Thanksgiving gets a bad rap for its association with tense family conversations that sometimes escalate to full-fledged shouting matches. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Gathering immediate and extended family together for a special meal offers a great opportunity for meaningful conversation and the chance to learn more about your own history.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 35 questions to promote thoughtful discussions and help you learn more about your family on Thanksgiving. Some of these may be geared more toward parents and grandparents while others may work better for siblings and cousins. And of course, there’s always the universal, “What are you most thankful for?”
How did you first meet your significant other?
What did you do for Thanksgiving when you were a kid?
What’s your favorite place you’ve visited?
How was your name chosen?
What’s your favorite way to give back and help others?
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Do you remember your first kiss?
What’s the hardest part about being a parent?
What’s your favorite thing about being a parent?
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
What would you do if you won the lottery?
When did you know you’d found “the one”?
How did you choose your children’s names?
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Do you think it’s easier or harder to be a parent now than when you were raising children?
What were you like in high school?
What’s your earliest memory?
What does your ideal Saturday look like?
What’s your biggest hope for your children?
What do you wish you spent less time doing?
Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
What fictional place would you most want to visit?
What do you remember getting for Christmas when you were younger?
How would you like to see the world change in the next 10 years?
Did your political views change when you had children?
What subject do you wish you’d studied more in school?
What’s an event in U.S. history you’ll never forget living through?
What was your favorite band in high school?
What’s your favorite drink and why?
What do you remember most about your wedding day?
Would you rather time travel 100 years into the past or into the future?
Who did you look up to the most when you were a child and teen?
If you could have a different name, what would you pick?
What’s your favorite place you’ve lived?
What’s your favorite family tradition?
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.