The Holidays are coming.
According to the retail stores, they've been around since October.
Whether you love or dread the Holidays, the time in the kitchen, around the dinner table, and commercial breaks in the football games leave plenty of time for conversation.
If I polled a lot of people (I didn't, but I can take a good guess here) I would assume, that the biggest stresser of the holidays is the conversation.
"What will we talk about?
What will be said?
Are they going to comment again on how I look?
Can we stop talking about my relationship or parent status?
Am I prepared for Uncle (_____) to say (fill in the blank)?
I'll just go, eat and leave"
Family can be enjoyable, and family can also be tough. Even though we are cut from the same cloth, we are all sewn different.
Whether you resonate with all the things I said above, and you've already found yourself taking some deep breaths just thinking about it, or you're getting excited looking forward to the nostalgia and the time with your people, let me encourage you to be intentional this holiday season.
That being said, I want to give you some conversation starters, or questions to help you feel more prepared to be intentional and guide the conversation this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
note that these questions are not surface level like "how are you?" Be prepared and hopeful for conversation. You may learn something new about yourself and a family member. Even if you won't be with family this holiday season, these are questions you can use with friends.
What is the most fun thing you've done recently?
What is the greatest thing that has happened to you since I've seen you last?
What is something tough you have had to walk through lately?
What is something you miss from Thanksgivings/Christmases past?
Do you have a favorite holiday tradition?
Can you tell me a funny story about one of your past holidays?
What is something you have been learning about yourself lately?
Have you read any good books recently?
You can even ask more specific questions like these:
What is something you are learning about God?
What is God teaching you?
What is your favorite scripture for Thanksgiving/Christmas?
Do you have a need you need to be met that I can pray over?
Choosing to ask these questions is a choice. Choosing to try and enjoy your family is a choice.
Let me encourage and challenge you, don't just show up and eat this Thanksgiving and Christmas.