How To Have A Peaceful Thanksgiving, Even When Tensions Are High

This year, perhaps more than ever, the world just seems on edge. No matter what your political affiliation, it seems that the divides, even within families, are too deep to heal. If you’re dreading sitting down to dinner with your family, there are a few ways to make Thanksgiving more tolerable – and they don’t have to involve wine.

Thanksgiving dinner, courtesy Grayclee/Flickr

Make a list of safe subjects

Scan the internet for current events that aren’t political. There have to be subjects you can all agree on. Make a list of things to talk about. Talk about pleasant family memories or about the children in the family. Talk about the time you scaled that mountain, or even about rude sales clerks. In other words, talk about just about anything but politics, and Apple vs. Android (or PC).

Bring props

If your list of safe topics aren’t working, bring some tools. Give small gifts or bring a light-hearted game for after dinner. Karaoke can be a big hit and there are even phone apps. Bring a piece of memorabilia from an adventure you had during the year.

Pick a mantra

Do you have that family member who insists on turning the dinner table into a debate? If you’re opinionated (as so many of us are), it’s tempting to take that bait, but you don’t have to. Prepare yourself with a mantra. An idea might be, “today is a day of peace,” or “this is about the family.” More importantly, remember that minds are rarely ever changed.

Drink, but not too much

One glass of wine might take away the sting of caring what others say. More than that and you could be itching for a fight.

Take it outside

If you really must get into an argument with your Uncle Phil, arrange to take it outside, but after eating. By that time, you might forget all about it.

Remember that it’s all temporary

Politicians come and go. Your family will be around long after the next election and elections beyond that.

Featured image via Grayclee/Flickr.