How to Talk About the News at Thanksgiving Dinner

A cheat sheet to recent hot topics.

— -- You never want to be the one at the table who has no idea what everyone else is talking about -- especially on holidays.

This Thanksgiving, you might be around people you only see a few times a year, so it's best to make a good impression.

Here's what's been trending in the news lately, and what you can use to fill any awkward moments of silence:

Kim Kardashian

Yeah, yeah, those photos were released weeks ago. But we bet your grandmother hasn't seen them. In fact, now might be the perfect time to explain to the older generation of your family exactly who Kim Kardashian is, and how she became famous.

For that, you're on your own.

Michael Brown and Ferguson

If your family pays any attention to the news, this is bound to come up.

Make sure you can contribute thoughtfully by knowing what has happened since a grand jury decided not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed teen he shot and killed this summer.

The news sparked riots and racial tension across the country, especially in Ferguson, Missouri, where protesters destroyed businesses and burned cop cars.

Midterm Elections

You're not supposed to talk about politics at the dinner table, but anything is better than answering your aunt's prying questions about what you're doing with that college degree and why you didn't end up going to grad school, right?

Here's what to know if someone puts you on the spot: The Republicans won control of the Senate, a major blow to President Barack Obama. The GOP also gained seats in the House of Representatives.

Apple Pay and New iPhones

If someone asks you to go on a beer run, casually mention you'll be using Apple Pay to settle the bill. You'll probably pique at least one cousin's interest, and then you can spend the drive to the store showing off your wealth of knowledge.

Fast facts: It launched in October. It only works on Apple's newest phones: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Hundreds of thousands of stores use Apple Pay, but several big chains don't, including Walmart, Best Buy and 7-Eleven.

If you don't have one of the new smartphones, casually mention that around your parents. Christmas is right around the corner.

The Weather

"Did you hear the Buffalo Bills had to shovel 220,000 tons of snow out of the stadium?"

"How about the guy who turned a snow door into a beer cooler?"

Both are true stories you're welcome to bring up whenever anyone starts to ask you why you're still single. Remember, the weather is always safe.