Thanksgiving discussions

Ways to avoid controversy at the dinner table


Photo by Victoria Van

Story by Salem Karr, staff writer

Sound of silverware hitting plates and joyous laughter fills the air. Suddenly, you hear your parents, grandparents and everyone in attendance erupt into shouts of disagreement and disgust. You look around and wonder what could have stopped this.

Thanksgiving dinner is a time when family meets to enjoy a meal and catch up with their distant relatives. However, the peace and happiness may be ruined by a few simple words. Not everyone in a family shares the same opinion on everything. When someone mentions something that someone else doesn’t agree on, the result can be catastrophic.

While there are many things that are best left alone during the holiday, politics seems to be the biggest bomb in the family. This doesn’t seem like a problem, but it will be when your aunt starts talking about her opinions on the president and your dad starts to argue. 

This all sound over dramatic, but we have all seen the power of clashing political views. It’s best if it stays away from Thanksgiving dinner.

Along with this, there is something that aims directly at teens that should be avoided, school. Our own personal forbidden word is school. A family member asking, “How is school going,” is the bane of all teen existence.

This all sound over dramatic, but we have all seen the power of clashing political views. It’s best if it stays away from Thanksgiving dinner.”

— Salem Karr

The conversation starts off with that simple question, but then you’re asked about your grades, friends, relationships, etc. All you can do is sit there and listen to your family discuss your personal life without you. One question turns into multiple questions and before you know it, you’re in a never ending black hole of family assumptions.

Another thing that loves to be brought up is religion. With that many people all seated around the same table, there is bound to be at least one person who doesn’t agree with everyone’s religious beliefs. Usually religion would be okay to discuss, but with opposing beliefs, it’s best to leave that talk until the extended family has left.

There are many ways to avoid talking about family annihilating topics. The simplest way is to steer the conversation a different direction. If you hear the forbidden word, or hear any mention of school, you could mention something cute or funny your pet did last week and mission complete. If that doesn’t work, you could ask how the trip to town was, or tell them about the trip to their house. This might spark a boring conversation, but at least your family isn’t at each other’s throats.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, consider other topics that your family might fight about and think of ways to avoid controversial topics. The last thing that anyone needs is their family doing more fighting than eating on Thanksgiving.