Here at MossyBrain, we love Thanksgiving. This holiday gives you ample opportunity for creativity and fun. However, with all the festivities come inevitable family get-togethers, and we readily admit those can have potential to breed tension and difficult conversations. Gathering a wide range of personalities, ages, backgrounds, and politics into one room is bound to set the proverbial table for possible conflict.

Have no fear! You’ve come to the right place… We’re going to help you avoid that tension with some festive and hopefully conflict-free Thanksgiving ideas:

Stick to tame and non-controversial conversation topics

Some safe conversations topics are: the weather, sports, how many hours of vigorous gardening it would take to burn off all the calories you are consuming, travel, the state of your elderly relatives’ health(they could go on and on about this), entertainment, and food(Ben would specify sandwiches for optimal conversation.) Tell jokes! Obviously, keep away from the political or offensive ones… Here’s a little example of a Thanksgiving-themed joke: What kind of music did the Pilgrims like? Plymouth Rock! You’re welcome for that.

Get out the Pictionary and Charades

Games are always a sure bet to keep things fun and conversation light. Spice these games up with creative categories such as:

  • Activities You Do with Gloves On
  • The Muppets
  • Blueberries
  • The Enneagram
  • Musical Genres of the Eastern Caribbean

There are so many to choose from; the sky’s the limit! Just try to avoid the super competitive and intense games like Risk, Monopoly, and flag football. You get the idea- the goal is for everyone to have fun and walk away intact.

Show Interest in Others

Some of you may only see a lot of your relatives once or twice a year; that creates a great opportunity to catch up and learn something new about them! People light up and come alive when discussing something they’re passionate about. Your curiosity about what lights them up can lead to some of the best conversations of the day. Ask insightful questions like, “If you had unlimited resources, what activity would you engage in?” You will make a lasting connection; kindness is magic!


Sometimes just reminding others of shared experiences can lighten the mood and encourage bonding. Tell funny stories from your youth, ask for clarity from older family members about the past, and reminisce together about years gone by. Don’t look for offense. Make sure you can laugh at yourself when embarrassing or incriminating stories surface.


If all the above suggestions fail, and someone insists on being confrontational or controversial, shove your face into a pie. Any pie will do, but the cream pies are the most satisfying to smash in a face. Pumpkin would be disappointing. This tactic is a last resort, but is sure to steer the conversation away from politics or religion or why Ted doesn’t have a job. The new conversation topics might be hushed questions about your mental health, but hey! No arguments, right?

These ideas should just get you started. Think outside the box and let your creative flag fly this Thanksgiving. With these activities and your creative brains working, this is sure to be a fun and peaceful holiday with your family.  Let us know in the comments how you plan to let creativity shape your Thanksgiving festivities!

Jessica Beresh is a blogger and co-founder of MossyBrain. Along with her husband Ben, their 4 kids and their sweet puppy Charlie she resides in Broken Arrow OK. She is a 9 on the Enneagram, loves rainy days and drinking Chai in any form.

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