The holidays bring family members together who might only see each other once or twice a year. It’s an occasion to catch up on the year’s events and share stories of triumphs, setbacks, joys, and struggles. Holiday conversation is often focused on the recent past—the months since everyone last saw each other. But some family members have a much longer past to share, a past that often gets overshadowed by more recent events.
Seniors love sharing stories about experiences that took place long before younger family members were even born. All they need is a willing ear. Use this holiday season as an opportunity to learn something new about your loved ones by asking about their memories and listening to their wisdom.
Sometimes it can be hard to know where or how to start the conversation, but once you get a senior going, you might find they could talk all night! Here are some holiday-themed senior conversation starters that will help you open the dialogue as you gather around the table this holiday season.
Senior Conversation Starters for the Holidays:
- How did your family celebrate Thanksgiving growing up? What was your favorite dish?
- Who attended your Thanksgiving dinners? Did the whole extended family visit?
- What were you most thankful for growing up? What are you most thankful for now?
- Did you believe in Santa as a kid? When did you stop, and why?
- What is your favorite holiday memory?
- How did you celebrate Christmas in your family? Who hosted Christmas gatherings?
- What is one thing you really wanted for Christmas as a kid but never got? What was your favorite gift you ever received?
- What gift brought you the most joy to give someone?
- What was your favorite thing about the holidays as a kid? What is your favorite thing as a grandparent?
- Which of your family’s holiday traditions have you passed down to your own children?
Our holiday traditions are deeply entwined with our family history and our personal identity. Learning how your elderly loved ones celebrated the holidays will teach you a lot about their childhood and family life that you may not have known before. Use this holiday season as an opportunity to get to know your loved ones better by learning more about the history behind your family’s most beloved holiday traditions.