The holidays are such a joyous and wonderful time of year. Everyone is excited to travel home and be with love ones, but the one thing that we always forget in the midst of all of the holiday cheer is that going home, for a lot of people, are political and religious mine fields.
College is a time for growth and education, and our families are no longer the main influence on our development. Our classes, professors, friends and environment begin to cultivate us as young adults, and these new experiences can lead to different beliefs than that of your family.
It'll be hard to bite your tongue if your uncle says something that you disagree with and it'll even be harder not to cry if your family is just an awesome disappointment. But the best advice is to just not talk about it. Follow the RAPE rule of taboo conversation topics. Never talk about religion, abortion, politics, or economics. That's your first step to having a tear-free holiday season.
If you can't avoid the topic entirely, remove yourself from the situation. Walk away before things get out of hand. If you can't prevent someone saying something that is insulting, offensive, or opposite to your beliefs, you can at least prevent yourself from hearing it. You can even let everyone know why you're leaving, saying something like, "Oh, I don't talk politics."
If someone asks you who you voted for, don't answer. Voting is anonymous for a reason and you, as a voting citizen of this country, have the right to keep your vote secret.
If someone asks if you still go to church (or other religious questions), just go with it. Do not prompt an argument. If you know your religious beliefs are different that the person asking, do not answer truthfully because religious arguments never ends because faith is not based on logic or reason. You cannot talk people out of their religious beliefs in one sitting.
Sexuality and the LGBTQ community is another hot topic that could make a holiday family party go up in flames. Every instinct in me shouts, "If someone says anything against any member of the LGBTQ community, end them," but it's best to choose your battles.
Good luck with your family this holiday