Kissing it Better

How to start a conversation in December

December 2019

Whoever you are, one subject tends to dominate the conversation in December: what are you doing for the holidays? This could be a tricky topic for older people who won’t be home for Christmas or Hanukkah, but they will probably enjoy talking about happy festive memories.

Christmas Day Films

‘The Sound of Music’ or ‘The Wizard of Oz’? ‘White Christmas’ or ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’? ‘Elf’ or ‘Home Alone’? It’s always fun to discuss favourite holiday films. Why do you love that particular movie? When did you first see it? Who were you with?

Present Memories

Older people love to reminisce about the days when you were lucky to get a tangerine and a walnut in your stocking. What sort of other presents did they get when they were young? What about their children and their grandchildren – do youngsters get too much nowadays?

 Christmas Food

Turkey didn’t become a ‘traditional’ Christmas meal until the 1950s – until then, only very rich people could afford a turkey. What did people eat before the 50s? Did they drink wine at Christmas dinner? How long did they boil the sprouts for?


Remember to ask if anyone celebrates another December religious day or festival? Ask about those traditions – food, decorations, and how things have changed.

 Home-made Decorations

Blue Peter showed children how to make their own Christmas Crown more than 50 years ago, and it’s been an annual favourite ever since. What other decorations did people make?