To spark some table talk, set out these place mats adorned with fun facts about your dinner companions. Marianne Ashby, of Bountiful, Utah, devised this idea for a family reunion. A few weeks beforehand, she e-mailed guests, asking them to reveal their favorite books and movies, high and low points of the past year, and other intriguing little facts.
On the computer, she styled the answers to her survey, minus the names, and grouped each set on its own mat. (Ours, shown above is made of two sheets of scrapbook paper mounted on legal-size paper.) Then she had the mats laminated at a copy shop.
At mealtime, they were "a fun conversation starter," says Marianne, "as everyone tried to identify who belonged to which answers." Afterward, guests took the mats home as souvenirs of a memorable gathering!