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An Eye on the White House

November 29, 2017

Politics at Christmas: Should You Just Keep Quiet?

Politics is a hot button topic at the best of times. Now, a year after Donald Trump’s election victory, it is a positively radioactive one. America is divided like no time in recent memory and that clash can extend right to the Christmas dinner table. Some people dread holiday a get together because of things like the cost, travel time, and the headache of many little children sharing the same space. However, the final straw for some this year just might be the thought of listening to a drunken Uncle Roy singing Trump’s praises.

Would you agree to a holiday embargo on political discussions? After all, shouldn’t Christmas be the single most non-partisan day of the year? Avoiding the topic altogether would seem to be the easy answer, but surprisingly enough, some psychologists and mediators disagree. Their take is that we should actually take advantage of the opportunity to share a meaningful dialogue.

The advice each expert offers differs somewhat, but the main message is that it is important to avoid any form of judgment or verbal attacks. When engaging with others on social media, this is the fallback for an increasing number of people. However, it is important to never do that in person. Not only will it fail to sway anyone to your side, it will just poison the entire atmosphere. Those negative feelings will invariably extend to everyone else at the gathering, which is certainly not fair.

At a time when politics seems to be the last thing that anyone wishes to discuss at family gatherings, it may be worth setting aside part of the day for just such a talk. Certainly, having a mixture of family members in attendance can make for a lively and informative discussion. However, we understand if you don’t feel like risking it, given the events of the last twelve months.