6 Asheville-themed table topics for the holiday season

Sick of rotating through conversations about politics, religion, and your relationship status? Introduce these niche and fascinating topics at your next holiday meal.


Photo by @ashevillepictures

Photo by @ashevillepictures

Table of Contents

Dreading the debates and cringe questions that tend to take over holiday meals? Consider employing one of these six table topicsthey may just lead to your favorite conversation yet.

Milk as the official NC state drink: yes or no?

First of all, is it pronounced milk or malk? And does it deserve to be NC’s official state beverage? Milk has held this title since 1987 — but it’s also the official drink of 21 other states, which has us wondering if it actually deserves the recognition. If everyone is in agreement that milk is not it — debate what state beverage truly deserves the honor. Our suggestions: Cheerwine, Cold Mountain, or the Cherry Bounce.

The status of Asheville’s quartz deposit

Many locals believe that since Asheville is built near a massive quartz crystal deposit, there’s a protective “vortex” of spiritual and electromagnetic energy that promotes healing, peace, and tranquility. Is the theory real? Or in the words of Reddit user edech, did it come from “some hippie hopped up on the earth fare hot bar back in the early 2000s?” Discuss with the group.

Shining rock quartz

A large swath of quartz in Shining Rock Wilderness.

Discuss the Merrimon Avenue road diet

Okay, this one may actually cause people to toss a little gravy. In late October, NCDOT completed a section of the Merrimon Avenue road diet. And the public response has been, er, similiar to someone who has just lost access to all carbs and sugar. (John Boyle sums up the sentiment quite well). See how everyone’s feeling about the changes to this major roadway — we bet folks will be able to talk at length.

WAX: scary or amazing?

Back in June, we dug into the origin story of the local Facebook group WAX - West Asheville Exchange. Many consider it “the front porch of Asheville” — a place where snark, strange theories, heartfelt anecdotes, and wry commentary about everything from Asheville’s sinkhole problem to the housing market come out to play. Ask your guests if they’ve heard of the page before, how they feel about it — or if they have something similar in their home town.

Start a “pickleball vs. tennis” debate

Are you team tennis or pickleball? Over the last few years, as pickleball popularity has increased by 39.3%, there’s been much debate about how to fairly divide public courts. In Asheville, the latest solution has been to institute a shared use schedule for each sport — but nationwide, the tension remains. Curious where readers stand on the issue? We polled you last week, and apparently, 64% of y’all are Team Pickleball, 28% Team Tennis, with 8% voting “Other.” Ask your guests what they’d rather play — maybe it’ll lead to you duking it out on the court.

If you could visit just one of Asheville’s Sister Cities — which would it be?

Did you know our city has seven international pals, which span from Karpenisi, Greece to Osogbo, Nigeria? Check out the full list here and debate which place you most want to visit. When we polled y’all back in October, 40% of you voted Dunkeld & Birnam, Scotland, followed by 30% for Saumur, France.

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