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Ask @DadandBuried: How Do We Deal with Political Talk at Thanksgiving Dinner?

Ask @DadandBuried: How Do We Deal with Political Talk at Thanksgiving Dinner?

The election could still be up in the air by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. How do we handle potential political tension at dinner?


When it comes to raising kids, there are so many questions of what should I do? When wondering what to do, it’s usually our first instinct to ask our friends for their advice. So, we asked Mike Julianelle, the 40-something father of two behind @dadandburied, to share his honest, hilarious, tell-it-like-it-is advice to your parenting questions. This month’s question: How do we all survive Thanksgiving dinner when our family has opposing political views?

It’s our turn to host Thanksgiving this year. I’m nervous, because on top of the pandemic, there’s the election, which may still be up in the air come the end of November. How are we supposed to navigate dinner with the in-laws when we have opposing political views? ­—Marielle, White Plains

Ah, celebrating the holidays during the most contentious political atmosphere since Lincoln was President. What a delightful way to cap off the nightmare that is 2020! Pandemics, wildfires, murder hornets, and now Thanksgiving with the in-laws.

What are we supposed to be thankful for again?

I kid, I kid. Even during this difficult year, we can all find something to be thankful for. Hopefully your list includes your health, and your jobs, and maybe even the pandemic puppy you allowed your kids to talk you into. But the fact is, family gatherings are always fraught, and this year’s political landscape is bound to make them even tougher than usual.

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Regardless of your affiliation, nobody likes getting into political arguments (except for every single person on Facebook, obviously), especially on a national holiday.

The coronavirus hasn’t given us much; it’s mostly been taking things away. But it may offer the perfect escape clause. You mention that it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving, but… maybe it isn’t? With flu season arriving and COVID-19 numbers surging again, it might be a good year to hold off on the big holiday gathering.

There has never been a better reason to avoid your in-laws than the global pandemic that is starting to bubble back up. Don’t want to discuss the presidential election with your father-in-law over mashed potatoes? Then don’t! Tell them you don’t want to take the chance of getting them sick and take a raincheck on hosting.

That way you can skip the debate over BLM and MAGA and antifa and the Supreme Court and enjoy a low-key holiday yelling at your kids to sit still and finish their stuffing. Just like a normal year!

If the in-laws are desperate to see the kids, offer to do a Zoom Thanksgiving instead, and the first time someone mentions politics, turn off the Wi-Fi. If they’re anything like my in-laws, they won’t be able to figure it out anyway.

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Mike Julianelle

Author:

Mike Julianelle is the Brooklyn dad behind the popular blog, DadandBuried.com, and its Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

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