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Here's what you can talk about with your relatives instead. 

Elisabeth Sherman
November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving is days away. You have (hopefully) finalized your menu. You may have started cleaning house, putting away any valuables you think your baby cousins might break or try to eat. All that’s left to do—besides go grocery shopping, pick an outfit, and stock up on wine—is stress out about what the family is going to discuss at the dinner table. You would love it if the conversation could revolve around your niece’s dance recital or the inspirational story of Fiona the hippo, but it hardly ever works out that way does it? Inevitably your uncle’s voting preferences come up, or the lone rebellious teenager at the table recently started reading The New Yorker and has a bone to pick with his father. The wine is flowing, and before you know it, you’re playing referee to a group of warring relatives who just had to bring up politics in between servings of turkey. It’s a scenario you’re anxious about encountering every year, but don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to a poll conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Marist, 58 percent of Americans dread talking politics with their families on Thanksgiving. Another 47 percent called conversations regarding the president “stressful and frustrating.”

If you count yourself among those people who aren’t exactly eager to hash out the current American political situation over dinner (a meager 31 percent of respondents said they were looking forward to talking politics) there are other topics you can bring up during dinner to deflect the conversation away from politics. Here is an incomplete list of subjects to introduce at the dinner table to distract from the looming specter of political discourse:

Do not bring up millennials and all the things they are “killing,” Lena Dunham, what will happen in the final season of Game of Thrones, or Kim Kardashian. Good luck.