Typically, it’s never a good idea to bring up politics at a family event. However, this year, in the wake of the election, that rules feels even more important to abide by. In fact, for thanksgiving this year my family set a “no talking about politics” rule. However, that seems to be the only thing there IS to talk about these days. So here are a few neutral topics you can discuss at the thanksgiving table.
- How college is going. I know that this is something you were hoping to avoid talking about at all costs, but it’s the most neutral and time consuming conversation starter. And while it may be annoying, would you rather listen to your racist grandpa and your hippie cousin argue about the state of our nation?
- The latest show you’ve been binge watching. Try recommending a show that you think someone at the table might like, and give them maybe too long of an explanation on what it’s about. If you do this right, it can last the entire main course. Just make sure it’s not house of cards or scandal or anything like that.
- The food. Give a lot of praise to the chef. Ask them questions about their recipe, and see if you can go around the room and ask everybody what they brought to the table. You’d be surprised how long people can talk about food for.
- Football. This one is pretty obvious. The key here is to steer clear of mentioning controversial team names, or the national anthem. A little friendly team rivalry might also be the aggression the family needs to get out without having to discuss the election.
- Family memories. A stroll down memory lane (almost) never hurt anybody. Everybody loves to reminisce, especially when the whole gang is together.
- The weather. This is kind of a “when all else fails” one. It’s also a slippery slope, because somebody might accidentally mention global warming. However, if executed properly, you can kill a solid 5 minutes with this one.
- Board games. Once you run out of conversation topics, it’s time to break out the board games. My family's personal favorites include boggle, trivial pursuit, and pictionary. This is a classic activity at our thanksgiving table. It always guarantees some laughs, and makes us forget about our political differences.
While none of these may exactly scratch that itch you feel to talk about the 2016 election, they should at least get you through the night argument free. And remember, by the time the meal is over everybody will probably be in enough of a food coma that nobody should even have the energy to discuss politics.