Instead, invite someone else to start and show genuine interest in their stories. Most of us cherish the chance to talk about our areas of passion, as long as we know we have an engaged audience.
Depending on the size of your group, you may want to limit the length to a few minutes apiece, to allow time for everyone to share.
- The Lows
There are areas in life that we’re struggling with. We may label these frustrations, mistakes, addictions, distractions, or just things that make us sad. Take your family conversation sincerity to the next level by volunteering to share your ‘low’ with the group. In our experience, once one person is willing to be vulnerable, it makes it much easier for others to let down their guard and join in.
Start the conversation off with questions such as:
- What areas of your life are frustrating right now?
- What’s the biggest obstacle you’re overcoming in your life right now?
- What have you taken on a risk on this past year that didn’t quite pay off?
The key here is that vulnerability leads to amazingly meaningful conversations, but only when everyone at the table feels safe enough to share. Make sure to create an environment that is safe and respectful.
- The Gratitude
Routine HLG’ers will recognize right away that we typically use the ‘G’ to represent ‘glitter.’ But we’re switching it up for Thanksgiving. Instead of glitter, use this opportunity to end your family dinner on a note of gratitude.
Review the levels below and pick the one that best suits your group:
The Standard: “What things are you thankful for this year?”
The Advanced: “What amazing and possibly unexpected things are you really, truly thankful for this year? And you can’t say your job or your spouse.”
The Gratitude Master: Pick a single person to go first (start with grandma!), and have everyone go around the table one by one and say something they really appreciate and admire about this individual. Then, move on to the next person, until everyone has had his or her moment in the gratitude spotlight.
Whatever your technique, we hope you take the opportunity this holiday season to share more than delicious food. Make memories with meaningful conversation.
Derek Gillette is a husband and father of five children, including two step-sons. He and his wife share a life mission to create meaningful conversations through vulnerability. This pursuit led them to find and support the High Low Glitter mission. Professionally, he is the Communications Manager for eChurchGiving and Pushpay.