I enjoy holidays for the family togetherness and of course, the opportunity to show off a properly set table! But just what if the table will be filled with those on opposite sides of the political spectrum? Let us examine…
Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett,
I am a 53 year old woman who is beyond the point of tolerance for my family members. Maybe it’s my age, but I have no patience, time, or inclination to deal with people who are letting their opposing political views get in the way of my Thanksgiving celebration. My darling cherub children and their cousins are pretty much guaranteeing a big family feud as we carve the turkey. I have seen with my own eyes the posts on social media. I find this whole thing absurd and feel caught in the middle. What can I do? I told my husband I am ready to cancel the whole thing and go eat my Thanksgiving meal in peace at Golden Corral.
Pissed Off Mother of 4
Dear Pissed Off Mother of 4,
Firstly, I would like to point out that this is the precise reason that politics is on the No-No Topic list for polite conversation!
Second, while I dn’t have a problem with Golden Corral, I’m unsure that you will be satisfied entrusting your Thanksgiving enjoyment to this place on what will probably be the most crowded day of the year.
Third, I remind you that the gathering will be at your home and YOU make the rules. If this animosity if being broadcast across social media, you have every right to send an email or make a call informing the warring factions that they are to leave their political squabbling at the door and not bring it inside. That is NOT what a family meal is for. And as you mention cousins will be coming to your home, I would include their parents (you or your husband’s siblings) on the email or calls. MAKE IT VERY CLEAR (in a mannerly way, of course) that this is a non-negotiable house rule. For example:
“Dear Children and Dear Nieces and Nephews, I am looking forward to seeing all of you on Thanksgiving and enjoying much-anticipated family time. I request that we use this day to celebrate family and gratitude and not use it to squabble over politics, religion, or any other divisive topic. I want to hear all about YOU, your families, jobs, and achievements. I love you all and I know that you will respect my wishes as you come to my home. I would be very disappointed to not continue our family tradition due to this matter. We will be family longer than any one political person will be the in office. Love, Your Pissed Off Mother and Aunt”
I am quite frankly tired of the political climate, which is why I frequently watches re-runs of Designing Women and The Golden Girls and has fond memories of the 80s and the Reagans. (Am I showing my age?)
Please write back after Thanksgiving with an update.
Best Thanksgiving Wishes,
The Lady Hooper-Brackett