How to talk to your family at Thanksgiving without all deciding you hate each other

Keep the peace!

Thanksgiving dinner.
(Image credit: iStock)

It's been quite a year, folks. There was the shocking election, followed by the daily matinees from the White House circus, including incompetent appointments to crucial government posts. There were hurricanes, floods and fires. Domestic and foreign terrorism. Revelations of high-profile sexual harassment and abuse. And all of these things, miraculously, were politically charged.

Meanwhile, President Trump's approval rating is the lowest of any president since modern polling began. We've heard his own appointee call him a moron and his own party members decry him as "disgraceful" and "childish." But remember: There are millions and millions of people who still support him. Odds are that even if you're a diehard Democrat, you're going to be shoveling pie with the inevitable Trump fan in your family today.

Here's a guide to topics you'll want to avoid over the holidays to help you keep peace within your family just until you've digested enough to drive home. I've also provided examples of statements you don't want to make, as well as some handy, utterly innocuous phrases you can use to defuse the situation if these subjects are unfortunately broached — say, by a "snowflake," "libtard" nephew.

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Off-the-table topic: Confederate statues

Unwise utterance: Aunt Fran, I see you finally pulled up the shag carpet in the parlor. I mean, it was odious, but I can't say I condone this sort of revisionist history. WHERE DOES IT END?!

Replace with: Place looks nice.

Off-the-table topic: Climate change

Unwise utterance: If anyone's asking, I'd like a rowboat for Christmas. Thanks to unprecedented atmospheric events, I'm fixing to have beachfront property by next August.

Replace with: Nice weather we're having.

Off-the-table topic: NFL boycott

Unwise utterance: No, I can't stay for the Redskins game. As I get older, I find the combination of racist mascots, misguided patriotism, and the promise of CTE triggers my acid reflux.

Replace with: How 'bout them Knicks?

Off-the-table topic: Gun control

Unwise utterance: While we're saying grace, can we throw in a couple thoughts 'n' prayers that Congress will pull its head out of the NRA's buttstock?

Replace with: Amen.

Off-the-table topic: Election meddling

Unwise utterance: Mom, you said you'd never serve canned cranberry sauce. I'm kind of shocked. Did Putin hack into the menu? What's going on here??

Replace with: Please pass the yams.

Off-the-table topic: Legalization of marijuana

Unwise utterance: You're all going to love the pecan pie I made. It's infused with cannabis butter. Has anyone tried Banana Kush? Relaxing, but you stay chatty and social. For example, I'm high right now.

Replace with: ... How's your glaucoma, Grandma?

Happy Thanksgiving — and good luck!

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