Ideas for this Year’s Family Dinner Conversation

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Ideas for this Year’s Family Dinner Conversation

Will you be getting together with your family for Christmas dinner this year? I remember growing up celebrating with grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings and cousins. Plenty of noise, plenty of fun, and plenty of conversation.

I have an important suggestion for you this year for your dinner conversation. Ask them about their family history, and either record or write it down. It’s a fun discussion, these days more than ever. If you’re fortunate to have parents and grandparents along with the kids and grandkids, it can be very eye opening.

The young ones today won’t know what it was like without electronics. They won’t know much of what we grew up with, and they are likely to find it strange besides. It’s not like we were in covered wagons, but to be without television will jolt most of them.

Since Dad is gone and Mom has had Alzheimer’s for more than a decade, we can’t get any more answers. This really struck me when my daughter asked what sounds like a simple question. She asked if Mom and Dad listened to The War of the Worlds on the radio when it broadcast and if it scared them. Not of particular importance, I know, but that stayed with me, and I so wish I knew. Did they know it wasn’t real, or were they caught up in the story, believing it?

180664_maxThat sparked a ton of other questions I wish I had asked when I could. Some of it, you might have use for in the future, but most of it is just to see what life was like for you family.

It would be fun to hear what they remember of their parents and grandparents, to know what sort of work they did, were they in the military?

Did any of the women participate? Perhaps like Rosie the Riveter? From ice boxes to the first cars, there are topics that will interest you now. But it isn’t just for you.

It may be important to your children and theirs. It’s a wonderful way to share their ancestry and inspire curiosity for a very different way of life.

You can read my list of questions here, if you haven’t already thought of a dozen of your own. I bet the entire family will enjoy it.



Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

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  1. I wish I had read this before yesterday, when my family got together. It would have been really fun to record some of these discussions and memories. As my parents get older, I want to start collecting these kinds of things for the future.

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    • Thank you Monica, I think it is wonderful you are aware of it and interested in learning about them now! It should be entertaining to hear what stories they have for you.

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