Your guide to de-politicizing Thanksgiving dinner with the family

Lanthorn Editorial Board

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As college students return home to take a brief moment of respite before drowning in finals, the thought of full turkeys and passing dishes around the table is relieving to some. That is, until your argumentative relative sits down at the table next to you and starts talking about a political post they saw on Facebook. 

In the blink of an eye, what could have been an evening full of homemade food and catching up with family has turned into a political battlefield, with some parties striving to keep the peace and others not willing to give up any ground. 

In any case, keep Thanksgiving civil with three easy tricks to spare you a headache. 

1. Volunteer to be the errand-runner

There will always be that one person who forgets the fruit platter. Or maybe the host didn’t prepare with enough ice. In any case, someone will have to make the last-minute trip to the store, which provides a prepared person the perfect opportunity to excuse themselves from any arguments. Maybe take a cousin along with you so you guys can “take a walk” before munching on the big meal.

In any case, make sure to keep car keys at the ready and stay within earshot of the kitchen. Of course you’d love to stay and chat about the presence of the Pledge of Allegiance being recited at your local student government meetings, but someone has to be the soldier to grab the Cool Whip. It might as well be you. 

2. Bring up a non-political controversy

Some people just need to fight. Politics are real and stressful and divisive, but maybe just let the people argue over something less pertinent to the future of the nation and the world, and just let them squabble over something meaningless. 

Remember the “gif v. jif” debate? If that’s the convo on the table, no one over 30 will have anything to say, and they won’t even be able to get a word in over the misguided, passionate shouts about the importance of a creator’s intention, or the fact that we don’t get “jifts” from Santa Claus. 

3. Hang out with the kids all day

Kids are smelly, they eat their boogers and they are generally annoying and way too loud. These are the reasons why on many Thanksgivings, the children are delegated to the basement or a playroom, while the adults can put their feet up and talk about their obnoxious political opinions. You know who doesn’t have political opinions? Your 6-year-old cousins who burst out laughing at a single fart or burp. 

To avoid having to hear your semi-racist uncle outline why Jeffery Epstein didn’t kill himself, just hang out with the little twerps all day. You’ll officially be the “cool cousin.”