Grace’s Turkey Day Tips
For most Americans, Thanksgiving 2020 could go one of two ways.
One: Your family urges a “no politics” rule, sticks to it and you all enjoy a fall day full of pie, pinot noir and peace. Or two, your family dives into the current political issues head-first. Later, the cops show up to break up the brawl. I’m kidding! Sort of.
The trickiest part about this year is that almost every conversation eventually leads to politics.
Sure, you might start off discussing the latest restaurant to go out of business due to the pandemic, but before you know it, you and your aunt are debating the accuracy of CDC statistics and the effectiveness of face shields.
Trust me — it’s a slippery slope.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi once said (without evidence) in an interview that when it comes to President Trump, “all roads lead to Putin.”
I’d argue that in America right now, whether you love him or hate him, all conversations lead to Trump.
Now, if your family can engage in civil political arguments without feelings being hurt or tempers being raised — then go for it! There’s nothing wrong with some healthy debate over dinner.
However, there’s also something to be said for putting politics aside for one day in order to enjoy a few pleasant hours with loved ones.
This year has been stressful enough. There’s no need to carry that energy over into your food-fueled festivities.
With that being said, the reason people tend to engage in political discussions is because they are heavily invested in their beliefs.
Americans are especially passionate right now, and passion often makes for interesting and lively conversations.
So if you aren’t thrilled by the idea that your uncle might start riffing about Joe Biden’s latest press conference — well, you should be ready to bring some other subject matter to the table.
My go-to conversation starter is “The Godfather” vs. “The Godfather Part II.”
The purists will tout the original, and they have plenty on their side. Sonny’s murder at the tollbooths, the scene at Louie’s Restaurant, Enzo the Baker and Michael at the hospital — it’s all brilliant.
But don’t rule out the GF2 crowd. Plenty of people will argue that Robert De Niro as a young Vito Corleone in Sicily adds a layer of depth to the sequel.
Let the family hash it out, and take comfort in the fact that this conversation is far less likely to result in anyone being labeled a racist or a snowflake.
If your mom wants to talk about the hilarity of Bernie Sanders being floated as Biden’s labor secretary, but your cousin has a Feel the Bern sticker on their car — I have a plan B.
Change the subject to sports.
My brothers seem to get very animated when discussing Bill Belichick versus Tom Brady. What I’ve gathered from these conversations (that always seem to take place when I’m trying to watch the Bachelorette) is that some people credit the Patriots past success to Coach Belichick, while others think it was all due to TB12.
Just toss this convo into the mix like a grenade and soon your cousins will be yelling about dynasties that don’t involve the Clintons or the Bushes.
When your liberal relatives begin to brag about how their guy won because he is more decent than Orange Man Bad — take a few deep breaths.
Don’t get into the laptop from hell or Dominion Voting Systems.
Trust me, you aren’t going to turn the Trump Derangement sufferers into MAGA fans over a box of Stove Top stuffing.
Instead, bring up something embarrassing about a sibling.
My go-to is to reminisce about the time my mom tried to frost my older brother’s hair when he was in middle school. But instead of frosted tips, my brother ended up with cheetah-like spots all over his head.
*Photos to accompany cringe-worthy memories are always a plus.
On a serious note, there’s nothing wrong with caring about politics. However, I can guarantee you that you won’t regret giving it a rest for 24 hours.
If you skip debating your family members this Turkey Day, you won’t forget that some of your relatives might have different political leanings than you. But you might remember that you can enjoy your family despite the fact that you might not always agree with them.
Because at the end of the day, whether you’re sitting next to your Trump-hating cousin or your MAGA-supporting mom, we can all agree on one thing: Don’t ever take sides against the family.