During Family Gatherings, Forget Politics! Don’t Let Politics Ruin the Holidays (Again).
The best way to enjoy Thanksgiving and the holiday season is with laughter, family stories, good food, and sharing your history of nostalgic family photographs.
As Election Day is long gone and we prepare for the holiday season, here is the definitive way to unite and bring the entire family together–without talking about politics. Many will cut short or avoid Christmas, Hanukkah, and the holidays altogether because politics have divided families.
As we end this election cycle, here is how to walk away from nine punishing rounds of partisanship political discourse. Instead of vowing never to speak to your once-favorite cousin or idiotic brother-in-law, there is a unifying solution. Rather than discussing politics during holiday gatherings–share pictures.
Given the divisive political climate, the big questions are:
- How do we cross that divide?
- How do we enjoy a calm Thanksgiving, a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and holiday season reunions?
- How do we get through Thanksgiving without resorting to sword fights with rolls of wrapping paper?
- How do we survive – and maybe even heal our broken families?
- How do we make the holidays great again?
13 Tips for Having Fun at the Next Family Gathering to Focus on Family History and Storytelling, Not Politics:
- – Agree ahead of time to focus the conversation on what binds families together–your shared family history.
- – Ask each person to bring digitized pictures of their loved ones from different stages of their lives.
- – Take turns sharing favorite memories or anecdotes about the people in the pictures. This will help everyone see beyond the party lines and get to know each other on a personal level.
- – Don’t let political talk ruin the mood—remember, you are there to celebrate and have fun! If someone starts a contentious discussion, steer it back toward lighter fare like shared memories or personal interests instead.
- – Revisit photos and home movies from yesteryear. Put together a slideshow of digitized photos and display it on your TV. Ask everyone to bring their favorite family memories to share during the reunion.
- – If you have a family historian, instead of them finding great-grandma’s fruit cake recipe, request they tote along the photo albums and recently scanned pictures that contain images going back generations.
- – Pull out the photos, slide carousels, negatives, and home movies from yesteryear and get them digitized before the gatherings.
- – Get everyone involved to unlock their vault of pre-digital snapshots.
- – Share the stories from magical memories, but not politics.
- – What unites is creating healthy discourse and sharing nostalgic family photos, rather than waging a political minefield of bellicose bickering.
- – Instead of shrieking and whooping at each other, reminisce.
- – Instead of lunging at each other, laugh.
- – Instead of screaming at each other, cry (happy tears) together as you revisit past photos, slides, film, and home movie keepsakes.
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