Picture this: Christmas dinner, everyone's gathered around the table. You're laughing, passing the bread around clockwise. Then you hear it coming on the wind, the way a dog senses a storm. Politics are in the air. Your family supports Trump. They don't want immigrants to bring guns or take their guns because of the Second Amendment and 1776 was the best year ever. Trump has been so strong in the face of the midterm election results. Mueller should be drowned in a river like in ye olde witch hunts. Trump 2020. MAGA.

You feel every muscle in your body tense up because you've been here before. Eyes shift to you. You can literally see the chuckles rising up through their chests. "So…. how is that blue wave doing? Ha ha ha ha ha." You want to throw hands but you also are starving and just want to eat dinner in peace. Why did they wait until now do to this? The least they could do is begin the fight over the cheese platter so there's a lesser emotional investment.

What do you do?

We're still a few weeks out from the formal start of the holiday season (I'm just going to say it but you're honestly wrong if you start celebrating the holidays before the week of Thanksgiving), but in the few days following a heated and at times upsetting midterm election season, it's never too early to start preparing for the worst. If your family begins talking about politics at the dinner table at any point this holiday season, use this guide for survival. Godspeed all.

"While I want to keep this conversation alive, I really wanted to talk to you guys about something else... my GPA."

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We all have to make sacrifices in this life. This is a hard shift and should only be used when the conversation turns ugly, but it could save a life.

"I'm thinking of writing in Kanye on the ballot in 2020."

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Regardless of what side of the aisle your family is on, they will have an opinion about Kanye's relationship with politics. This is an especially good pivot to use if there are a solid number of older family members present who have absolutely no idea who Kanye West is, which allows you to completely 180º the conversation into a pop culture argument. You're welcome.

“I’m going to hike Mount Everest.”

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It doesn't matter if you're the laziest person in the world, Republican or Democrat. If you tell your grandmother you will be hiking Everest, then talk about how you want to change your life/get in shape/see the world, she will brag about you to literally every single person she's ever met, ever. That's a grandmother's greatest dream: telling Cheryl to fucking suck it because you climbed Everest and Cheryl's grandkid didn't.

“I don’t think we should talk about politics on the anniversary of George Michael’s death.”

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I don't know about you guys, but hearing George Michael had died put a bit of a damper on my Christmas. Everyone loves George Michael, and your mom will most likely back you up if you whip this one out. I know mine will likely tear up or stop crying because she cares about me… and also really loves George Michael.

George Michael seems like the kind of guy who would have wanted you to use the power of his name to shut shit down, too. Do it in his honor.

“American politics won’t matter much to me, since I’m moving to [whatever country you studied abroad in].”

This one is a little more niche, for all of the boujee among us. Nothing scares your grandparents like threatening them to leave the country and actually having a place to go. So long as you didn't study abroad in Canada, this is one that they will probably believe without too much pushing, and you can ride it until the end of time.

Getting close to the time you're supposed to be leaving? No problem; your program got canceled but you're looking for another one… that you just so happen to find the next time they mention politics.

“I’m pregnant.”

This one will get them to shut up real quick.