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A Safe Conversation Starter for the Thanksgiving Dinner Table

photo by Greg Carley

Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday, mainly because it’s a recognized day for family and friends to come together and spend time catching up and being with one another, but it hasn’t become commercialized the way that the others have. And since it’s so close to Christmas and Halloween, I’m hoping it’ll stay safe.

One thing that isn’t always safe when it comes to Thanksgiving, though, is peaceable conversation around the dinner table. Hot topics you can look forward to this year — Israel/Palestine, pot legalization, gay marriage, and global warming (and Hurricane Sandy). Yikes!

We wanted to give you something safe to talk about with your distant relatives, then, and it deals with saving money.

This is actually one of the simplest money-saving tricks you can do in your house, and I’ve wanted to write about it for a while. It takes 30 seconds, you only have to do it once, and it can save you lots of money every year. All you have to do is this: The next time you take a shower, notice whether you have the hot water turned on all the way, with no cold water.

If that describes your shower: congratulations! You don’t have to do anything.

But if you have cold water mixed in with your hot water when you shower, you’re probably overheating the water in your house’s water heater, and you should turn the water heater down a few degrees. Think about it: Your shower is probably the thing in your house that uses the hottest water. Heating the water heater beyond the temperature you need is just wasting electricity / propane / gas.

So, as you sit down for your meal and sense that a cousin on one side of the family and an uncle on the other are about to start an intense conversation about something you’d really rather not get into at the dinner table, bring this up and steer the conversation towards saving money.

And once they start talking about it, you can get seconds on the pie.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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