I know. I know. Never discuss politics or religion at the dinner table. But let’s face it, this year it will be really hard to hold back.
So, I have a solution. Here’s a suggested “code” that will let us pass the plates instead of throwing them.
Donald Trump = Ham
Hillary Clinton = Turkey
Trump’s policies = Sweet Potatoes
Hillary’s policies = Stuffing
The media = Gravy
Melania Trump = Cranberry Sauce
Bill Clinton = Green Beans
Election Night = Pumpkin Pie
So the conversation between a Republican husband and Democrat wife might go like this:
Donna Democrat: Could you pass the turkey and stuffing dear?
Randy Republican: Don’t you want any ham this year?
Donna: God no. It’s full of fat.
Randy: But the turkey stuffing is terrible this year.
Donna: I like the stuffing. It’s a tried and true recipe.
Randy: That’s just because you slather it with gravy to make it taste good.
Donna: Well it’s better than those sweet potatoes. They’re nothing but mush.
Randy: Would you like some cranberry sauce with your turkey?
Donna: No thank you. It’s that fake jelly kind from a can. How about some green beans honey?
Randy: I’ll skip them. They’re overcooked and we have them every year.
Donna: For some reason I don’t have much of an appetite. Maybe we should just skip to the pumpkin pie and be done with it.
Robby: Or order Chinese.
Donna: Sounds like a plan honey.
Ok maybe taking in code requires too much discipline. In which case you may have to employ other techniques to keep the peace. Here are ten tips I gathered from various psychologists and family therapists that may help keep Thanksgiving civil.
- Avoid personal attacks. Talk politics not personalities.
- Use humor to keep the mood lighter
- If you say grace before the meal, incorporate a wish for mutual respect and understanding.
- Don’t drink too much.
- Let people have their say. Try not to interrupt.
- Thing about the kids. Adults who know how to disagree without being disagreeable are a great role model for kids.
- Find common ground despite disagreements
- When things get tense, change the subject. “Let’s talk about this later. Right now let’s enjoy being together.”
- Keep perspective. No one is going to change anyone’s mind. Arguing is not worth it.
- Remember that family relationships outlast a presidency.