Just Don't Talk About it!

Stop what you are doing. Don't say it! No matter how hard it is to resist your uncle's vexing remarks on the election or your cousin's problematic ideas about immigration, arguing over the holiday dinner table will never end well. Remember this: you can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family.

Trust me...

Save your knowledge and enlightening ideas for another time and another audience. Coming from a family of strong conservative views and die-hard Republican party affiliation, believe me when I say that your spiel on the unequivocal rights of women to abortion or your condemnation of the severe wealth/income inequality will fall on deaf ears. The holidays aren't the time to convince your family members why you're right and why they're wrong. Nor is it the time to harbor resentment towards your family members of different, possibly outdated opinions.

At this point, it is hard for me to speak to marginalized groups whose families may not accept them for who they are. Coming from a place of privilege, I cannot say that I understand these emotions and cannot begin to advise the best way to navigate these hardships. But what I can say is that, despite these fundamental differences in ideologies or lifestyle, family is family. At the end of the day, you don't love each other because of each other's views; you don't love each other based on who the other voted for; and you definitely don't love each other because you're particularly similar in any way; you love each other because you were blessed into the world with the irreversible bonds of blood and whether you're thrilled or not, neither of you are going anywhere. This might be the one time a year that you get to see your problematic aunt or your subtly (or not so subtly) racist grandpa, so why not keep it all peaches 'n cream?

You don't have to agree with grandpa or feel great about aunt Betty's views — grandpa was born decades before you and aunt Betty is from a vastly different region with an almost genetically homogenous population. You can't possibly expect to see eye-to-eye on all of the issues. It's only going to cause issues and evoke strong emotions that don't need to come out during a light-hearted family dinner. Because of this, just don't talk about it.

Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, these times can often raise tensions and bring out the worst. With this in mind, it's important to remember that you're not spending the holidays together so that you could discuss politics or attack each other's views. You spend time together out of love—possibly obligation—but all with the notion in mind that these people are an important part of your life. There will be a time when you won't have the option to engage some of your family members, so take this time as a break from all the turbulence in American politics and keep it mellow. All love, no hate!

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