Now, let me be honest. I love talking about politics. The subject is something I am very passionate about. I have grown up with having political discussions/debates in family dinners all of the time. My immediate family typically agrees on general political issues, and so the discussions are rather fun. I also encourage you to have such discussions, because they are rather important. Not because talking about the issues changes anything, but it forces you to think critically about your stances on such issues. I say these things to show that I am certainly not against having political debates. However, there are proper places and times for such discussions, and I would argue that during a Christmas dinner, with family you barely remember the last time you met, is not the correct place to point fingers on partisan issues.

Understand this, Christmas has far greater importance than what is trending on the news. This is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas for that reason, it is still a very important holiday that is meant to unite others together. Celebrating Jesus should be a unifying factor during the Christmas. According to my beliefs, it is the sole reason that Christmas has any true value at all. Even though cliches such as, "Jesus is the reason for the season" are easy to understand and hold true, I think Jesus is truly the only reason for the season. So I would encourage you to keep the focus on unifying things such as the birth of Jesus, family values, or general joyful subjects. Family Christmas should be looked back on as being a positive memory, so don't attempt to spoil it for something of less meaning.

Yes, politics are important. No, they are not worth hating family members over.

Family is very important. It is very concerning that political news can divide families for years because of an unnecessary discussion that led to animosity towards each other. Again, politics is important. But, family is more important. Before engaging in controversial topics think about what you are trying to achieve. Is it a friendly conversation that isn't driven by personal agendas? Though it may be rare, that does occur. On the contrary, is it a pointless personal agenda fueled debate that seeks to put down someone else so that your opinion is validated? I believe this is often the case.

Sadly, many people are attracted to debate tactics that provoke others to anger, because this is equated to winning a debate. Being provocative does not mean you are winning a debate, and it also just leads to putting someone down. It is easy to say something controversial that angers someone and feel like you have said some truly profound thing, but that tactic is rarely beneficial. Please, remember that a Christmas family reunion is not a nationally televised debate, and it is not necessary for you to attempt to offend someone.

Though what you say may be true, their feelings of hurt from your words can equally be true.

Why would I push for avoiding political discussion altogether? Simple, politics today is in a very nasty place. To say the least, politics is a very divisive today, and probably more so than it ever has been before. Individual's political opinions make up an important part of their identity today. Debates that seem harmless at first can easily be perceived as an attack on personal identity. That is why harsh arguments can be started from virtually nothing. Even though you may be harmlessly attempting to learn or change a family member's mind, it can lead to a shouting match nightmare.

I ask you to think about what is more important to you during the Christmas season. Is it remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ? Maybe it is family bonding and catching up with old friends? Perhaps it is a mix of the two. I doubt many of you look forward to having serious political discussions that lead to boosted egos and hurt family members. I love political debates and I think they have their benefits. However, I know that Christmas stands for something far greater than meaningless arguments about tax policies with your cousin. It is not worth exchanging the joy and love of Christmas season for pointless debates. So, in closing, I would like for everyone to seriously consider holding off on politics for Christmas and instead pursue the joy that potentially can be had.