Avoiding Awkward Holiday Conversations

Loading up the dinner plate during the Thanksgiving holiday season.

Krista Shellenberger

Loading up the dinner plate during the Thanksgiving holiday season.

Ellie Crockett and Patrick Broemmel

Everyone loves the holidays, but not many like all of the people. No one wants to have a conversation with that one aunt that tries to set up a date for every single person. The food is always great but getting interrogated by your uncles and questioned by your grandmother makes you feel less like a guest and more like a felon. 

 How to avoid discussing a significant other: 

Discussing your new girlfriend can be unbearably embarrassing. You should try not to let the conversation go towards your social life and avoid telling or mentioning stories that involve your girl/boyfriend. Instead,

Gear the conversation toward their job, hobby, or children. ”

— Patrick Broemmel


Adults love to talk about what they do for a living, and it is a simple task to get them completely side tracked. Also, this is a great way to get to know them better. 

How to explain to grandma why you have never worn the sweater she bought you: 

So, grandma gave you the ugliest sweater you have ever seen. You stashed it at the bottom of your dresser drawer, grateful for the gesture but secretly hoping that it will disappear. When she asks why you do not wear the atrocity, simply explain that your school is much too warm to wear it. You should try to wear the sweater when she is around because it will give her validation and surely make her day.   

How to avoid talking about grades: 

The discussion of grades at Thanksgiving dinner is difficult to avoid and often traumatizing. For some reason, aunts love to ask about your grades in front of your cousins and it can be downright embarrassing. Instead of avoiding it, talk about your good grades and how well you’re doing in other classes and generalize the classes you’re not doing well in. You can explain that it is an IGSCE or AICE course. Try not to give any excuses as to why you are not doing well. Talk about your favorite classes and ask what their favorite subject in school was. This will surely engage them into a conversation that reflects well on you.